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Seaweeds supplementation affects the short-chain fatty acids profile in digesta from milk-fed Holstein calves.

M. B. Samarasinghe

Abstract:

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Seaweeds supplementation affects the short-chain fatty acids profile in digesta from milk-fed Holstein calves.
M. B. Samarasinghe*, M. Vestergaard, J. Sehested, T. Larsen, L. E. Hern�ndez-Castellano. Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University, Foulum Tjele, Denmark.

This study aimed to determine the effects of supplementing 3 different seaweeds on ADG, organs' weight, pH and short chain fatty acids (SCFA) profile in digesta from milk-fed calves. Forty Holstein calves in 10 blocks (4 animals/block) with birth BW 41 � 4 kg and plasma BRIX% ≥ 8.7% at d 2 after birth were used. From d 2 until d 49, control calves (CTRL, n = 10) received cow milk without seaweeds twice per day (8L/d). Experimental calves received cow milk supplemented with either Ulva lactuca (SW1, n = 10), Ascophyllum nodosum (SW2, n = 10), or Laminaria saccharina (SW3, n = 10). Dried and ground seaweeds were offered in a concentration of 25 g/4 L of milk twice daily. Calves were slaughtered either on wk 5 (n = 20) or wk 7 (n = 20) of life. After slaughtering, the small intestine was divided into 3 equal sections (i.e., SI1, SI2 and SI3). Digesta from SI2 and mid-colon (Mcol) was used to determine the SCFA profile. In addition, organs' weight and digesta pH were recorded. The statistical model included a one-way ANOVA with treatment as fixed effect and block as covariate. No differences in ADG, proportional organs' weight and digesta pH were detected (P > 0.05). Total SCFA concentration in Mcol digesta tended to be lower in SW1 (57.6 mmol/L) and SW3 calves (55.6 mmol/L) than in CTRL calves (78.8 mmol/L) on wk 5 (P = 0.06). However, no differences were detected in total SCFA concentration in SI2 digesta from any of the groups on wk 5. Acetic acid percentage in Mcol digesta was higher in SW2 calves than in CTRL calves on both wk 5 (71.4 vs. 65.7%, respectively) and wk 7 (74.2 vs. 63.3%, respectively) (P < 0.05). Additionally, propionic acid percentage in Mcol digesta was lower in SW2 calves (13.8%) compared with CTRL calves (21.2%) on wk 7 (P < 0.05). Furthermore, butyric acid percentage in Mcol digesta was lower in SW1 (5.62%) and SW2 calves (6.46%) than in CTRL calves (8.68%) on wk 7 (P < 0.05). In conclusion, compared with control, seaweeds supplementation increased the acetic acid percentage and reduced the propionic and butyric acid percentage in mid-colon digesta from milk-fed Holstein calves on wk 7 of life.

Keywords: seaweed, short-chain fatty acids, calf.