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PPO.03 Effects of maternal nutrition and ruminal-protected arginine supplementation on offspring growth
  1. JL Peine1,
  2. GQ Jia1,
  3. ML Van Emon2,
  4. TL Neville1,
  5. JD Kirsch1,
  6. CJ Hammer1,
  7. ST O’Rourke3,
  8. LP Reynolds1,
  9. JS Caton1
  1. 1Center for Nutrition and Pregnancy, Animal Sciences Department, North Dakota State University, Fargo, United States of America
  2. 2Hettinger Research Extension Center, Hettinger, United States of America
  3. 3Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fargo, United States of America


Our hypothesis was that arginine supplementation would overcome the negative effects of restricted maternal intake during the last two-thirds of gestation on offspring growth. Multiparous, Rambouillet ewes (n = 32) were allocated to 3 treatments in a completely random design at 54 ± 3.9d of gestation. Dietary treatments were 100% of requirements (control, CON), 60% of control (restricted, RES), or RES plus a rumen-protected arginine supplement dosed at 180 mg/kg body weight (BW) once daily (RES-ARG). Ewes were penned individually in a temperature-controlled facility. Lamb birth weight was greater (P = 0.04) in CON than RES ewes, and tended (P = 0.10) to be greater in CON vs. RES-ARG. Lambs born to CON ewes had greater (P ≤ 0.03) BW than lambs from RES ewes at 7, 14, and 33d postpartum. On d19, lambs from CON and RES-ARG ewes both had greater (P ≤ 0.04) BW than lambs from RES ewes (12.0 and 11.5 vs. 10.3 ± 0.41kg, respectively). Lambs born to CON and RES-ARG ewes had greater (P ≤ 0.04) weight gain than lambs from RES ewes on d19 (355.0 and 354.0 vs. 306.4 ± 15.77g, respectively). Lambs from CON and RES-ARG ewes also had greater (P ≤ 0.02) girth circumference than lambs from RES ewes on d19 (55.4 and 54.6 vs. 51.3 ± 0.97cm, respectively). On d54, lambs from RES-ARG ewes had greater (P = 0.003) body length than lambs from RES ewes (99.8 vs. 93.9 ± 1.28cm, respectively). Results confirm our hypothesis that arginine supplementation during the last two-thirds of gestation can mitigate some negative consequences in offspring associated with restricted maternal nutrition. (Presented previously; WSASAS, June 19–21, 2013).

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