Animal Science Department



0000-0001-5438-8555 J.L. Petersen

Date of this Version



Transl. Anim. Sci. 2020.4:S53–S57

doi: 10.1093/tas/txaa097


© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Animal Science. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License


Low birthweight in livestock results from stress-induced intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR; Yates et al., 2018). IUGR fetuses exhibit diminished muscle growth that persists in the neonatal stage, leading to asymmetric body composition and decreased weight gain (Cadaret et al., 2019). Ultimately, low birthweight diminishes yield and carcass merit at harvest (Greenwood et al., 2000), making effective postnatal treatment strategies to improve IUGR growth outcomes necessary. In this study, we examined the benefits of injecting the β2 agonist clenbuterol daily to target adrenergic adaptations that we previously observed in IUGR muscle (Posont et al., 2018; Yates et al., 2018). We hypothesized that IUGRinduced growth deficits would persist at the juvenile stage, manifesting in inferior body composition and carcass traits. We also postulated that clenbuterol would at least partially recover growth and body symmetry. Our objective was to test this hypothesis by assessing growth metrics and body composition in IUGR-born lambs hand-reared to 60 d of age and supplemented daily with injectable clenbuterol.