Abstract #366

# 366
Nutrition and management of cows—Supplementation and feed additives.
Richard J. Rasby*1, Rick N. Funston2, 1University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, 2University of Nebraska West Central Research and Extension Center, North Platte, NE.

Reproductive efficiency is the primary factor affecting profitability of a cow/calf enterprise. The objective is to review how nutrition affects reproduction in beef females and subsequent calf performance. Nutrition has profound effects on reproduction in beef females. Body condition is an indicator of nutritional status and when used in conjunction with BW change can provide a useful method to assess reproduction. Body energy reserve at calving is the most important factor influencing pregnancy rate in beef females. Energy and protein are the nutrients required in the greatest amounts and are the first priority in nutritional programs to optimize reproduction. Beef females underfed and/or in poor body condition lack ovarian activity as a result of suppression of pulsatile release of LH under the control of GnRH. Factors affecting the postpartum interval and pregnancy rate include breed type, suckling status, age, dystocia, energy and protein supplementation pre and post calving, and BCS pre and post calving. Using management strategies to influence when a beef female calves during the calving season affects future productivity of both dam and offspring. Feeding an ionophore results in earlier return to estrus postpartum. The effect of feeding fat pre or postpartum on reproductive performance in beef females has been extensively researched but results are inconclusive. Recent research has evaluated how energy restriction after AI affects embryo development and survival. Nutritional considerations and effects on reproduction have focused on postnatal development; however, prenatal nutrition appears to have potential effects on subsequent reproductive performance in beef cattle. No feed ingredient exists that will compensate for a diets deficient in any nutrient or poor body condition score.

Key Words: beef cow, nutrition, reproduction

Speaker Bio
Rick Rasby joined the staff at the University of Nebraska in 1986 as Extension Beef Specialist with primary responsibilities in cow/calf management, reproduction, and nutrition. He received a B.S. from UNL and M.S. and Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. Since arriving in Nebraska, his extension programs have focused on economical feeding programs incorporating forages for beef cows and evaluation of reproductive performance of the cow herd. He has been instrumental in development of the beef website; http//:beef.unl.edu. His research has been to characterize performance and economics of cow/calf production systems. More recently, his research has focused on the use of grain by-products as supplements for cows and their use in heifer development diets.