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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2009;22(12): 1640-1647.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2009.90199    Published online October 21, 2009.
Effects of Oral Administration of Difructose Anhydride III on Selected Health and Blood Parameters of Group-housed Japanese Black Calves during the Preweaning Period
Daisaku Matsumoto, Mitsuhiro Takagi, Hiroshi Hasunuma, Yasuo Fushimi, Masayuki Ohtani, Tadashi Sato, Koji Okamoto, Francis Shahada, Tetsuya Tanaka, Eisaburo Deguchi
Two field studies were conducted to determine the efficacy of difructose anhydride III (DFA III) as a supplement in colostrum replacer (CR) for improving the general health status (judged on the basis of incidence of enteritis, bronchitis, and pneumonia) of group-housed suckling Japanese Black calves. In a preliminary study, CR supplemented with DFA III (6 g) was orally administered within 24 h of calving to eight individually reared calves fed colostrum (DFA III group) (Exp. 1). Subsequently, CR supplemented with DFA III (6 g) was orally administered twice within 2 and 12 h of calving to four calves (DFA III group) that were not fed colostrum (Exp. 2). In both experiments, the health status of the calves was assessed during the preweaning period. In Exp. 2, hematological and blood-chemistry parameters were analyzed 24 h after the second administration of CR and at 1 wk and 1 month after calving. The results were compared between the DFA III and control groups (without DFA III supplementation; Exp. 1: n = 10, Exp. 2: n = 4). In Exp. 1, the number of calves requiring medications for the treatment of enteritis, bronchitis, and pneumonia during the pre-weaning period was significantly (p<0.05) lower in the DFA III group than in the control group. In Exp. 2, supplementation of DFA III did not influence the gain in body weight of calves during the pre-weaning period. Calves in the DFA III group tended to require medications for a shorter duration than those in the control group (DFA III: 10.3 d/calf, control: 21.3 d/calf; p = 0.07). Significant differences (p<0.05) in the level of mean corpuscular hemoglobin, total protein, total cholesterol, and immunoglobulin (Ig)G were observed between the DFA III and control groups. These differences probably reflect the health and nutritional status of the calves. Additionally, the serum iron and lactoferrin concentrations at 24 h and 1 wk after calving, respectively, differed significantly between the 2 groups. These concentrations might reflect the incidence of infections after calving. The present study revealed that the administration of DFA III as a CR supplement may prevent diseases in group-housed calves during the pre-weaning period.
Keywords: Calf; DFA III; Prebiotics; Group Housing; Lactoferrin

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