Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: EICHER, S.D., SCHUTZ, M.M. PREPARTUM MILKING OF HOLSTEIN HEIFERS: II. EFFECT ON ACUTE PHASE PROTEINS AND IMMUNE ACTIVATION. JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE. 1999. V. 82(SUPPL.1): P. 60.
Technical Abstract: Transition of first-calf heifers to the milking herd is a stressful period. We investigated the effects of parlor acclimation and pre- milking on behavior, production, and health parameters. Effects on some immune measures are reported here. Forty-eight first calf heifers, blocked by expected calving date, were assigned to control (CTL), parlor acclimation (ACC), or pre-milk (PRE) treatments. Parlor acclimated heifers were taken through the parlor without milking and the PRE heifers were milked for 3 wk prior to parturition. Heparinized blood samples were taken from the tail-vein within 24 h of calving and on d 3, 5, 7, 10, and 14 after calving. Plasma IFN-gamma, IgG1, IgG2, haptoglobin and alpha1-acid glycoprotein were measured. Plasma IgG2 concentrations of ACC cows were less than those of CTL cows at 24 h and d 5, 7, 10, and 14. The concentration of IgG2 of ACC cows was lower than PRE cows at 24 h (P<0.05). Haptoglobin increased for all treatments through d 3, but PRE cows began to decrease in haptoglobin concentrations by d 5. Pre-milked cows had lower plasma haptoglobin concentrations (126 ug/ml) than CTL cows (426 ug/ml, P<0.05) and tended to have lower concentrations than ACC cows (237 ug/ml, P<0.10) on d 10. By d 14 all haptoglobin treatment means were below 200 ug/ml, but haptoglobin of CTL cows was greater than that of PRE and ACC cows (155, 11, and 0 ug/ml, respectively, P<0.05). Alpha1-acid glycoprotein was not different among treatments, but the ACC group peaked on d 10 compared to a d1 peak for CTL and PRE cows. Plasma IFN was not affected by treatment. These data suggest that pre-milking and parlor acclimation modulate some immune functions and acute phase proteins.