Influence of different seasons during late gestation on Holstein cows colostrum and postnatal adaptive capability of their calves
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Season may affect calves thermal comfort and behavior, but the data related to the overall influence of seasonal variations on dams colostrum and postnatal adaptive capability of calves are limited. The aim of this study was to measure the effects of a 49-day-long low air temperature (LAT) season (5.20 +/- 0.46 A degrees C mean air temperature) and a 53-day-long high air temperature (HAT) season (27.40 +/- 0.39 A degrees C mean air temperature) on dams colostrum quality and physiological, biochemical, hormonal, and oxidative stress parameters of their calves during the first 7 days of life. The dams colostrum was sampled at 2, 14, and 26 h after calving, before feeding of their calves. Calves blood samples were taken before the first colostrum intake and on days 1, 2, 3, and 7 of life. Calves physiological parameters were measured on days 0 and 7. HAT season significantly reduced the quality of dams colostrum. The ingestion of the low-quality colostrum, combined with the thermal discom...fort during HAT season, probably provoked impaired physiological, biochemical, hormonal, and oxidative stress parameters in samples taken from the post-colostral calves. Additionally, intravenous glucose tolerance test was performed on day 7, which suggested an enhanced insulin response in HAT season calves. This study highlights the importance of adequate supporting strategies for the care of the late gestation cows and postnatal calves during the HAT season.
Keywords:Seasons / Dairy cattle / Colostrum / Postnatal adaptive capability
Source:International Journal of Biometeorology, 2018, 62, 6, 1097-1108
- Springer, New York