Abstract #M231

# M231
Maternal ethyl-cellulose rumen-protected methionine supplementation affects Holstein heifer calf development and growth.
A. S. Alharthi*1, F. Batistel1, C. Parys2, A. Helmbrecht2, J. J. Loor1, 1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, 2Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH, Hanau-Wolfgang, Germany.

The objectives were to investigate if increasing supply of methionine during late-pregnancy in Holstein cows affects developmental parameters at birth and subsequent growth, and whether such effect is an utero-placenta or colostrum-dependent response. Thirty-nine Holstein heifers born to cows fed a basal control [CON; 1.47 Mcal/kg dry matter and 15.3% crude protein] diet with no added methionine or CON plus ethyl-cellulose rumen-protected methionine (MET; Mepron, Evonik Industries AG, Germany) were used. The MET was fed during the last 28 d of pregnancy at a rate of 0.09% of diet DM. Immediately after birth, heifers were randomly allocated considering dam treatment and colostrum as follows: 1) calves from CON cows and colostrum from CON cows (n = 9); 2) calves from CON cows and colostrum from MET cows (n = 9); 3) calves from MET cows and colostrum from MET cows (n = 11); and 4) calves from MET cows and colostrum from CON cows (n = 10). Body weight, hip and wither height, hip width and body length were measured at birth and weekly through weaning (42 d of age) and until 9 weeks of age. Calves from dams fed MET had greater hip height (P = 0.02; 81.0 vs 78.5 cm) at birth. However, body weight at birth (P = 0.67; 41.1 vs 41.7 kg), hip width (P = 0.15; 16.4 vs 15.8 cm), wither height (P = 0.11; 75.8 vs 77.3 cm) as well as colostrum quality (P = 0.95; 55.4 vs 52.4 IgG) and quantity (P = 0.80; 5.9 vs 5.7 kg) were not affected by maternal treatment. Over the first 9 wk of life, there was no colostrum effect for any of the growth variables measured. However, compared with CON, calves from dams fed MET had greater body weight (P = 0.03; 60.8 vs 57.3 kg), hip height (P = 0.02; 87.7 vs 85.7 cm), wither height (P = 0.05; 83.5 vs 81.9 cm), and average daily gain (P = 0.01; 0.69 vs 0.60 kg/day). Hip width (P = 0.73; 19.7 vs 19.6 cm) and body length (P = 0.24; 122.8 vs 124.8 cm) were not affected by maternal MET. Overall, the data indicate that maternal supplementation with MET during late-gestation had a positive effect on neonatal heifer calf growth.

Key Words: fetal programming, amino acid, nutrition