Effects of supplementing methionine hydroxy analog on beef cow performance, milk production, reproduction, and preweaning calf performance

A. R. Clements, F. A. Ireland, T. Freitas, H. Tucker, D. W. Shike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mature Simmental × Angus cows (214 cows; 635 ± 7 kg) were utilized to determine the effects of late gestation and early postpartum supplementation of methionine hydroxy analog (MHA) on cow BW, BCS, milk production, milk composition, reproduction, and calf performance until weaning in a fall-calving, cool-season grazing system. Cows were stratified by BW, age, AI sire, and assigned to 1 of 12 pastures (17 or 18 cows·pasture−1). Pastures were randomly allotted to 1 of 2 treatments: control (0.45 kg·cow−1·d−1 of wheat midd-based pellets, n = 6) or supplement including MHA (0.45 kg·cow−1·d−1 of wheat midd-based pellets including 10 g MHA supplied as MFP (Novus International, Inc., St. Charles, MO; n = 6). Treatments were fed 23 ± 7 d prepartum through 73 ± 7 d postpartum. Cow BW was collected at postcalving (27 ± 7 d postpartum), end of supplementation (73 ± 7 d postpartum), AI, pregnancy check, and end of trial (192 and 193 ± 7 d postpartum). At 73 ± 7 d postpartum, a subset of cow-calf pairs was used in a weigh-suckle-weigh procedure to determine milk production, and milk samples were taken to determine milk composition (n = 45·treatment−1). Serum from blood was collected at 73 ± 7 and 83 ± 7 d postpartum to determine cow cyclicity and concentrations of 2-hydroxy4-(methylthio) butanoic acid (HMTBa) and L-Methionine. After supplementation, all cow-calf pairs were managed as a common group until weaning (193 ± 7 d of age). Cows were bred via AI at 97 ± 7 d postpartum and clean-up bulls were turned out 11 d post-AI for a 55-d breeding season. Cows fed MHA had greater (P < 0.01) serum concentrations of HMTBa. Cow BW and BCS were not different (P ≥ 0.10) at any time points between treatments. There was no treatment effect (P ≥ 0.17) on calf birth BW, calf weaning BW (193 ± 7 d of age), or calf ADG. Calculated 24-h milk production, milk composition and component production did not differ (P ≥ 0.21). There were no differences (P ≥ 0.50) in percentage of cows cycling, AI conception rate, and overall pregnancy rate between treatments. Post-trial nutritional modeling suggests cows experienced several nutritional deficiencies beyond methionine (Met) that limited the response to Met supplementation. Although supplementation of MHA during late gestation through estimated peak lactation increased serum HMTBa concentrations, it did not affect cow performance, cow milk production, or calf performance when fall-calving cows grazed cool-season forages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5597-5605
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Cow-calf
  • Fall-calving
  • Late gestation supplementation
  • Methionine hydroxy analog
  • Milk production
  • Reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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