ANSI 4803 – Spring 2005
Animal Growth and Performance
Instructors: Rodney D. Geisert Robert P. Wettemann
114E Animal Science 114 C Animal Science
Oklahoma State University Oklahoma State University, Stillwater OK, 74078
Several courses in animal science or a course in animal physiology.
To develop an understanding of factors that influence prenatal and postnatal growth in farm animals.
To evaluate endocrine control of body functions and to explore how alterations in the endocrine system might alter
animal performance and/or composition.
To evaluate environmental effects on animal production.
A. Definitions of growth
II. Prenatal Growth and Development
A. Early embryonic development
4. Embryo differentiation
B. Placental function
1. Materna1 recognition of pregnancy
3. Placental types
C. Fetal development and growth
III. Endocrine Control of Growth
A. Endocrine system
1. Hormones and receptors
2. Hypothalamus – pituitary axis
3. Growth hormone
4. Transgenic animals
IV. Environmental effects on growth
V. Factors influencing prenatal growth and development
a. Genetic, Maternal, Nutrition of Mother, Litter size, Sex
VI. Endocrine modification of growth and performance
A. Pituitary and hypothalamic hormones
H. Growth promoters – steroid hormones
1. Mechanisms of action
2. Effects on daily gain, feed efficiency and composition
3. Compounds in use today; application
4. Regulation of the use of growth promoters
I. β-Adrenergic agonists
J. Buller steers
VII. Postnatal Growth and Development
A. Rate of growth and development of various tissues
B. Growth patterns
C. Factors influencing growth and development
a. Effects of restriction
b. Composition of gain
d. Compensatory growth
Exams and Quizzes:
Four exams and several quizzes will be given.
Grades: Four 100-point exams 400 points
Quizzes and written assignments 200 points
Written report 100 points
Text: There are no books to purchase. A classical text, New concepts of Cattle Growth by R.T.Berg and R. M.
Butterfield is available on line at http://dspace.library.cornell.edu/handle/1813/1008?mode=full. Each week a
reading assignment from a reference book or a research paper in a scientific journal will be assigned. The
assignment will be related to topics discussed in class.
Select one of the topics listed below to prepare a written report on recent research (published
since Jan. 2001) and previous research related to growth.
1. Select a topic and formulate an objective or question to be answered by your library research (check in:
J. of Animal Science, J. of Dairy Science, Reproduction, Animal Reproduction, Canadian J. of Animal
Science, Growth, Endocrinology, or other journals).
2. Turn in your objective, or question to be answered, to Dr. Geisert by June 13, 2006. List at least three
research reports in refereed journals that will be used. Write a report using the following format:
A. Introduction – What problems exist and what were the researchers trying to find out?
B. Results – What information did the studies add to our understanding of this practice or problem?
C. Discussion – How might this information be used in the future to increase animal production or
D. Give the references used – J. Anim. Sci. format.
For example of citations of articles and electronic publications see:
J. Anim. Sci., 81:344-345 (2003)
Suggested topic: (other growth related topics are acceptable)
Callipyge gene and composition Leptin and feed intake
Chronic heat stress and prenatal development Relationship of animal behavior to animal production
Early weaning of pigs and growth Nutritional influences on endocrine function
Compensatory growth Development of adipose tissue
Nutritional influences on carcass composition Placental transfer of nutrients
Environment and growth Binding of insulin to adipocytes
Somatostatin and growth Effect of growth rate on fat deposition
Beta agonists and growth Use of a transgenic animal
Diet effects on muscle quality Effect of birth weight on postnatal growth
Influence of stress on growth Regulation of secretion of insulin-like factors
Influence of insulin on growth Feeding behavior and daily gain
Regulation of muscle cell growth Beta adrenergic receptors in muscles
4. Due date July 7, 2006.
Plagiarism: The representation of previously written, published or creative work as one’s own.
Wherever the wording, arguments, data, design, etc., belonging to someone else are used in a paper,
report, oral presentation, or similar academic project, this fact must be made explicitly clear by citing the
appropriate references or sources. The reference wording must fully indicate the extent to which any
part or parts of the project are attributed to others. Paraphrased materials must be acknowledged in the
same manner as material that is used verbatim.
In scientific writing, direct quotations are not used. Therefore, sentences or phrases (word for word)
from previously written papers cannot be used in your paper. Previous finding should be expressed in
your own words and the source should be given as a reference.