Research indicates that supplementing fat to young beef cows can improve pregnancy rates, according to Colorado State University Animal Scientist Patrick Burns. Results are particularly encouraging when the source is fish meal high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Early embryonic mortality ranges from 16 percent to 42 percent, Dr. Burns says, and costs the U.S. beef industry millions of dollars annually.

Fat supplementation for 65 days prior to calving has increased fertility rates in beef and dairy cows by 8 percent to 20 percent in research trials. Sources of fat have included plant oils such as cottonseed, sunflower seed, and soybean, animal sources and fish meal.