Substitution of DL-methionine for soybean meal as a winter supplement for gestating cows grazing native range

TitleSubstitution of DL-methionine for soybean meal as a winter supplement for gestating cows grazing native range
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsLodman D.W., Petersen M.K., Clark C.K., Wiley J.S., Havstad K
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Date Published1990

A winter grazing study was conducted to determine whether DL-methionine could replace soybean meal as a N supplement for gestating beef cows. During two winters (Trial 1, n = 51; Trial 2, n = 60), crossbred beef cows grazed native foothill range. Three treatment groups were supplemented with either none (CON), DL-methionine (7.5 g Trial 1 and 9 g Trial 2) in .5 kg beet pulp carrier (BPM) or .4 kg soybean meal (SBM). Cows were supplemented individually every other day. Small differences were noted in cow BW, condition score and blood metabolites. Unsupplemented cows lost the greatest amount of BW (P less than .01) in both trials and lost more (P less than .05) condition during Trial 1 than cows fed BPM or SBM supplements. Blood samples were obtained on two consecutive days during each trial (45 d and 25 d prepartum) and analyzed for blood urea N, total bilirubin, creatinine, albumin, total protein and cholesterol. A treatment x day preparatum interaction (P less than .05) was noted for blood urea. Blood urea nitrogen declined as gestation length increased for CON and SBM cows, but blood urea of BPM-supplemented cows remained low and unchanged. In situ forage digestion was measured in 12 ruminally cannulated cows (four/treatment). In both trials, in situ rate of NDF disappearance was greater (P less than .05) for SBM than for BPM. In Trial 2, a treatment x sampling hour interaction was detected for purine concentration of whole ruminal contents; SBM maintained greater purine concentrations throughout the 48-h supplementation cycle than BPM did. Principal component analysis suggested that ruminal ammonia limited the microbial growth response to DL-methionine. Therefore, alternate-day supplementation of DL-methionine plus beet pulp did not effectively substitute for soybean meal in these trials.