Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/28/2008
Publication Date: 7/7/2008
Citation: Richardson, M., Lake, S., Eicher, S.D., Lemenager, R., Einstein, M., Payatt, N. 2008. Maternal natural source vitamin E supplementation on suckling calf performance and immune response [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 86, E-Suppl. 2:282.
Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine the effects of maternally supplemented natural-source vitamin E (NSVE) on suckling calf performance and immune response. In a two-year study, one hundred twenty-five Angus-cross beef cows (n = 75/year one, 50/year two) initial BW = 607 kg; initial BCS = 5.3) were randomly assigned to one of two isocaloric dietary treatments: 1) corn-based supplement (CON) or 2) corn-based supplement formulated to contain 1000 IU/d NSVE (NAT). Maternal supplementation began 5 wk prepartum and continued through wk 8 of lactation. Blood was collected from calves at 24 h of age for analysis of IgG concentration as an indicator of passive transfer and circulating a-tocopherol concentration. At 19 d of age, blood was collected from calves to determine the presence of CD14 and CD18 receptors on leukocytes. At 21 and 35 d of age, calves were injected with hen egg albumin (20 mg; OVA) and bled weekly until d 63 of age to determine total antibodies produced to OVA. No differences were seen in calf birthweight (P = 0.59), ADG (P = 0.93), or weaning weight (P = 0.39). Circulating a-tocopherol concentrations were increased at both 24 h (P < 0.001; CON 0.67 µg/mL, NAT 1.12 µg/mL) and at the day of initial OVA challenge (P < 0.001; CON 1.25 µg/mL, NAT 1.69 µg/mL). There was no difference in IgG concentration (P = 0.36) at 24 h or presence of CD14 (P = 0.83) or CD18 (P = 0.84) receptors at d 19 of age. Calves suckling NAT cows had a weak tendency (P = 0.19) to have a greater overall titer response than calves suckling CON cows, however there was no treatment × day interaction (P = 0.59). In conclusion, calves suckling cows supplemented with NSVE had increased circulating concentrations of a-tocopherol at 24 h of life, which appeared to continue through at least d 21 of age. Furthermore, calves suckling NAT dams did not increase overall titer response when compared with CON calves; additionally, calf performance was not affected. This information will be useful to establish needs of dams on pasture in the periparturient period for subsequent calf health and growth.