Effects of supplementing calcium salts of polyunsaturated fatty acids to late-gestating beef cows on performance and physiological responses of the offspring.
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This experiment compared performance and physiological responses of the offspring from cows supplemented with Ca salts of PUFA or SFA + MUFA during late gestation. Ninety-six multiparous, nonlactating, pregnant Angus × Hereford cows were ranked by BW, BCS, and age and divided into 24 groups of 4 cows/group at the end of their second trimester of gestation (d -7). Cows conceived during the same estrus synchronization + AI protocol, with semen from a single sire; hence, gestation length was 195 d for all cows at the beginning of the experiment (d 0). Groups were randomly assigned to receive (DM basis) 405 g/cow daily of soybean meal in addition to 1) 190 g/cow daily of Ca salts of PUFA based on eicosapentaenoic, docosahexaenoic, and linoleic acids or 2) 190 g/cow daily of Ca salts of SFA + MUFA based on palmitic and oleic acids (CON). Groups were maintained in 2 pastures (6 groups of each treatment/pasture) and received daily 10.1 kg/cow (DM basis) of grass-alfalfa hay. Groups were segregated into 1 of 12 drylot pens (6 by 18 m) and individually offered treatments 3 times/wk from d 0 until calving. Cow BW and BCS were recorded, and blood samples were collected on d -7 of the experiment and also within 12 h after calving. Calf BW was also recorded within 12 h of calving. Calves were weaned on d 280 of the experiment, preconditioned for 45 d (d 280 to 325), transferred to a growing lot on d 325, and moved to a finishing lot on d 445, where they remained until slaughter. At calving, PUFA-supplemented cows had a greater ( < 0.01) proportion (as % of total plasma fatty acids) of PUFA, including linoleic, linolenic, arachidonic, docosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic acids. At weaning, calves from CON-supplemented cows were older ( = 0.03), although no treatment differences were detected ( = 0.82) for calf weaning BW. During both growing and finishing phases, ADG was greater ( ≤ 0.06) in calves from PUFA-supplemented cows. Upon slaughter, HCW and marbling were also greater ( ≤ 0.05) in calves from PUFA-supplemented cows. Collectively, these results indicate that supplementing eicosapentaenoic, docosahexaenoic, and linoleic acids to late-gestating beef cows stimulated programming effects on postnatal offspring growth and carcass quality. Therefore, supplementing late-gestating beef cows with Ca salts of PUFA appears to optimize offspring productivity in beef production systems.
author list (cited authors)
Marques, R. S., Cooke, R. F., Rodrigues, M. C., Brandão, A. P., Schubach, K. M., Lippolis, K. D., ... Bohnert, D. W.
complete list of authors
Marques, RS||Cooke, RF||Rodrigues, MC||Brandão, AP||Schubach, KM||Lippolis, KD||Moriel, P||Perry, GA||Lock, A||Bohnert, DW