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Effects of dietary organic acid and plant botanical supplementation on growth and hematological profile in Holstein calves transitioning from milk replacer to starter.

B. N. Tate

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06-22-2020

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Abstract:

M112
Effects of dietary organic acid and plant botanical supplementation on growth and hematological profile in Holstein calves transitioning from milk replacer to starter.
B. N. Tate*1, A. B. P. Fontoura1, V. S�inz de la Maza-Escol�1,2, J. T. Siegel Nieves1, F. Wang1,3, L. F. Wang1,4, M. E. Van Amburgh1, E. Grilli2,5, J. W. McFadden1. 1Cornell University Ithaca, NY, 2University of Bologna Bologna, Italy, 3China Agricultural University Beijing, China, 4Henan Agricultural University Zhengzhou, China, 5VetAgro S.p.A Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Dietary organic acid and plant botanical (OA/PB) supplementation reduces gut membrane permeability and enhances growth performance in weaning piglets; however, the effects of OA/PB feeding in healthy young ruminants required investigation. Therefore, our objective was to investigate the effects of dietary OA/PB supplementation on early life growth performance in calves. In a completely randomized design, 36 bull and heifer calves were assigned to 1 of 3 groups (n = 12/group): control, low-dose OA/PB (75 mg/kg of BW); 25% citric acid, 16.7% sorbic acid, 1.7% thymol, 1.0% vanillin, and 55.6% triglyceride; AviPlus R; Vetagro, Italy), or high-dose OA/PB (150 mg/kg of BW; AviPlus R). Supplements were delivered as a twice daily bolus via the esophagus wk 1 through 8 of life. All calves received boluses equivalent for triglyceride. Calves were fed milk replacer (26% CP, 20% fat) at 1.7% of BW per day (dry matter basis) divided across twice daily feedings. Milk replacer intake was reduced by half at d 42 of age and terminated at d 49 of age. Starter (22% CP) and water were provided ad libitum for the duration of the trial. Body measurements were recorded weekly. Blood samples were collected before morning feeding for white blood cell and hematocrit analysis. The mixed model included the fixed effects of BW at birth, time, treatment, and their interactions with random effect of calf nested within treatment. Significance was declared at P > 0.05. Calves did not develop clinical disease and were deemed healthy. Hip height, BW, and average daily gain were not modified by treatment. Dry matter and metabolizable energy intake, and gain:feed were also similar across treatment groups. Dietary OA/PB supplementation did not alter total white blood cell counts; however, hematocrit scores were greater in calves fed high-dose OA/PB, relative to other groups (P < 0.05). We conclude that dietary OA/PB supplementation does not modify growth performance or alter white blood cell populations in healthy Holstein calves.

Keywords: dairy calf, organic acid, weaning.