The role that fetal development plays in future productivity is less well understood than the role that genetics plays in the development and future productivity of the newborn calf.
"However, the expression of that genetic potential may depend on how the cow is fed and managed during gestation," says Jim Quigley, author of Calf Notes.
An increasing amount of data suggest that prepartum management of the cow can affect growth of
the fetus, and even its ability to grow and produce later in life. Quigley discusses findings of Chinese research that looks at this topic in his latest Calf Note article.
"The implications of the study are significant," Quigley says. "What affects the cow during the dry period appears to affect the calf in many ways."