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EFFECTS OF MARGINAL SELENIUM DEFICIENCY AND WINTER PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTATION ON GROWTH, REPRODUCTION AND SELENIUM STATUS OF BEEF CATTLE l

EFFECTS OF MARGINAL SELENIUM DEFICIENCY AND WINTER PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTATION ON GROWTH, REPRODUCTION AND SELENIUM STATUS OF BEEF CATTLE l,J. W. Spears,R

EFFECTS OF MARGINAL SELENIUM DEFICIENCY AND WINTER PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTATION ON GROWTH, REPRODUCTION AND SELENIUM STATUS OF BEEF CATTLE l   (Citations: 10)
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Seventy-two Hereford  Simmental cows, averaging 498 kg in body weight and 5.2 yr of age, were used in a 2-yr study to ascertain if selenium (Se)-vitamin E (E) injections and winter protein supplementation would affect growth, reproduction and health of beef cattle maintained year-round on feedstuffs marginally deficient in Se (.03 to .05 mg/kg). Cows received either no injection or a mixture of 30 mg Se (as sodium selenite) and 408 IU E injected subcutaneously beginning 3 to 4 mo prepartum and at 60-d intervals throughout the 2-yr period. Calves born to Se-E treated cows were injected with 5.5 mg Se and 75 IU E/100 kg body weight at 60-d intervals beginning at 1 mo of age. Calves were born between December 30 and February 20 and cows were bred between March 20 and May 20. Cattle grazed pasture (.05 mg Se/kg) that consisted of orchardgrass, bluegrass and white clover during the fall, spring and summer. During winter (December 15 to May 2), cattle were fed corn silage (.03 mg Se/kg) supplemented with either: 1) no protein supplement (control), 2) soybean meal or 3) a urea-corn mixture. Cows and calves receiving Se-E had higher (P<:01) whole blood glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity and plasma Se concentrations than controls. Selenium-E injections reduced (P<.05) calf death losses from 15.3% to 4.2% and slightly in- creased (P<. 10) adjusted calf weaning weights. Hemoglobin concentrations were higher (P<.05) in Se-E-in- jected supplemented calves at 1 mo of age but not at 5 or 7 mo of age. Winter protein supplementation increased (P<.01) calf gains during the winter, and calf weaning weights and decreased (P<.01) cow weight losses during the winter. Neither Se-E injections nor winter protein supplementation affected conception rates of cows. These results suggest that Se-E injections can decrease mortality and increase whole blood GSH-Px in cattle receiving feeds that are marginally deficient in Se.
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