Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 2006


Published in 2006 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. Copyright © 2005 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


A 3-year experiment evaluated the effects of maternal nutrition on growth and reproductive performance of heifer calves. Supplementing cows with protein during late gestation resulted in heifers that were heavier at weaning and breeding, had higher pregnancy rates, and calved earlier. Allowing cows to graze meadows after calving improved calf weaning weight but not heifer reproductive performance. Heifers from cows that were fed hay after calving had reduced DMI and improved residual feed intake if their dams were supplemented with protein during gestation, but ADG and G:F were not affected by dam supplementation or spring feeding strategies.