CATEGORY: Feed Additives
AUTHORS: Lucía Pisoni, Maria Devant, Marta Blanch, Jose Javier Pastor†, and Sonia Marti
BOOK/JOURNAL:Journal of dairy Science volume 105 (4)
Feed restriction and fasting experienced during commercial production negatively affect unweaned calves' behavior and health status. Transportation and stays at assembly centers are the main factors generating these disorders. For this study, 20 unweaned Angus-Holstein bull calves [44.1 ± 2.04 kg of body weight (BW) and 14.7 ± 0.63 d of age (± standard error)] were used to evaluate the effects of feed restriction and fasting on performance, energy status [serum concentration of glucose, β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and nonesterified fatty acids], and gastrointestinal permeability [serum concentration of citrulline, chromium (Cr)-EDTA, lactulose, and d-mannitol]. Calves were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments that simulated the feed restrictions of an assembly center situation on one hand, and the fasting hours during transportation on the other. Treatments were as follows. Control (CT): from d −4 to −1, calves were fed 2.5 L of milk replacer (MR) twice daily; concentrate and straw were offered ad libitum. Mild (MD): calves were fed only MR (d −4 to −1) as described for CT, and on d −1 calves were subjected to a 9-h feed withdrawal. Moderate (MO): calves were fed only MR (d −4 to −1) as described for CT and on d −1 subjected to a 19-h feed withdrawal. Severe (SV): calves were fed only 2.5 L of a rehydrating solution twice daily (d −4 to −1) and on d −1 subjected to a 19-h feed withdrawal. From d 0 to d 42 (weaning) all calves were fed the same feeding program (MR, concentrate, and straw ad libitum). Results showed that BW was greater for the CT treatment compared with the others from d 0 to d 7, whereas BW of SV was lesser compared with the others from d −1 to d 7. No differences among treatments were observed at weaning. At d 2 concentrate intakes of MD, MO, and SV were lesser compared with CT. By d 4, concentrate intake of SV was similar to that for CT and greater than MD and MO. Similarly to BW, no differences in concentrate intake among treatments were observed at weaning on d 42 of the study. At d −1 for SV and d 0 in all restricted calves, serum glucose concentration was lesser compared with CT. At d −1 and 0, nonesterified fatty acids and BHB serum concentrations were greater in the SV calves compared with the other treatments. By d 2, serum concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids, BHB, and glucose were restored to CT levels. At d −1 serum citrulline concentration was lesser in SV and greater in MD calves. The CT calves had lower serum concentrations of Cr-EDTA (d −1 and d 0), lactulose (d 0), and d-mannitol (d 0) compared with the other restricted calves. Results showed that degree of dietary restriction, type of liquid diet (MR or rehydrating solution), and fasting hours (9 vs. 19 h) affected calves' BW, concentrate intake, and serum concentration of markers indicative of energy status and gastrointestinal permeability.