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Effects of colostrum supply manner on passive immunity and levels of cortisol and plasmatic metabolites of Holstein calves

The influence of colostrum supply on immunoglobulin G, glucose, total protein, triglycerides, lactate and cortisol concentrations of 18 Holstein calves, was evaluated. Calves were allotted to three treatments, T1 - calves were separated from cows 6h after birth, nursing 30 minutes a day in their mothers, twice a day in the first three days; T2 - calves were separated 6h after birth, and in the first three days they received colostrum through nipple bottles twice a day, 2l/meal; and T3 - calves remained all the time with cows during the first three days. Blood samples were taken at times 0; 12; 24; 48; 72 and 96h after birth. IgG levels were higher in T3 than in T1 at 24h (P<0.10). Glucose levels were higher in T3 than in the other treatments (P<0.10). Total protein levels in T2 were higher than in T1 (P<0.10). Cortisol and lactate concentrations at birth were higher in all treatments (P<0.10). Howewer, T2 would be more indicated for its feasibility.

calf; suckling; weaning; immunoglobulin G; stress

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Escola de Veterinária Caixa Postal 567, 30123-970 Belo Horizonte MG - Brazil, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2041, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2042 - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil