Effect of feeding rumen-protected methionine on productive and reproductive performance of dairy cows
Artículo de revista
The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of daily top-dressing (individually feeding on the top of the total mixed ration) with rumen-protected methionine (RPM) from 30 ± 3 until 126 ± 3 Days in milk on productive and reproductive performance in lactating dairy cows. A total of 309 lactating dairy Holstein cows (138 primiparous and 171 multiparous) were randomly assigned to treatment diets containing either RPM (21.2 g of RPM + 38.8 g of dried distillers grain; 2.34% Methionine [Met] of metabolizable protein [MP]) or Control (CON; 60 g of dried distillers grain; 1.87% Met of MP). Plasma amino acids were evaluated at the time of artificial insemination (AI) and near pregnancy diagnosis. Milk production and milk composition were evaluated monthly. Pregnancy was diagnosed on Day 28 (by Pregnancy-specific protein B [PSPB]), 32, 47, and 61 (by ultrasound) and sizes of embryonic and amniotic vesicle were determined by ultrasound on Day 33 after AI. Feeding RPM increased plasma Met at 6, 9, 12, and 18 hours after top-dressing with a peak at 12 hours (52.4 vs 26.0 μM; P < 0.001) and returned to basal by 24 hours. Cows fed RPM had a small increase in milk protein percentage (3.08 vs 3.00%; P = 0.04) with no differences on milk yield and milk protein yield. Additionally, in multiparous cows, RPM feeding increased milk protein (3.03 vs 2.95%; P = 0.05) and fat (3.45 vs 3.14%; P = 0.01) percentages, although no effects were observed in primiparous cows. In multiparous cows fed RPM, pregnancy loss was lower between Days 28 to 61 (19.6 [10/51] vs. 6.1% [3/49]; P = 0.03) or between Days 32 to 61 (8.9 [4/45] vs. 0 [0/0] %; P = 0.03), although, there was no effect of treatment on pregnancy loss in primiparous cows. Consistent with data on pregnancy loss, RPM feeding increased embryonic abdominal diameter (P = 0.01) and volume (P = 0.009) and amniotic vesicle volume (P = 0.04) on Day 33 of pregnancy in multiparous cows but had no effect on embryonic size in primiparous cows. Thus, the increase in plasma Met concentrations after feeding RPM was sufficient to produce a small increase in milk protein percentage and to improve embryonic size and pregnancy maintenance in multiparous cows. Further studies are needed to confirm these responses and understand the biological mechanisms that underlie these responses as well as the timing and concentrations of circulating Met that are needed to produce this effect.