1st Page

Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Production

Does β-hydroxybutyrate concentration influence conception date in young postpartum range beef cows?1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 91 No. 6, p. 2902-2909
    Received: Oct 25, 2012
    Accepted: Feb 21, 2013
    Published: November 25, 2014

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. J. T. Mulliniks*22,
  2. M. E. Kemp*,
  3. R. L. Endecott,
  4. S. H. Cox*,
  5. A. J. Roberts,
  6. R. C. Waterman,
  7. T. W. Geary,
  8. E. J. Scholljegerdes* and
  9. M. K. Petersen 3
  1. Department of Animal and Range Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces 88003
    Department of Animal and Range Sciences, Montana State University, Miles City 59301; and
    Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory, ARS-USDA, Miles City, MT 59301


Cows in negative energy balance after calving often have reduced reproductive performance, which is mediated by metabolic signals. The objective of these studies was to determine the association of serum metabolites, days to first postpartum ovulation, milk production, cow BW change, BCS, and calf performance with conception date in spring-calving 2- and 3-yr-old beef cows grazing native range. In Exp. 1, cows were classified by conception date in a 60-d breeding season as early (EARLY; conceived in first 15 d of breeding) or late conception (LATE; conceived during the last 45 d of breeding). Beginning on d 35 postpartum, blood samples were collected twice per week for serum metabolite analysis and progesterone analysis to estimate days to resumption of estrous cycles. As a chute-side measure of nutrient status and glucose sufficiency, whole-blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations were measured 14 ± 2 d before breeding. In Exp. 2, cows were classified by subsequent calving date resulting from a 55 ± 2 d breeding season as conceiving either early (EARLY; conceived in first 15 d of breeding) or late (LATE; conceived during the remaining breeding season). Blood samples were collected in 2 periods, 30 ± 4 d before calving and 14 ± 3 d before the initiation of breeding, to determine circulating concentrations of IGF-I and BHB. In Exp. 1, BHB and serum glucose concentrations were less (P ≤ 0.04) in EARLY cows than LATE cows. Serum insulin concentrations were greater (P = 0.03) in EARLY cows relative to LATE cows. Milk production and composition did not differ (P ≥ 0.24) by conception date groups. In Exp. 2, cow age × sample period × conception date interaction (P < 0.01) occurred for serum BHB concentrations. Serum BHB concentrations were similar (P > 0.10) for 2-yr-old cows (in greater nutritional plane compared with Exp. 1) regardless of their conception date classification and sampling period. However, precalving serum BHB concentrations were greater (P < 0.01) for LATE than EARLY in 3-yr-old cows with no difference (P = 0.86) at prebreeding. Serum IGF-1 concentrations were greater (P < 0.01) for EARLY cows relative to LATE cows at precalving and prebreeding. This study indicates that blood BHB concentrations during times of metabolic dysfunctions may provide a more sensitive indicator of energy status than body condition, predicting rebreeding competence in young beef cows as measured by interval from calving to conception.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2013. American Society of Animal Science