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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #359395

Research Project: Nutritional Intervention and Management Strategies to Reduce Stress and Improve Health and Well-being in Cattle and Swine

Location: Livestock Issues Research

Title: Effect of different backgrounding diets for weaning beef calves on complete blood counts pre and post shipping

item TIGUE, D.ALEX - Auburn University
item WILKERSON, SHANNON - Auburn University
item REHM, JOHN - Auburn University
item HOLLAND, COURTNEY - Auburn University
item Broadway, Paul
item Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll
item Sanchez, Nicole
item RODNING, SOREN - Auburn University
item STARKEY, JESSICA - Auburn University
item MULLENIX, KIM - Auburn University
item BRATCHER, CHRISTY - Auburn University

Submitted to: American Society of Animal Science Southern Section Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/22/2018
Publication Date: 7/29/2019
Citation: Tigue, D., Wilkerson, S., Rehm, J., Holland, C., Broadway, P.R., Carroll, J.A., Sanchez, N.C., Rodning, S., Starkey, J., Mullenix, K.C., Bratcher, C.L. 2019. Effect of different backgrounding diets for weaning beef calves on complete blood counts pre and post shipping. American Society of Animal Science Southern Section Meeting. 97(Suppl 1):42.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate if diet during the background phase has an effect on complete blood counts as an indicator of the stress response and immune function of calves shipped to feedyards in western Kansas from the Southeast. One hundred twenty (n= 120) Angus- and Hereford-sired steers (n= 60, 237.9±21.6 kg BW) and heifers (n= 60, 227.6±17.9 kg BW) from the E.V. Smith Research Center in Shorter, AL were weaned on June 14, 2018. The following day, calves were weighed and blood was collected for analysis. Calves were then held in drylots for 14 d until forages reached an adequate height to begin grazing. Calves were then stratified by weight and randomly assigned to four dietary treatments, with three pens per treatment: Grazing (G), Grazing with supplement (GS), dry hay with supplement (HS), or baleage with supplement (BS). Dried distiller’s grains with solubles fed at 1% of BW was used in each diet including supplementation. After 80 d on treatment diets, calves were shipped to Hy-Plains Feedyard, LLC. in Montezuma, KS. Immediately prior to shipment, immediately post-shipment, and after 24 hr rest, blood was collected for analysis. Whole blood collected at each of the four times points was analyzed for complete blood counts using a ProCyte Dx Hematology Analyzer. The data was analyzed using the Mixed Procedure in SAS. While no significant differences (P>0.05) were detected post-weaning and prior to initiation of dietary treatments, significant differences across diets were seen in red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, reticulocyte count, platelet count, white blood cell count, neutrophil count, lymphocyte count, neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio, and basophil counts (P<0.05). Results of this study show that post-weaning backgrounding diets can have an effect on immune response to shipping stress.