The objective of this study was to examine the effects of dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) supplementation on embryo yield and quality in heifers. Animals were individually offered barley straw and concentrate diets supplemented with either palmitic acid (C16:0; CON) or a partially rumen protected n-3 PUFA-enriched supplement. Following oestrous cycle synchronisation, superovulation was induced using FSH. Blood samples were collected for the measurement of fatty acids, metabolites, insulin and IGF-1. On day 7 post-insemination the number of ovulations was estimated and embryos recovered non-surgically and quality graded. At embryo recovery 50 ml of the uterine flushing was collected from each horn for fatty acid analysis. Grade 1 embryos were isolated, snap frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored at -80 degrees C. mRNA expression for six genes, LIF, BAX, Cx43 and E-CAD associated with embryo development, and PPAR-alpha and -delta, associated with lipid metabolism was analysed. The n-3 PUFA supplementation increased plasma n-3 PUFA concentration (P<0.05) and reduced n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio (P<0.05). Uterine concentration of the n-3 PUFA, eicosapentaenoic acid was increased (P<0.05) and the concentration of arachidonic acid decreased (P<0.05) following n-3 PUFA supplementation. While CON increased triglyceride concentrations, diet did not affect the other plasma metabolites, insulin or IGF-1 (P>0.05). Similarly, there was no effect of diet on superovulation rate, embryo recovery rate, embryo quality (P>0.05) or mRNA expression of the genes examined (P>0.05).