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Physiological calf responses to increased chromium supply in summer.

Author(s): Yari M, Nikkhah A, Alikhani M, Khorvash M, Rahmani H, Ghorbani GR

Affiliation(s): Department of Animal Sciences, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156 Iran.

Publication date & source: 2010-09, J Dairy Sci., 93(9):4111-20.

The primary objective was to determine pre- and postweaning calf physiological responses to increased Cr supply under high ambient temperatures. In a randomized complete block design, 24 neonate Holstein calves (BW=41.5+/-1.9 kg) were grouped based on sex and randomly assigned to 3 treatments within each group. Treatments included either no supplemental Cr (control), 0.02 mg of supplemental Cr/kg of BW0.75, or 0.04 mg of supplemental Cr/kg of BW0.75. The average temperature-humidity index was 77 during the study. Chromium was provided as a commercial product in whole milk for preweaning calves and in a starter concentrate for postweaning calves. Calves were weaned at 1 kg of daily calf starter intake lasting for 6 consecutive days. A glucose tolerance test was conducted on d 25 postweaning. Treatments had no effects on preweaning dry matter intake, feed conversion ratio, average daily gain, and weaning age. Chromium decreased dry matter intake in postweaning calves; however, it did not affect growth and feed conversion ratio. Chromium lowered respiration rate at wk 5 without affecting fecal score and rectal temperature. Preweaning serum cortisol concentrations were altered by a 3-way interaction of Cr dose with calf sex and age. Preweaning serum glucose showed week-dependent increases by Cr. Serum insulin, urea, albumin, total protein, triiodothyronine, and thyroxin concentrations through weaning were not affected. The increasing Cr doses caused quadratic declines in serum thyroxin on d 21 postweaning, whereas blood triiodothyronine declined only with the higher Cr dose. Serum NEFA remained unchanged, but BHBA decreased by Cr in male calves on d 21 postweaning. The glucose tolerance test revealed linear reductions in area under insulin curve between 0 to 90 and 0 to 120 min after glucose infusion, suggesting improvements in peripheral insulin efficiency. Sex-dependent responses to Cr were observed for serum total protein and albumin concentrations at 21 d postweaning. Overall, results indicate that in summer, increased dietary Cr supply can benefit postweaning insulin metabolism, alter preweaning blood cortisol and glucose levels, and reduce respiration rate and may have only minor effects on calf growth. Copyright (c) 2010 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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