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Effects of fetal programming on growth of Nellore breed calves

Grant number: 20/15165-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2021
Effective date (End): January 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Animal Production
Principal Investigator:Miguel Henrique de Almeida Santana
Grantee:Cynthia de Carli
Host Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/12105-2 - Fenomics of fetal programming effects on beef cattle production: a systemic approach, AP.JP


Brazil has the second largest cattle herd in the world behind India, however it has the largest commercial herd. In the country, about 85% of beef production is carried out on pasture, which makes our product more competitive. Despite the importance of animal production on pasture, this system is characterized by environmental challenges that affect the performance of the cattle indicating that the country is below its real productive potential. Management and adequate nutrition are factors that can influence both the health and productivity of offspring in the long run. Fetal programming (FP) known as the influence of supplementation of matrices during pregnancy can bring positive changes to the progeny such as better weight gain, sexual precocity and improvement in the pregnancy rate. Given the above, the objective of this project is to assess the impacts of nutrition during the gestation of nulliparous heifers that have already been subjected to fetal programming on the body development of calves from these cows. Forty-eight Nellore heifers (F1) subjected to fetal programming will be used, which will be divided into two groups with 24 animals that will represent the different nutritional plans (treatments). The treatments applied will be the following: NP- Not Programmed, mineral supplementation during the whole pregnancy (0.03% PV) and PC - Complete Programming, protein-energetic supplementation during the whole pregnancy (0.3% PV). After calving, protein-energy supplementation will cease and all calves will be evaluated. The results of this project may help to elucidate the effects of fetal programming on body performance of calves.

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