Interpretive Summary: Effect of supplemental methionine on health and performance of receiving beef heifers
By: Madeline S Grant, Hannah F Speer, N Daniel Luchini, Dale A Blasi, Evan C Titgemeyer
Methionine supplementation can improve immune function in transition dairy cattle. Our objective was to determine if supplemental methionine could improve health and performance of newly received growing cattle. Crossbred heifers (n = 384; 222 kg initial body weight; southeastern U.S. origin) were received in four truckloads (blocks) over 9 d. Heifers were weighed at arrival. The following day (d 0) cattle were vaccinated for viral and clostridial diseases, received 2.5 mg tulathromycin/kg body weight, and were stratified within the blocks by arrival body weight to 1 of 8 pens containing 12 heifers each. Within blocks, pens were assigned to 1 of 2 treatments: 0 (control) or 0.1725% Smartamine M to provide 0.1035% metabolizable methionine to the diet. Cattle were limit-fed at 2.2% of body weight daily (dry matter basis) on a diet containing 40% wet corn gluten feed, 34.5% dry-rolled corn, 10% corn silage, 7.5% supplement, 4% alfalfa hay, and 4% prairie hay. Pen weights were measured weekly to determine the feed offered the following week. Individual body weight and tail-vein blood samples were collected on d 0, 14, and 45. Plasma haptoglobin was measured to assess acute-phase protein response. Incidences of morbidity (1.6% for control, 2.6% for Smartamine M) and mortality (0.5% for both control and Smartamine M) were low. Between d 0 and 45, no differences were observed for average daily gain (1.24 vs. 1.27 kg/d; control vs. Smartamine M, P = 0.55) or gain:feed (0.107 vs. 0.110, P = 0.28), although dry matter intake was 1.3% greater (P < 0.01) for control than Smartamine M due to differences in diet dry matter concentration. An interaction between treatment and linear effect of day was detected for plasma haptoglobin (P < 0.05); over time, haptoglobin increased more for control (2.15, 2.28, and 2.95 mg/mL at 0, 14, and 45 d) than for Smartamine M (2.35, 2.37, and 2.58 mg/mL). Supplemental methionine may alleviate acute-phase protein responses in stressed receiving cattle.
Read the full article in Translational Animal Science.