Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/5/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Feeder cattle and sheep undergo periods of stress during movement from the farm of origin to commercial stocker or feeding operations. By providing the proper nutrients in the proper amounts, stress can be reduced, time to recover from stress can be shortened, and animal health and performance can be improved. This study was conducted to determine the effects of adding electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium) to the water of sheep before and after a short stress period on depletion of nutrients during stress and repletion of nutrients after stress. The results indicated that providing electrolytes in the water can have beneficial effects on nutrient status, however, further research is required to determine the optimum electrolyte concentrations and electrolyte ratios to use. The use of electrolytes may be beneficial in reducing nutritional stress during marketing and transport and in speeding recovery from transport stress in feeder calves and lambs. This research can be used by other scientists to formulate additional research hypothesis and by producers to improve the health and performance of feeder calves and lambs.
Technical Abstract: A trial was conducted to determine the effects of providing pre-deprivation and post-deprivation electrolyte solutions on metabolic changes and nutrient repletion in lambs. Eight Suffolk x Hampshire crossbred lambs (avg. BW 35 +/- 4 kg) were used in an 8 x 8 Latin square design with treatments arranged in a 2 x 4 factorial. Main treatments consisted of 2 pre-deprivation electrolyte solutions (deionized water or ES1) and 4 realimentation electrolyte solutions (deionized water, ES1, ES2, and ES3). Lambs were limit fed (600 g/d) before and after a 3-d feed and water deprivation period. Jugular blood samples were obtained on day -6 (start of pre-deprivation electrolyte), -2 (start of deprivation), 1 (end of deprivation), and 7 (end of realimentation). Lambs provided the ES1 solution during the pre-deprivation period had greater (P < .05) Na, Mg, and Zn retention during the pre-deprivation period but had greater (P < .05) Na and Mg losses during the 3-d deprivation period. Cumulative retentions of Na, Cu, Fe, and Zn during the 4-d pre-deprivation/3-d deprivation/7-d realimentation period were greater (P < .10) in lambs given the ES1 solution during the pre-deprivation period. Cumulative retention of Na, K, water, and P were affected (P < .05) by electrolyte supplementation during the realimentation period. Increasing the K/Na ratio of the electrolyte solution from 1.9/1 (ES2) to 4.8/1 (ES3) reduced (P < .05) retention of Na and K and tended to reduce retention of water and P. Results of this study suggest that providing electrolyte solutions, rather than water, to calves before and(or) after a feed and water deprivation period, can appreciably affect electrolyte and water retention, however, the concentration and ratios of electrolytes must be considered.