The impact of cow nutrition in the dry period on colostrum quality and immune status of calves
The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of energy contents in a dry period diets in "7+1" feeding strategy of dry cow including 7 weeks of the dry period (far-off) and 1 week of a close-up period, on colostrum quality and the immune status of calves. Forty Holstein multiparous cows were dried at 56d before the expected date of calving and were assigned to the higher energy diet group (HE; 0.69 UFL/kg DM, NDF 52% DM), or the lower energy diet group (LE; 0.61 UFL/1kg DM, NDF 56% DM). From -7d to the expected calving date up to 21 d of lactation, all cows were fed the same fresh, lactation diet. Samples of colostrum were collected within 2h after parturition and its density, dry matter content and concentrations of immunoglobulins, fat, protein, lactose, urea and somatic cell counts were measured. Calves were weighed 2 h after calving and on the 21d of life. On 3d and 21d of calves' life blood samples were collected and the concentration of IgG, IgA, IgM, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) as well as total protein and albumin concentrations were determined. Treatments had no significant effect on composition of colostrum and serum immunoglobulins and IGF-1 concentration. In both groups the weight of calves at birth was similar, still daily body weight gain during 21 day of rearing period in HE group was higher than in the LE group (P=0.05).
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