Reports demonstrate that excess dietary protein significantly alters the ionic composition of uterine fluid during the luteal phase ultimately decreasing fertility. Since the early bovine embryo cannot adapt to changes in the uterine environment, changes in the concentrations of ions (pH) in the uterus can be unfavorable to embryo development and survival therefore having negative effects on fertility. In this study, heifers fed a high protein diet had elevated systemic concentrations of plasma urea nitrogen (PUN) compared to heifers fed a control diet. However, there was no deleterious effect on uterine pH or reproductive success. In summary, excess protein in a diet did increase PUNs to a concentration that has previously been reported to be detrimental to pregnancy success; however, there was no negative effect on uterine pH or pregnancy success.
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South Dakota State University
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Amundson, O.L.; Larimore, E.L.; McNeel, A.K.; Chase, C.C.; Cushman, R.A.; Freetly, H.C.; and Perry, G.A., "Uterine Environment and Pregnancy Rate of Heiferswith High Blood Urea Concentrations" (2015). South Dakota Beef Report, 2015. 4.