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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINING AND ENHANCING SOUTHERN PLAINS RANGELAND AND PASTURE LANDSCAPES

Location: Rangeland and Pasture Research

Title: Ruminant Nutrition Symposium: Modulation of metabolism through nutrition and management

Author
item GUNTER, STACEY

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 25, 2012
Publication Date: May 30, 2012
Citation: Gunter, S.A. 2012. Ruminant Nutrition Symposium: Modulation of metabolism through nutrition and management. Journal of Animal Science. 90:1833-1834.

Interpretive Summary: Dairy cows convert food not acceptable to humans in to foods containing high-quality protein and other nutrients that humans enjoy eating. It is clear that these high-producing and long lactations are stressful and costly to dairy cows, and minor changes in nutrition and management can have significant impacts on their profitability. More recently, it has been realized that nutrient supply and hormonal signaling at specific periods of pregnancy and after calving may have permanent affects on metabolism and life-time performance of the cow and(or) their calf. These metabolic events occurring during pregnancy and(or) shortly after calving have been generally referred to as ‘fetal programming’ or ‘metabolic imprinting’ and the potential causes of and consequences have recently been reviewed in beef cattle. However, there has not been a complete review of current research regarding this topic with specific reference to dairy cattle. The symposium presentations summarized in this article describe the current knowledge regarding nutrition during pregnancy and shortly after calving on life-time metabolism and productivity in the dairy cow.

Technical Abstract: The primary role of the dairy cow is to help provide high-quality protein and other nutrients through lactation to the human diet. It is clear that these high-producing and long lactations are stressful on the cows, and minor changes in nutrition and management can have significant impacts on profitability. More recently, it has been realized that nutrient supply and hormonal signaling at specific periods of gestation and post-natal development may exert permanent changes to metabolism affecting life-time performance, body composition, and metabolic function of the dam and(or) their offspring. These processes occurring during gestation and(or) shortly after parturition in the offspring have been generally referred to as ‘fetal programming’ or ‘metabolic imprinting’ and the potential causes of and consequences in beef cattle have recently been reviewed. However, there has not been a complete review of current research regarding this topic with specific reference to dairy cattle. The symposium presentations summarized herein describe the current knowledge regarding pre- and post-natal nutrition on life-time metabolism and productivity.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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