Date of Graduation

Spring 2019


Master of Science in Agriculture


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Phillip Lancaster


beef cattle, methionine, fetal programming, ruminant nutrition, amino acid

Subject Categories

Beef Science


The objective of this study was to evaluate whether total amino acids (AA) or methionine have an effect on fetal programming of calves using 108 Angus Brangus cows. Treatments were 1) Control, limpograss hay with molasses plus urea (16% CP as fed basis) at 2.72 kg./hd/d, 2) Fishmeal, Control plus 0.33 kg./hd/d of fishmeal ( methionine 2.85 % of RUP), and 3) Methionine, Control plus 10 g/hd/d of MetaSmart liquid (Addisseo Alpharetta, GA) . Fishmeal and Methionine treatments supplied similar amounts of metabolizable methionine. Weight of cows and calves along with body condition score of cows were measured at the start and end of the 120 day supplementation period, and milk yield was measured at 3 time points by weigh-suckle-weigh technique. In Year 2, 24 steer calves conceived during the treatment period in Year 1 were fed individually during a metabolism experiment following weaning at approximately 7 months of age. Body weight, feed intake, plasma metabolites, and nutrient digestibility were measured in steers during the metabolism experiment. Body weight and body condition score change of cows were not different among treatments during the treatment period in Year 1. Treatment did not affect calf weight gain even though there was a trend for Methionine dams to have greater energy-corrected milk yield and for Fishmeal and Methionine dams to have greater milk protein content than Control dams. In Year 2, treatment did not affect weaning weight of calves conceived during the treatment period in Year 1. During the post weaning metabolism experiment, Average daily gain, final body weight (FBW), and gain: feed ratio were greater in steers whose dams supplemented with Fishmeal or Methionine during early gestation. Steers born to Control and Methionine dams had greater plasma urea nitrogen concentrations before and after feeding, and tended to have greater change in plasma urea nitrogen concentration than steers born to Fishmeal dams. Steers born to Methionine dams had lower plasma glucose concentration before and after feeding, but greater change in plasma glucose concentration than steers born to Fishmeal dams. There was a trend for treatment to effect Neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and Acid detergent fiber (ADF) digestibility with steers born to Methionine dams having greater digestibility than steers born to Control or Fishmeal dams. In conclusion, methionine is a key nutrient in fetal programming and can be used in conjunction with poor quality forage to improve performance of offspring.


© Colin D. Chalk

Open Access

Included in

Beef Science Commons