Research Article
Volume 5 Issue 1 - 2020
Exposure to Toxic Fescue during Late Gestation on Beef Cows: Effects on Cow Performance and Offspring Performance from Birth to Weaning
Keelee McCarty1, Angel Bence2, Sebastian Maresca3, Sebastian Lopez Valiente3, Alejandro Rodriguez3, German Canton4 and Nathan M Long1*
1Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, United States of America
2Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Nacional del Centro, Tandil, Buenos Aires, Argentina
3Cuenca del Salado Experimental Station, National Institute of Agricultural Technology, Rauch, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4Balcarce Experimental Station, National Institute of Agricultural Technology, Balcarce, Buenos Aires, Argentina
*Corresponding Author: Nathan M Long, Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, United States of America.
Received: December 04, 2019; Published: January 03, 2020


To examine the effects of endophyte-infected tall fescue during late gestation on maternal and offspring performance, multiparous Angus cows (n = 40) were bred via AI and allocated into grazing treatments: toxic (E+) or nontoxic (E-) endophyte tall fescue. Cows body weight (BW), body temperature, body condition score (BCS), and respiration rate were recorded and blood samples collected on 180, 210 and 240 days of gestation. Calf’s BW were recorded at birth and weaning. Cow/calf pairs were managed as one group on nontoxic pasture from calving until weaning (180 days of age). Body weight decreased (P = 0.022) and body temperature increased (P < 0.0001) at day 240 in E+ compared to E- cows. BCS did not differ (P = 0.891) between treatments. Respiratory frequency increased (P = 0.003) in E+ compared to E- cows. Ergovaline concentration of urine increased (P = 0.003) at day 210 and 240 in E+ compared to E- cows. Prolactin concentrations decreased (P < 0.0001) at day 210 in E+ compared to E- cows. Birth and weaning weight decreased (P < 0.05) in calves from E+ cows compared to E- cows. Overall, grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue reduced maternal and subsequent offspring BW.

Keywords: Beef Cattle; Calf Development; Tall Fescue; Endophyte; Fescue Toxicity


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Citation: Nathan M Long., et al. “Exposure to Toxic Fescue during Late Gestation on Beef Cows: Effects on Cow Performance and Offspring Performance from Birth to Weaning”.”. EC Veterinary Science 5.2 (2020): 01-15.

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