Effects of various dietary interventions on the health and performance of Holstein bull calves following an Eimeria bovis infection

Date

2021-08

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Abstract

The objective of the current study was to determine the effects of sodium percarbonate, glucose oxidase, and a saponin-based product on the performance, health, and hematological variables of Eimeria bovis infected calves. Ninety Holstein bull calves were transported to the Texas Tech Calf Research Center in New Deal, TX, from a commercial calf ranch. Upon arrival calves were randomly assigned to one of five treatments: negative control not infected with oocysts and no treatment in the milk replacer (uninfected CON), a positive control group that was infected with 130,000 oocysts and did not receive treatment in the milk replacer (infected CON), a treatment group infected with 130,000 oocysts and 2g/hd/day of Sodium Percarbonate (Na Percarb) supplemented in milk replacer, a treatment group infected with 130,000 oocysts and 0.18g/hd/day of Glucose Oxidase (GOD) and 4.6g/hd/day of dextrose supplemented in milk replacer, and a treatment group infected with 130,000 oocysts and 2g/hd/day of Yucca/Fenugreek extract (Saponin) supplemented in milk replacer. All infected calves received an oocyst mixture of 90% Eimeria bovis, 5% Eimeria zuernii, and 5% other Eimeria spp. Body weights and blood samples were collected on d 0, 7, 14, 28, 56, and 84. Blood was analyzed for a complete blood count. Fecal samples were collected on d 14, 21, 23, 25, 27, and 35 post-infection through rectal stimulation and analyzed for fecal oocyst counts via the McMaster method. All repeated, continuous data were analyzed by restricted-maximum likelihood ANOVA using the Mixed procedure of SAS (version 9.4; SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC). There was a treatment difference in mortality when the calves were less than 21 days of age with both of the CON groups having the greatest mortality during this period when compared to all other treatment groups. There was a treatment difference in the days to consume 100 g of starter with the uninfected CON and Na Percarb group taking the longest to consume 100g of starter and infected CON taking the least amount of time. There was a difference in starter intakes from day 0 to 28, the uninfected CON consumed the least amount of starter during this period when compared to all other treatment groups. Oocyst counts had a treatment x time interaction as well as a treatment x time interaction for weekly fecal scores. There were no treatment differences in any hematological variables.

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Keywords

Coccidiosis, Nutraceutical

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