SAFEGUARDING WELL-BEING OF FOOD PRODUCING ANIMALS
Location: Livestock Behavior Research
Title: Effect of Bedding Material on Flies, and Behavior and Innate Immunity of Calves Reared in Hutches
Submitted to: American Dairy Science Association Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2010
Publication Date: July 11, 2010
Citation: Gay, K.D., Eicher, S.D., Wilcox, C.S., Bridges, J.A., Rostagno, M.H., Charley, S.E., Grott, M.J., Williams, R.E., Schutz, M.M. 2010. Effect of Bedding Material on Flies, and Behavior and Innate Immunity of Calves Reared in Hutches [abstract]. Journal of Dairy Science. 93:611 (E-Suppl. 1).
Dairy calf hutches are often bedded with straw (STR), but sand (SND) and wood shavings (SHV) are becoming more common. The objective was to compare 3 beddings for presence of flies and measures of innate immunity and behavior of calves. Hutches were blocked by location and each of 3 hutches in a block was randomly assigned 1 of 3 treatments; SND, STR, or SHV. Twenty-eight heifer calves in the study were assigned sequentially by birth date to the next available hutch. The study was conducted during a moderate summer (June to September, 2008) at the Purdue Dairy Research and Education Center. Calves were observed twice weekly from birth until being weaned at approximately 8.5 wk of age. Blood samples were taken weekly and leukocytes analyzed for phagocytic function, CD14 (part of the LPS receptor) and CD18 (adhesion molecule) surface expression. Flies were counted on hutches weekly and bedding samples taken to measure the presence of immature stages. Statistical models for fly counts and blood samples considered week and treatment. The percentage of cells that phagocytized beads, was least in wk 6 and 8 (p<0.05). The percentage of cells expressing CD14 or CD18 increased over time (p<0.001) and STR bedding resulted in more fluorescence of CD18 than did SHV (p<0.04). Hutch fly counts were lowest (p<0.02), but larvae counts were highest (p<0.02) in hutches bedded with STR. It appears SND, STR, or SHV are acceptable bedding materials during moderate summer conditions in the Midwest, but fly larvae counts must be managed with STR.