Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Transportation and Commingling on the Acute Phase Protein Response and Growth and Feed Intake of Newly Weaned Beef Calves

Authors
item Arthington, J - UNIV OF FLORIDA
item Eicher, Susan
item Kunkle, W - UNIV OF FLORIDA
item Martin, F - UNIV OF FLORIDA

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 13, 2002
Publication Date: May 1, 2003
Citation: ARTHINGTON, J.D., EICHER, S.D., KUNKLE, W.E., MARTIN, F. EFFECT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMINGLING ON THE ACUTE PHASE PROTEIN RESPONSE AND GROWTH AND FEED INTAKE OF NEWLY WEANED BEEF CALVES. JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE. 2003.

Interpretive Summary: To investigate the effects of transportation and commingling on the acute phase protein response in newly weaned calves, two experiments (Exp) were conducted on alternating years using freshly weaned calves. In both years, 32 (Exp. 1) and 36(Exp. 2) Brahman crossbred calves were randomly allotted to one of four treatments transporting or no transport and to commingling (placement with unfamiliar calves of similar age and weight) or no commingling. Transported calves were loaded onto livestock trailers within 3 h of weaning and shipped for 6 h. Blood was collected and body weights recorded. Feed intake within pen was recorded daily for Exp. 2. Acute phase proteins (proteins release by the liver in response to infections and stressors) were measured. Transported calves lost more body weight compared to non-transported calves from the time of weaning to d 1. The stress of weaning resulted in an increase in all but one of the acute phase proteins. In Exp. 1, transported calves had higher concentrations of two of the acute phase proteins compared to non-transported calves. However, one acute phase protein was higher in non-transported calves. The results of these studies indicate that the acute phase protein response is stimulated by the stress associated with calf weaning, but they are more variable in response to transportation.

Technical Abstract: To investigate the effects of transportation and commingling on the acute phase protein response in newly weaned calves, two experiments (Exp) were conducted on alternating years using freshly weaned calves. In both years, 32 (Exp. 1) and 36(Exp. 2) Brahman crossbred calves were randomly allotted to one of four treatments (2 x 2 factorial arrangement, transportation x commingling) in a completely randomized design. Transported calves were loaded onto livestock trailers within 3 h of weaning and shipped for 6 h. Commingling was achieved by penning study calves with out-sourced calves of similar age and weight. Jugular blood and BW were collected at weaning, immediately after shipment, and 1, 3, and 7 d later for Exp. 1, and at weaning and 1, 5, 9, 13, 17 and 21 d later for Exp. 2. Feed intake within pen was recorded daily for Exp. 2. Plasma fibrinogen (Fib), ceruloplasmin (Cer), haptoglobin (Hap) and cortisol concentrations were determined for all collection times. Additionally, serum amyloid-A (SAA) and alpha1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) concentrations were determined in Exp. 1 and 2, respectively. Transported calves lost more BW compared to non-transported calves (P<.05) from the time of weaning to d 1 (-14.0 vs. -8.8 and -9.1 vs. 1.8 kg, Exp. 1 and 2, respectively). With the exception of Hap in Exp. 1, the stress of weaning resulted in an increase in each of the acute phase proteins (P<.05). In Exp. 1, transported calves had higher mean plasma Fib (313.2 vs. 210.8) and SAA (48.9 vs. 33.4 :g/mL) concentrations (P<.05) compared to non-transported calves. There was a time by transportation interaction for plasma Fib, Cer, and Hap in Exp. 1; whereas transported calves had higher concentrations of Fib following transport and on d 2 and 3, and Cer on d 3 (P<.05). Haptoglobin concentrations were higher in non-transported calves on d 1 and 2 of Exp. 1 (P<.05). In Exp. 2, mean Hap concentrations were higher (P<.05) in non-transported calves (6.06 and 8.42 mg HbB/dl). The results of these studies indicate that the acute phase protein response is stimulated by the stressors associated with calf weaning.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page