Beef cow weight variations during gestation and offspring performance: a meta-analysis

John Lenon Klein, Diego Soares Machado, Sander Martinho Adams, Luciana Pötter, Dari Celestino Alves Filho, Ivan Luiz Brondani


The objective of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the effects of weight loss or weight gain of beef cows during the second and/or third trimester of gestation on the postnatal performance of the progeny. The variation in cow weight during the gestational period was calculated to standardize the treatments, being them: severe loss (SL = cows that lost more than 10% of weight); moderate loss (ML = cows that lost from 0 to 10% of weight) and weight gain (WG = cows that gained weight). The intensity of the cow weight variation effect was calculated as the mean difference (MD) with a 95% confidence interval and heterogeneity determined using the Q test and the I2 statistic. A meta-analysis of random effects was conducted for each indicator separately with the means of the control and experimental groups. Calves from WG cows were higher for birth weight (P = 0.0094); weight adjusted to 205 days (P = 0.0127) and average daily gain during pre-weaning (P < 0.0001) in relation to calves from ML cows. The W205 of calves from SL cows was 11.6 kg lower than the progeny from ML cows. The post-weaning performance of the progeny tended (P = 0.0868) to be higher in the progeny of WG cows than ML ones. The weight gain of beef cows during gestation improves the pre- and post-weaning performance of the progeny, with more evident effects in the early months of life of the offspring.


Birth weight; Calves; Fetal programming.

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Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433 / 1679-0359
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença  Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional