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Effects of a blend of essential oils in milk replacer on gut weight and histology of dairy calves.

M. M. Campos



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Effects of a blend of essential oils in milk replacer on gut weight and histology of dairy calves.
J. P. Campolina1, S. G. Coelho1, A. L. Belli1, F. S. Machado2, L. G. R. Pereira2, T. R. Tomich2, S. F. Costa3, M. M. Campos*2. 1Department of Animal Science, Veterinary School, Federal University of Minas Gerais Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil, 2Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecu�ria, EMBRAPA), National Center for Research on Dairy Cattle Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil, 3Department of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Lavras Lavras, MG, Brazil.

Calves are born functionally non-ruminant. Therefore, the use of additives that helps its digestive system and other organs development are used in dairy farm to optimize the preweaning phase. The objective of this study was to characterize changes on the gut development of calves supplemented with of a commercial blend of essential oils (Apex calf, Adisseo, China) on milk replacer. Sixteen newborn Holstein x Gyr crossbred bull calves were randomly distributed among 2 treatments: Control (CON), no essential oils, n = 8; and blend of essential oil added to milk replacer (MR) (BEO), 1 g/calf/d, n = 8. They received 5 L of MR with 15% of total solids, divided in 2 daily meals until 60 � 1 d, when they were euthanized to compare internal organs development. Water and calf starter were offered in buckets for ad libitum intake. Weights of spleen, bladder, liver, pancreas, kidney, rumen-reticulum, omasum, abomasum, small and large intestine, tongue, heart and respiratory tract were compared with percentage of empty BW. For comparative histology samples were collected from rumen ventral sac, rumen dorsal sac, omasum, abomasum, duodenum, ileum and colon. For each sample papilla`s or villi area, height and mitotic index (MI) of epithelium basal layer were analyzed. For MI determination, 2000 cells of the basal layer were counted using a light microscope. Estimation considered the ration between number of cells in mitotic division and total counted cell number. Data were analyzed using R (R Core Team, 2019), as a randomized block model with repeated measures, using the linear mixed model. Most of the organs compared presented similar weights among treatments. However, differences were found for pancreas, respiratory tract and small intestine, were BEO calves presented heavier organs (P ≤ 0.05). For cellular development BEO calves presented a higher ilium villi height (P ≤ 0.05). Since internal organs have a higher metabolic rate, and responds to alterations in feeding patterns, the BEO could be an option for increasing gut development during the preweaning period.

Keywords: gut development, preweaning phase, rumen-reticulum.