Serum biochemistry profile of dairy calves fed with alternative liquid diets

Kátia T. de L. Lopes Renata N. de Lima Ana P.P. de Assis Maria V.F.G. de Miranda Jamile M. Ferreira Hélia M. de S. Leite Dorgival M. de Lima Júnior Patrícia de O. Lima About the authors


Metabolic profile is used as routine monitoring for the diagnosis of metabolic disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and as a preventive of subclinical disorders, in addition to research health issues and performance of a herd. In this context, the aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of different liquid diets containing whey cheese and colostrum on the serum biochemistry profile of calves. Twenty-four crossbred calves from dairy herds in the region, distributed in a completely randomized design with three treatments and eight replicates: LI = Whole milk (control); LS = 50% Whole milk + 50% cheese whey in nature; SC = 70% of cheese whey in natura + 30% Colostrum. Weekly blood samples by jugular puncture were collected in the morning, before the supply of liquid diet and two hours after eating this. The serum concentrations of the evaluated parameters differ between treatments, but without compromising animal performance. Thus, the use of whey associated with colostrum presents itself as a viable cost reduction with feeding calves, since possible nutritional deficits caused by differences in liquid diets are supplied by solid food form, not affecting the profiles of the metabolites related to serum protein and energy status.

Index Terms:
Lactation; metabolic profile; milk replacer; nutritional status; serum parameters; calves.

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