Document Detail

BOARD INVITED REVIEW: The importance of the gestation period for welfare of calves: maternal stressors and difficult births.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22952359     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The prenatal period is of critical importance in defining how individuals respond to their environment throughout life. Stress experienced by pregnant females has been shown to have detrimental effects on offspring biology in humans and a variety of other species. It is also becoming increasingly apparent that prenatal events can have important consequences for the behaviour, health and productivity of offspring in farmed species. The implications of prenatal stress for offspring welfare in cattle are reviewed. Pregnant cattle may experience many potentially important stressors, for instance, relating to their social environment, housing system and physical environment, interactions with humans and husbandry procedures, and their state of health. We examined the available literature to provide the review of this topic. The long-term impacts of dystocia on cattle offspring are also reviewed. To ensure a transparent and repeatable selection process a systematic review approach was adopted. The research literature clearly demonstrates that prenatal stress and difficult births in beef and dairy cattle both have implications for offspring welfare and performance. Common husbandry practices, such as transport, were shown to influence offspring biology and the importance of environmental variables, including thermal stress and drought, were also highlighted. Maternal disease during pregnancy was shown to negatively impact offspring welfare. Moreover, dystocia-affected calves suffer increased mortality and morbidity, reduced transfer of passive immunity, and important physiological and behavioral changes. This review also identified considerable gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the effects of prenatal stress in cattle.
G Arnott; D Roberts; J A Rooke; S P Turner; A B Lawrence; K M D Rutherford
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-9-5
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of animal science     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1525-3163     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Anim. Sci.     Publication Date:  2012 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-9-6     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8003002     Medline TA:  J Anim Sci     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Research Group, SAC, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, UK.
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