Document Detail

Dam and granddam feeding during pregnancy in sheep affects milk supply in offspring and reproductive performance in grand-offspring.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19966171     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In temperate climates, the cost of providing feed is greater in winter than in other seasons, causing ewes to be fed restricted rations during some periods of pregnancy. Epidemiological information indicates that undernutrition of the fetus may affect its health and performance in later life (i.e., fetal programming), and these effects may be passed between generations. The primary focus of the results presented in this paper is to examine the effects of feeding levels during pregnancy on a variety of traits from offspring at the fetal stage to 3.5 yr of age and also traits in the grand-offspring. Two studies are reported in which ewes were fed restricted diets during pregnancy, with a variety of fetal traits, offspring traits up to 3.5 yr of age, or grand-offspring traits up to 8 mo of age being measured. Study 2 also considered differences in dam size (heavy vs. light). In study 1, several fetal mammary gland measures indicated that milking ability may be enhanced in offspring from dams fed ad libitum during pregnancy. However, study 2 showed that mammary mass was greater in fetuses from dams fed at maintenance during pregnancy and that contemporaries of these fetuses produced greater protein and lactose yields in their first lactation. In the second lactation, the advantages in protein and lactose yields did not reoccur and ewes from ad libitum-fed dams produced greater fat yield. In study 2, grand-offspring whose granddams were fed at maintenance levels during pregnancy were lighter at birth in both the first and second parturitions than those whose granddams were fed ad libitum during pregnancy. First-parity grand-offspring whose granddams were fed maintenance levels during pregnancy achieved heavier BW by 40 to 50 d of age in the first lactation, which reflected the greater protein and lactose yields; however, no BW differences were present in second-parity lambs at the same age. A smaller proportion of first-parity ewe grand-offspring from heavy granddams that were fed ad libitum during pregnancy reached puberty at approximately 8 mo of age relative to the other granddam size and feeding groups. These results indicate that dam nutrition can affect the yield and composition of milk in their offspring and the BW and reproductive capability of their grand-offspring. Molecular and physiological mechanisms for these changes are being sought.
H T Blair; C M C Jenkinson; S W Peterson; P R Kenyon; D S van der Linden; L C Davenport; D D S Mackenzie; S T Morris; E C Firth
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-12-04
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of animal science     Volume:  88     ISSN:  1525-3163     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Anim. Sci.     Publication Date:  2010 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-04-20     Completed Date:  2010-07-26     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8003002     Medline TA:  J Anim Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  E40-50     Citation Subset:  IM    
Sheep Research Group, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Husbandry / methods
Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology
Animals, Newborn / growth & development
Lactation / physiology*
Milk / secretion
Pregnancy, Animal / physiology*
Reproduction / physiology*
Sheep / growth & development,  physiology*

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