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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Livestock Bio-Systems » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #403350

Research Project: Applying Nutritional Strategies to Improve Early Embryonic Development and Progeny Performance in Beef Cows

Location: Livestock Bio-Systems

Title: Influence of dietary methionine and guanidinoacetic acid on estrous cycles and early pregnancy in beef heifers

item Cushman, Robert - Bob
item HAUXWELL, KATHLYN - North Dakota State University
item Snider, Alexandria - Alex
item Freetly, Harvey
item Oliver, William
item AMAT, SAMAT - North Dakota State University
item Neville, Bryan
item Thorson, Jennifer
item Lindholm-Perry, Amanda
item Miles, Jeremy
item DAHLEN, CARL - North Dakota State University
item WARD, ALISON - University Of Saskatchewan
item PERRY, GEORGE - Texas A&M Agrilife
item CATON, JOEL - North Dakota State University
item Crouse, Matthew

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/17/2023
Publication Date: 11/6/2023
Citation: Cushman, R., Hauxwell, K., Snider, A.P., Freetly, H., Oliver, W.T., Amat, S., Neville, B.W., Thorson, J., Lindholm-Perry, A., Miles, J.R., Dahlen, C.R., Ward, A., Perry, G.A., Caton, J.S., Crouse, M.S. 2023. Influence of dietary methionine and guanidinoacetic acid on estrous cycles and early pregnancy in beef heifers. Journal of Animal Science. 101(Supplement 3):580-581.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Interest is growing in methods to apply precision nutritional supplements strategically during the peri-conceptual period to enhance progeny performance of beef females. Studies where supplemental methionine (MET) was provided to bovine females in the peri-conceptual period demonstrated epigenetic modifications in muscle of the progeny. Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) has been fed directly to livestock to increase creatine synthesis but has not been evaluated for use in fetal programming. We fed MET and GAA to cross-bred heifers during the peri-conceptual period as a 2 x 2 factorial design to influence carcass characteristics of their steer calves. It was, therefore, important to determine if the interactions of dietary MET and GAA in the peri-conceptual period would alter reproductive efficiency. The null hypothesis was that these supplements would not alter reproductive efficiency of beef heifers when fed in the peri-conceptual period. Heifers were divided into four breeding groups for management purposes. On day -63, heifers (n = 20/diet, age = 384.1 ± 1.1 d) were assigned HeatTime™ collars and individually fed MET (10 g/d), GAA (40 g/d), the combination (MET + GAA), or ground corn carrier (CON) for 126 days. On day -9, heifers received 100 ug of gonadotropin releasing hormone and a CIDR. On day -2, the CIDR was removed and luteolysis was initiated with 25 mg of prostaglandin F2a. All heifers were inseminated with male sexed semen from a single sire and administered a second 100 ug injection of gonadotropin releasing hormone on day 0. On day 63, a blood sample was collected from all pregnant heifers (CON n = 10; MET n = 8; GAA n = 7; MET + GAA n =10) to evaluate circulating progesterone concentrations. Reproductive tracts were collected to determine CL weight, gravid uterine weight, and placentome number. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS with group, MET, GAA, and the interaction of MET and GAA as fixed effects. Days to first estrus were greater and number of estrus events prior to synchronization were fewer in CON heifers compared to supplemented heifers (P < 0.05). Luteal weight tended to be greater in heifers supplemented with MET compared to CON and GAA heifers (P = 0.09), but peak intensity of estrus, concentration of progesterone at day 63 of pregnancy, gravid uterine weight, and placentome number did not differ due to diet (P > 0.10). Supplementation with MET or GAA may improve onset of puberty but does not negatively alter reproductive performance in cross-bred beef heifers. These supplements can be used for fetal programming of muscle development in steer progeny without negatively impacting reproductive performance in the breeding herd. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Funded in part by USDA-NIFA-AFRI # 2022-67015-36196.