September 07, 2020

Interpretive Summary: Supplementing Ca salts of soybean oil to late-gestating beef cows

Interpretive Summary: Supplementing Ca salts of soybean oil to late-gestating beef cows: impacts on performance and physiological responses of the offspring

By Anne Zinn

A recent study published in the Journal of Animal Science compared the performance and physiological responses of the offspring from cows supplemented with calcium salts of soybean oil (CSSO) or prilled saturated fat (CON) during late gestation. Maternal nutrition is a major factor in development of fetal organ systems associated with health, production, and reproduction; currently, the majority of research within this field is focused on energy and protein nutrition and limited information exists about the potential impacts of supplementing polyunsaturated fatty acids to gestating cows on offspring productivity.Therefore, the research team hypothesized that CSSO supplementation to late-gestating beef cows would improve lifelong offspring productivity via programming effects.

Overall, the results of this study showed that supplementing forage-fed beef cows during late gestation with CSSO did not negatively impact cow performance, calving rate, or calf birth body weight, and no treatment differences in offspring growth were observed from birth to weaning and the subsequent 35 day preconditioning period. These results are indicative of programming effects on postnatal offspring growth and health resultant from CSSO supplementation to late-gestating cows and suggest that supplementing CSSO to beef cows during pregnancy might be a feasible alternative to optimize offspring productivity and welfare.

The full article will soon be available on the Journal of Animal Science website