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Effect of Organic Selenium (Sel-Plex) on Thermometabolism, Blood Chemical Composition and Weight Gain in Holstein Suckling Calves

  • Ebrahimi, Marzieh (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agronomy and Animal Science, University of Tehran) ;
  • Towhidi, Armin (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agronomy and Animal Science, University of Tehran) ;
  • Nikkhah, Ali (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agronomy and Animal Science, University of Tehran)
  • Received : 2008.12.19
  • Accepted : 2008.04.10
  • Published : 2009.07.01

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of milk supplemented with Sel-Plex on thyroid hormones, rectal temperature, plasma glucose and cholesterol concentrations, and body weight in suckling calves. Ten Holstein suckling male calves of approximately 1 month of age were selected and randomly allocated to one of two groups and fed either unsupplemented milk (control) or milk supplemented with 0.3 mg/kg DM Se from Sel-Plex (treated). The animals received treated milk and free choice starter for two months. Dry matter intake for each individual animal was recorded daily throughout the study. The calves were weighed and blood samples were taken weekly. Plasma concentrations of triiodothyronine ($T_{3}$), thyroxin ($T_{4}$) and $T_{3}$-Uptake were determined using radioimmunoassay kits. Plasma cholesterol and glucose concentrations were determined by enzymatic-colorimetric methods. Rectal temperature was recorded at blood sampling time. During the experiment, ambient temperature and relative humidity were recorded at the time of blood sampling and every four hours. Treatment significantly (p<0.01) affected the concentration of $T_{3}$, free $T_{3}$ index ($FT_{3}I$) and ratio of $T_{3}$:$T_{4}$ in plasma. The plasma concentrations of $T_{3}$ in treated calves were 33% higher than in the control. The plasma concentrations of $T_{4}$ (p<0.05), glucose (p<0.01) and cholesterol (p<0.01) were decreased in the treated group. Calves fed Sel-Plex had higher rectal temperature (p<0.01). Plasma free $T_{4}$ index (FT4I) did not differ significantly between the two groups. An increase in body weight was observed (p<0.09) in the treated group. The results indicated that milk fortified with Sel-Plex could increase tissue conversion of $T_{4}$ to $T_{3}$ and therefore improve thermometabolism in suckling calves.

Keywords

Thermometabolism;Blood Chemical Composition;Weight Gain;Calf;Selenium

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