We determined whether source of trace mineral supplementation prior to embryo collection affected embryo production and quality. Angus half-sibling heifers (n = 20) originating from a common herd were assigned to three treatment groups using a 3 × 3 latin square design replicated in time (3×) and space (6× complete and 1× incomplete): (1) heifers received no added mineral to their diet (control; n = 53); (2) heifers received a commercially available organic mineral supplement (organic; n = 52); or (3) heifers received an all inorganic mineral supplement (inorganic; n = 55). All heifers had ad libitum access to hay and were fed a supplement containing corn and soybean meal. Treatments were initiated 23 days prior to embryo recovery. Heifers were given a 45-day adaptation period of no mineral supplementation before initiating a new treatment. Ovarian structures were evaluated using transrectal ultrasonography to determine the presence and number of follicles and CL on each ovary. The mean number of recovered ova/embryos was similar among treatments (4.1 ± 0.7, 3.8 ± 0.7, and 3.3 ± 0.7 for control, inorganic, and organic treatments, respectively), the number of unfertilized oocytes was greater (P < 0.05) for inorganic (2.3 ± 0.5) and control (1.6 ± 0.5) treated heifers than organic (0.4 ± 0.4) treated heifers. No differences among treatments existed for the number of degenerate or transferable embryos, but individual heifer influenced the total number of embryos/ova, unfertilized ova, and transferable embryos recovered. We conclude that heifer accounted for the greatest differences in embryo production and quality. Source of trace mineral supplementation did not significantly alter embryo number or quality in superovulated purebred Angus heifers fed a well-balanced diet, meeting all trace mineral requirements.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Appreciation is expressed to John Mundhenke, Mundhenke Beef, Lewis, KS for use of heifers to conduct this study. The authors thank Albion Advanced Nutrition, Clearfield, UT for partial financial support and donation of mineral products and Pfizer Animal Health, New York, NY, for donation of PGF 2α (Lutalyse ® ) and CIDR inserts. Appreciation also is expressed to S. Logan, A. Perez-Salazar, A. Spell, K. Thielen, and R. Wasson for their assistance with data collection.
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Beef heifers
- Cattle-embryo transfer
- Mineral supplementation