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Interpretive Summary: Frequency of maternal supplementation of energy and protein during late gestation modulates preweaning growth of their beef offspring

By: Vinicius Izquierdo, Marcelo Vedovatto, Elizabeth A Palmer, Rhaiza A Oliveira, Hiran M Silva, João M B Vendramini, Philipe Moriel

Decreasing the frequency of protein and energy supplementation to beef cattle is often used to reduce labor and feeding costs. We hypothesized that reducing the frequency of protein and energy during third trimester of gestation of beef cows would not impact maternal performance but would be detrimental to offspring growth due to greater fluctuations in maternal hormones and metabolites during pregnancy compared to daily concentrate supplementation. Supporting our hypothesis, decreasing the frequency of maternal protein and energy supplementation, from daily to either once or three times weekly during late gestation, did not decrease cow body condition score but altered the plasma concentrations of hormones and metabolites essential for fetal growth, and consequently, reduced offspring preweaning growth.

Read the full article in Translational Animal Science.