Effects of adding natural additives to whole milk on performance, faecal, and blood parameters in suckling Holstein calves

Author: S. Guven & T. Cimrin
Year: 2023
Issue: 6
Volume: 53
Page: 774 - 783

The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of additives containing organic acids, herbal extracts, and prebiotics to whole milk on the developmental performance and several faecal and blood parameters of Holstein calves during the suckling period. A total of 40 one-day-old Holstein calves were divided randomly categorized into two groups of 20 (10 males and 10 females). For the first three days, both groups were provided with five litres of colostrum daily. Starting from the fourth day, the first group (control) received whole milk, while the second group (NCA) was given milk with a commercial additive of 5 g/L of whole milk. The calves had access to starter feed and water ad libitum. Results indicated the body weight and red blood cell counts of calves in the NCA group showed a substantial increase during the first four weeks, while the occurrence of diarrhoea decreased, compared to the control group. However, no marked differences between the control and NCA groups in terms of intake of concentrate feed, feed conversion ratio, body weight gain, levels of white blood cells, haemoglobin, haematocrit, aspartate aminotransferase, phosphorus, gamma-glutamyl transferase, glucose, calcium, creatinine, cholesterol, triglycerides, faecal levels, or days with diarrhoea were noted. Consequently, it was concluded that adding commercial additives to whole milk had a positive effect on the early development of the digestive system of calves, substantially increasing their body weight in the first four weeks of life and therefore making them more resistant to diseases in this critical period.

Keywords: faecal value, Herbal extract, immune system, organic acid, prebiotic
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