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Journal Articles Journal of Equine Veterinary Science Year : 2023

Maternal age, parity and nursing status at fertilization affects post-partum lactation up to weaning in horses

Abstract

Nulliparity is associated with intra-uterine growth retardation and foal delayed catch-up growth. Older mares produce larger/taller foals than the precedents. Nursing at conception on foal growth had not been investigated yet. In any case, milk production conditions the foal's growth. This study aimed to determine effects of mare parity, age and nursing on subsequent lactation quantity and quality. Saddlebred mares and their foals (N=43) run as a single herd over the same year were: young (6-7-year-old) primiparous, young multiparous, old (10-16-year-old) multiparous nursing at insemination time or old multiparous barren the previous year. No young nursing nor old multiparous mares were available. Colostrum was collected. Milk production and foal weight were monitored at 3-, 30-, 60-, 90- and 180-days post-foaling. The foal average daily weight gain (ADG) was calculated for each period between 2 measurements. Milk fatty acid (FA), sodium, potassium, total protein and lactose contents were determined. The primiparous vs multiparous colostrum was richer in immunoglobulin G, with lower production but greater FA contents in milk. The primiparous foals had a lower ADG for 3-30 days post-partum period. Old mares' colostrum contained more SFA and less polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) whereas their milk was richer in proteins and sodium and poorer in short-chain-SFA with a reduced PUFA/SFA ratio at 90 days. Nursing mares' colostrum was richer in MUFA and PUFA and late-lactation milk production was reduced. In conclusion, parity, age and nursing at conception affect mare's colostrum and milk production and foal growth and should be considered for broodmares' management.
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Dates and versions

hal-04133576 , version 1 (20-07-2023)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives

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Emilie Derisoud, Juliette Auclair-Ronzaud, Delphine Rousseau-Ralliard, Sabrina Philau, Etienne Aujean, et al.. Maternal age, parity and nursing status at fertilization affects post-partum lactation up to weaning in horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 2023, 128, pp.104868. ⟨10.1016/j.jevs.2023.104868⟩. ⟨hal-04133576⟩
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