Exploring In Utero Influences on Transgenerational Performance

Posted: May 10, 2022


Dr. Jack Britt, Jack Britt Consulting; Dr. Jimena LaPorta, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dr. Eric Ciappio, Balchem Corporation; Dr. Pete Hansen, University of Florida; Dr. Clay Zimmerman, Balchem Corporation

Episode 43: Exploring In Utero Influences on Transgenerational Performance

Podcast Topic

Today’s episode was filmed live and in-person from the Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference! This episode will focus on the symposium exploring in utero influences on transgenerational performance.


Dr. Jack Britt started by saying when managing your dairy herd, if the cow is pregnant, you are managing the next three generations simultaneously. We need to be focused on the long term in how we care and feed the animal. (5:10)

Dr. Pete Hansen mentioned breeding for heat stress is challenging because there is so much movement of cattle across the U.S. However, there is genetic regulation of resistance to heat stress and how cells respond to hyperthermia. Dr. Hansen believes dairy cattle breeders will start to put out heat tolerance genetic data. (15:15)

Dr. Eric Ciappio has studied the role of choline in human pregnancy and its increase in infant cognition. While there is currently no direct data supporting choline fed in human pregnancies will also help the child’s immune system as it does in cattle, you could someday make that assumption. (25:48)

Dr. Clay Zimmerman shared a study that showed improved ADG through ten months of age when supplementing the cow with choline during pregnancy. Furthermore, the benefit was seen in utero, with less improvement but still some coming from colostrum. (38:19)

Dr. Jimena LaPorta said that her research focused on understanding if you can reverse heat stress in utero. Heifers born to heat stress cows were cooled and provided the opposite environment, but they didn’t recover. They responded to the treatment physiologically, but growth wasn’t recovered. (44:28)

Dr. Jack Britt wrapped up by emphasizing the importance of a single compound like a methyl group and how it could have a huge influence on the biology of an animal. You can look at big things, but we also need to look at the little things. (1:04:24)

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This podcast is sponsored by Balchem Animal Nutrition and Health. This podcast is sponsored by Balchem. All views expressed by the guests are the opinions of those individuals and are not the views of the Balchem, its affiliates or employees.