beef cow, nutrition, condition score, blood metabolites
Mature Simmental x Angus crossbred cows were fed differing levels of nutrition before and after calving (mid-March to early May) to determine if blood serum levels of d-β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and urea nitrogen (SUN) could be used as indicators of nutritional status. Visual condition scores and condition score change were used as subjective appraisals of cow nutritional status. BHB levels prior to calving were elevated for cows close to calving and those carrying male fetuses. SUN levels prior to calving were higher for thin cows that were losing body condition. If on a low plane of nutrition after calving, BHB values were higher for fleshier cows in May. No differences for either blood metabolite in May were observed for cows fed higher levels of nutrition after calving. A combination of the two metabolites indicated general changes in nutritional status of beef cows. Large variation among cows of similar condition made these metabolites inconsistent in evaluating small differences in nutritional status.
Number of Pages
South Dakota State University
Copyright © 1988 South Dakota State University
Momont, P.A.; Pruitt, R.J.; and Pritchard, R.H., "Serum d-β-Hydroxybutyrate and Urea Nitrogen as Indicators of Beef Cow Nutritional Status" (1988). South Dakota Beef Report, 1988. 18.