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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #395729

Research Project: Understanding and Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock Production Systems

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Supranutritional selenium-yeast supplementation of beef cows during the last trimester of pregnancy results in higher whole blood selenium concentrations in their calves at weaning, but not enough to improve nasal microbial d

Author
item HALL, JEAN - Oregon State University
item ISAIAH, ANITHA - Texas A&M University
item MCNETT, ENED R. - Oregon State University
item KLOPFENSTEIN, JOSEPH - Oregon State University
item Davis, Thomas - Zane
item SUCHODOLSKI, JAN - Texas A&M University
item BOBE, GERD - Oregon State University

Submitted to: Animals
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/24/2022
Publication Date: 5/26/2022
Citation: Hall, J.A., Isaiah, A., Mcnett, E.R.L., Klopfenstein, J.J., Davis, T.Z., Suchodolski, J.S., Bobe, G. 2022. Supranutritional selenium-yeast supplementation of beef cows during the last trimester of pregnancy results in higher whole blood selenium concentrations in their calves at weaning, but not enough to improve nasal microbial diversity. Animals. 12(11):1360. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111360.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111360

Interpretive Summary: We previously showed that feeding selenium-enriched alfalfa hay to weaned beef calves diversified the nasal microbiome and improved health and growth in the feedlot, resulting in greater carcass weight and quality at slaughter. The objective of the current study was to see whether selenium supplementation of dams during various pregnancy trimesters similarly improves health and performance. Maternal supranutritional selenium supplementation during pregnancy increases selenium concentrations in calves but is more effective the shorter the time period between maternal supplementation and assessment. Thus, calves should be fed selenium enriched forages again at weaning, in order to see a benefit in the nasal microbiome abundance and diversity, and consequently carcass measurements at slaughter.

Technical Abstract: We previously reported that feeding Se-biofortified alfalfa hay to weaned beef calves in a preconditioning program increases whole-blood Se (WB-Se) concentrations and nasal microbiome abundance and diversity during the preconditioning period, decreases morbidity and mortality during the feedlot period, and increases carcass weight and quality at slaughter. The objective of the current study was to see whether similar improvements can be achieved by Se supplementation of dams during various pregnancy trimesters. In a two-year experimental study, 80 Angus- cross cows, except for the control group (CTR), were supplemented with Se-yeast boluses (105 mg of Se/wk) during the first (TR1), second (TR2), or third (TR3) trimester of gestation. Whole-blood Se concentrations of newborn calves increased from CTR, TR1, TR2, to TR3 (all P < 0.01). At weaning, only calves from TR3 mothers had higher WB-Se concentrations compared with calves from CTR mothers (P = 0.02), and no significant differences in nasal microbiome genome abundance and diversity or nasal microbiota were observed. In the feedlot period, morbidity was low and no differences were observed. At slaughter, no differences in carcass weight and quality were observed. In conclusion, Se-supplementation of pregnant cows is effective for increasing WB-Se concentration of newborn calves, and the increase can be sustained until weaning for calves born to TR3 dams. However, the increase in WB-Se concentrations is small and does not result in beneficial changes in the nasal microbiome. Thus, calves should be fed Se-biofortified forages again at weaning in a preconditioning program in order to diversify the nasal microbiome prior to entering the feedlot.