Effect of Pre-partum Feeding of Crossbred Cows on Growth Performance, Metabolic Profile and Immune Status of Calves

  • Panigrahi, B. (Division of Livestock Production & Management, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Pandey, H.N. (Division of Livestock Production & Management, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Pattanaik, A.K. (Centre of Advanced Studies in Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute)
  • Received : 2004.05.05
  • Accepted : 2004.12.17
  • Published : 2005.05.01


The effects of pre-partum feeding management in terms of birth weight, growth, metabolic profile and immunity of calves were studied using 24 crossbred (Bos taurus${\times}$Bos indicus) cows, divided into three equal groups. The dietary treatments included feeding of either 3.0 kg concentrate/head/d throughout the 60 d pre-partum (T$_1$), or 3.0 kg concentrate during 60-22 d pre-partum and thereafter at an increased allowance at 0.25 kg/d during the next 21 d till it reached 1% of live weight (T$_2$). The third group of cows was fed similar to T$_2$, except that the concentrate feeding during 60-22 d pre-partum was reduced to 2.0 kg (T$_3$). All the groups had access to ad libitum green fodder throughout. The results revealed that the mean daily dry matter (DM) intake by the cows was similar (p>0.05) among the three groups during the 60 days of the pre-partum but T2 animals tended to gain more live weight (41.25 kg) than T$_1$ (38.12 kg) and T$_3$ (36.25 kg). The body condition score of the cows did not change appreciably over the experimental period. The mean birth weight of the calves was 24.00${\pm}$1.10, 24.63${\pm}$1.17 and 23.25${\pm}$1.19 kg for the three groups, respectively, with the corresponding average daily gain of 154.2, 155.0 and 169.7 g during the subsequent 60 days; both these parameters did not vary significantly ascribable to prepartum feeding regimens of their dams. The total immunoglobulin (Ig) concentration in the colostrum was 6.31${\pm}$0.34, 5.80${\pm}$0.21 and 6.13${\pm}$0.30 g/dl for the three groups, respectively, showing no influence of dietary treatments. The mean serum Ig levels (T$_1$ 2.10${\pm}$0.09, T$_2$ 2.05${\pm}$0.09 and T$_3$ 2.10${\pm}$0.12 g/dl) of calves at 5 d of age were similar among the dietary groups as was the case with various serum biochemical constituents. It is concluded that the variations in pre-partum dietary management elicited no significant influence on the calf performance including the immune status.


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