Influence of Undegraded Intake Protein Supplementation on Milk Production, Weight Gain, and Reproductive Performance in Postpartum Brahman Cows

Source: B. L. Triplett, D. A. Neuendorff, and R. D. Randel
Eighty first-calf Brahman heifers and 51 mature Brahman cows were allotted to one of three diets based on parity, sex of calf, and breed of calf sire (Angus, Brahman, or Tuli) to evaluate rumen undegraded intake protein’s (UIP) influence on production characteristics and reproductive performance. Supplements contained either 38.1% (low), 56.3% (medium), or 75.6% (high) UIP. Supplements were given from d 7 to 119 after calving to dams grazing rye-ryegrass overseeded Coastal bermudagrass pastures and with access to Coastal bermudagrass hay. Dam and calf BW and dam body condition score were recorded on d 7, 35, 63, 91, and 119 after calving. Four-hour milk production was recorded on the above days for low (n = 18) , medium (n = 19), and high (n = 18) UIP animals and on d 7 and 35 for the entire group. Blood for progesterone RIA was drawn weekly and on d 6, 8, 10, and 12 after an observed estrus. Medium UIP heifers produced more (P < .02) milk (1.18 ± .07 kg/4 h) than high UIP heifers (.94 ± .07 kg/4 h), but milk production in mature cows was not influenced by diet. Low UIP dams had lower (P < .04) first-service conception rates (29.2 %) than medium
(57.6 %) and tended (P < .10) to have lower rates than high UIP dams (54.6 %). Overall pregnancy rates tended (P < .10) to be higher in medium (61.5 %) and high (56.4 %) UIP groups than in the low (43.2 %) UIP group. Supplementing UIP at the medium rate improved first-service conception rates and tended to improve pregnancy rates.