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Plasma vitamin E in calves fed different sources and doses of vitamin E around weaning

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It is a challenge to keep a sufficient vitamin E level (2 mg/l) in calf plasma after weaning, and this seems to be critical for a good immune response. Two experiments were performed in order to find the most efficient source and dose of vitamin E in calf starter concentrates to keep plasma vitamin E level above the critical level after weaning. Experiment 1 (Exp 1) and 2 (Exp 2) included a total of 32 and 40 calves, respectively, from at least 2 weeks before weaning until
at least 2 weeks after weaning. In Exp 1, calves were infused through mouth a daily dose of 200 mg of different vitamin E sources including no α-tocopherol in the feed (0 dose; Control), and 200 mg/d of either RRR-α-tocopherol
(ALC), RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate (ACT) or all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate (RAC). In Exp 2, a dose response study was carried out with 0, 60, 120, and 200 mg/kg of ALC in pelleted calf concentrates. In both Exp 1 and 2, calves had free access to concentrate, grass hay, and fresh water. In Exp 1 and 2, body weight and average daily gain were not affected by either different sources or doses of α-tocopherol, respectively. In Exp 1, plasma RRR-α-tocopherol level was affected by source of α-tocopherol (P<0.001), week (P<0.001) and interaction between them (P<0.001). At weaning, plasma RRR-α-tocopherol was 4.3, 3.3, 1.5, and 1.0 μg/ml in ALC, ACT, SYN, and control, respectively. In Exp 2, total plasma α-tocopherol level was affected by dose of ALC (P=0.04), week (P<0.001), and tendency for interaction between dose and week (P=0.06). At weaning, 36, 31, 28% reduction in plasma α-tocopherol level was observed compared to beginning of experiment in 0, 60, and 120 mg/kg of ALC, respectively; however, in 200 mg/kg of ALC, more than 9% increase in plasma α-tocopherol level was observed. In addition, 200 mg/kg of ALC was able to keep plasma α-tocopherol high after weaning (3.1 and 2.9 μg/ml in weeks 1 and 2 after weaning, respectively), which is well above the recommended level. In conclusion, the ALC was the most efficient source of α-tocopherol supplementation to be used in a calf starter concentrate. In addition, the 200 mg/kg of ALC in calf starter concentrate was the only effective dose to keep the plasma vitamin E levels higher than the critical level after weaning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 72nd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
EditorsE. Strandberg, L. Pinotti, S. Messori, D. Kenny, M. Lee, J.F. Hocquette, V.A.P. Cadavez, S. Millet, R. Evans, T. Veldkamp, M. Pastell, G. Pollott
Number of pages1
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Publication yearAug 2021
ISBN (print)978-90-8686-366-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-8686-918-3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Event72nd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science - Congress Centre Davos, Davos, Switzerland
Duration: 29 Aug 20213 Sept 2021


Conference72nd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
LocationCongress Centre Davos
SeriesEAAP Book of Abstracts

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