Ingestion and absorption of colostral immunoglobulins is essential for survival of dairy calves. The hypothesis put forward in this study was that large colostral volumes (4. L) reduce absorption of colostral immunoglobulin by reducing apparent efficiency of absorption of immunoglobulins compared to smaller colostral volumes (3. L), when colostrum is fed once by oroesophageal tubing. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of colostral volume on apparent efficiency of absorption (AEA) of colostral immunoglobulin G (IgG) when calves are fed 3. L compared to 4. L of colostrum. Twenty-eight, age-matched Holstein bull calves aged between 2 and 8. h were randomly assigned to receive 3. L or 4. L of colostrum with similar colostral IgG concentration, once, by oroesophageal tubing. Serum IgG concentration at 48. h of age and AEA of IgG were compared between the two groups. The results of the study showed that there was no difference in the serum IgG concentrations at 48. h of age or AEA of IgG between the groups (P>0.05). The results of this study suggest that dairy producers can save colostrum by feeding 3. L of colostrum when calves are fed once by oroesophageal tubing. There seems to be no added practical benefit in feeding 4. L of colostrum compared to 3. L when colostrum is fed once. Studies with larger sample sizes are required to compare mortalities up to weaning between groups of dairy calves fed 3. L compared to 4. L of colostrum.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology