Evaluation of essential oils and a prebiotic for newborn dairy calves
Swedzinski, C.; Froehlich, Kelly A.; Abdelsalam, K. W.; Chase, C.; Greenfield, T. J.; Koppien-Fox, J.; Casper, D. P.
A blend of essential oils (EO) and a prebiotic were combined (EOC) to formulate a colostrum-based liquid birth supplement and a separate feeding supplement (Start Strong and Stay Strong, Ralco Inc., Marshall, MN). These products were designed to promote immunity and stimulate appetite to diminish health challenges and stresses experienced by newborn calves. The hypothesis was that calves supplemented with an oral dose of liquid EOC at birth (10-mL aliquot at birth and 10 mL at 12 h of age) when fed the EOC feeding supplement would result in improved growth performance, health, and immunity. The objective was to determine if an additional feeding of liquid EOC at birth in combination with EOC in the milk replacer (MR) would allow calves to demonstrate improved growth, health, and immunity compare with calves only offered EO in MR. Sixty-one Holstein calves (18 males and 43 females) from a commercial dairy operation were blocked by birth date and randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatments. Treatments were 1) Control (CON): a 24% crude protein (CP):20% fat (as-fed basis) MR; 2) EP: a 24:20 MR with EOC mixed at 1.25 g/d; or 3) EPC: a 24:20 MR with EOC mixed at 1.25 g/d in addition to calves receiving one 10-mL oral dose of liquid EOC at birth and 10 mL again at 12 h. The 24:20 MR was fed via bucket 2 times per day at a rate of 0.57 kg/calf daily for 14 d, increased to 0.85 kg/calf at 2 times per day until 35 d and was reduced to 0.43 kg at 1 time per day at 36 d to facilitate weaning after 42 d. Decoquinate was added to the MR at 41.6 mg/kg for coccidiosis control. Calves were housed in individual hutches bedded with straw with ad libitum access to a 20% CP-pelleted calf starter and water. All data were analyzed using PROC MIXED as a randomized complete block design. Calves in this study had similar (P > 0.10) average daily gains, body weight, and growth measurements. Calves fed EPC had significantly (P < 0.05) higher IgA titers on day 0 of the trial compared with calves fed EP or CON, which was expected as calves were supplemented with liquid EOC at birth and 12 h later demonstrating an increase in immune response. The use of a liquid EOC product being administrated after birth can improve IgA titers to improve the immune status of the new born calf to fight off potential diseases and pathogens. A formulation error resulted in the EOC being fed at half the rate of the previous experiment of 2.5 g/d, which appears to be below an efficacious dosage.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research0702 Animal Production; 070204 Animal Nutrition; 070202 Animal Growth and Development
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