Maternal supply of methionine during late-pregnancy enhances rate of Holstein calf development in utero and postnatal growth to a greater extent than colostrum source

Abdulrahman S. Alharthi, Fernanda Batistel, Mohamed K. Abdelmegeid, Gustavo Lascano, Claudia Parys, Ariane Helmbrecht, Erminio Trevisi, Juan J. Loor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Pregnancy and early life are critical periods of plasticity during which the fetus and neonate may be influenced by environmental factors such as nutrition. Maternal methionine (Met) supply in non-ruminants during pregnancy can affect offspring development and growth. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate if increasing Met supply during late-pregnancy affects developmental parameters of the calf at birth and if either maternal Met or colostrum from Met-fed cows alters calf growth. Calves born to Holstein cows individually-fed a basal control [CON; 1.47 Mcal/kg dry matter (DM) and 15.3% crude protein] diet with no added Met or CON plus ethylcellulose rumen-protected Met (MET; Mepron® at 0.09% of diet DM; Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH, Germany) during the last 28 ± 2 d of pregnancy were used. A total of 39 calves were in CON (n = 22 bulls, 17 heifers) and 42 in MET (n = 20 bulls, 22 heifers). At birth, calves were randomly allocated considering dam treatment and colostrum as follows: 1) calves from CON cows and colostrum from CON cows (n = 21); 2) calves from CON cows and colostrum from MET cows (n = 18); 3) calves from MET cows and colostrum from MET cows (n = 22); and 4) calves from MET cows and colostrum from CON cows (n = 20). All calves were housed, managed, and fed individually during the first 9 wk of life. Results: Despite greater daily DM intake pre-partum in cows fed MET (15.7 vs. 14.4 ± 0.12 kg/d, P < 0.05), colostrum quality and quantity were not affected by maternal diet. At birth, MET calves had greater (P ≤ 0.05) body weight (BW, 44.1 vs. 42.1 ± 0.70 kg), hip height (HH, 81.3 vs. 79.6 ± 0.53 cm) and wither height (WH, 77.8 vs. 75.9 ± 0.47 cm). In contrast, concentrations of His, Lys, and Asn in plasma were lower (P ≤ 0.05) in MET calves. Regardless of colostrum source, the greater BW, HH, and WH in MET calves at birth persisted through 9 wk of age resulting in average responses of + 3.1 kg BW, + 1.9 cm HH, and + 1.8 cm WH compared with CON. Average daily gain during the 9 wk was (P < 0.05) 0. 72 ± 0.02 kg/d in MET compared with 0.67 ± 0.02 kg/d in CON calves. Respiratory scores were normal and did not differ (P > 0.05) due to maternal Met supply or colostrum source. However, fecal scores tended to be lower (P ≤ 0.10) in MET calves regardless of colostrum source.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number83
JournalJournal of Animal Science and Biotechnology
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Maternal supply of methionine during late-pregnancy enhances rate of Holstein calf development in utero and postnatal growth to a greater extent than colostrum source'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this