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To determine the effects of maternal supranutritional selenium (Se) supplementation and maternal nutritional plane on offspring growth potential, ewes were randomly assigned to 1 of 6 treatments in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement [dietary Se (adequate Se; 9.5 mg/kg body weight vs. high Se; 81.8 mg/kg body weight initiated at breeding) and plane of nutrition [60%, 100%, or 140% of requirements; initiated on day 50 of gestation]]. Lambs were immediately removed from dams at birth and reared. Cortisol concentrations at birth were similar, but by 24 h, a relationship (P = 0.02) between maternal Se supplementation and nutritional plane on cortisol concentrations was observed in lambs. A sex of offspring × day of age interaction (P = 0.01) and a maternal Se supplementation × nutritional plane × day of age interaction (P = 0.04) was observed for thyroxine concentrations. Differences in growth may be influenced by thyroid hormone production early in neonatal life.
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