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First 21 days after conception important for livestock development

Purdue researcher says value of feeding cows properly has been underestimated.

Why does one animal gain 4 lbs./day when a full sibling gains 2 lbs./day? Why do some calves in the herd with similar genetics start out behind and stay behind in development through their entire life cycle? Why doesn't every cow breed at the same rate of efficiency as another?

Ron Lemenager, Purdue University animal scientist, says that the answers to these and similar questions may trace back to what happens during fetal development, especially early in the pregnancy. He calls it "fetal programming," meaning that events that happen early in the pregnancy may determine certain attributes of the animal that stick with it for its entire life.

To read more about fetal programming, click here.


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