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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #304003

Title: The effect of a maternal dietary yeast cell wall supplement during gestation on cow performance and calf growth and immunity

item ROBERTS, MEGHAN - Texas A&M University
item SCHMIDT, SARAH - Texas A&M University
item NEUENDORFF, DON - Texas A&M Agrilife
item Sanchez, Nicole
item CORLEY, JIMMIE - Lesaffre Yeast
item Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll
item WELSH, JR., THOMAS - Texas A&M University
item RANDEL, RONALD - Texas A&M Agrilife

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/12/2014
Publication Date: 7/25/2014
Citation: Roberts, M.C., Schmidt, S.E., Neuendorff, D.A., Sanchez, N.C., Corley, J.R., Carroll, J.A., Welsh, Jr., T.H., Randel, R.D. 2014. The effect of a maternal dietary yeast cell wall supplement during gestation on cow performance and calf growth and immunity. Journal of Animal Science Supplement. 92(E-Suppl. 2): 720. (Abstract 1460/m221).

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine if feeding of yeast cell wall (YCW) to pregnant cows influences cow performance as well as postnatal calf growth and immunity. Multiparous cows were grouped by predicted calving date into groups of control (C; n=24) and supplemented (Y; n=24) cows. The Y cows were fed 4 grams of YCW in 230 grams of ground corn top-dressed with a 1.81 kilograms of a 4:1 ratio of corn gluten and soybean meal. Weight and body condition score (BCS) were taken at 28-day intervals prepartum and postpartum. Within 24 hours of parturition, the body weight and BCS of cows were recorded, body weight of calves and blood samples obtained to determine white blood cell numbers. These procedures were repeated on days 14 and 28 postpartum and body weight and calf temperament was measured through weaning. Temperament was assessed by pen score (PS; 1=Calm and 5=Excitable), exit velocity (EV=meters/second) and temperament score [TS; (PS+EV)/2]. Cows were observed for estrus twice daily starting at day 28 postpartum through first estrus. All data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure in SAS. Yeast supplementation did not affect cow body weight and BCS prepartum (P=0.39, 0.14), postpartum (P=0.97, 0.89) or the postpartum interval (P=0.98; C=56.18 ± 3.26, S=56.26 ± 3.19 days). Calf weight was not different at birth (P=0.14); however, on day 14 and weaning, C males tended to be heavier than Y group males as well as females from the either C and Y groups (P=0.08, 0.07, respectively). At day 28, C males were heavier than Y males or females (P=0.02). On day -140, -112, -84, -56, -28, and 0 with 0 indicating weaning, there was a tendency for C males to be heavier than either Y males or C and Y females (P=0.0563). There was also a treatment by day interaction in which C calves were heavier than Y calves (P=0.01) and a calf sex by day interaction with males being heavier than females preweaning (P=0.01). Treatment did not alter lymphocyte, monocyte, segmented neutrophil, banded neutrophil or eosinophil percentages (P=0.59, 0.85, 0.66, 0.23, 0.70, respectively). Treatment did not affect the white blood cell profile. The C males demonstrated a greater growth rate than prenatally supplemented calves in the neonatal and preweaning period. These data suggest that prenatal YCW supplementation to healthy mature cows in a low stress environment does not benefit cow or calf performance.