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Trop Anim Health Prod. 2013 Apr;45(4):1047-50. doi: 10.1007/s11250-012-0302-2. Epub 2012 Nov 2.

Effect of micronutrient supplementation around calving on the plasma cortisol levels of Murrah buffaloes and Sahiwal and Karan Fries cows.

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  • 1National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, 132 001, Haryana, India.


Micronutrients when fed around peripartum may reduce the stress induced by cortisol. With this objective, 24 Sahiwal (SW) and 24 Karan Fries (KF) cows and 24 Murrah (Mu) buffaloes were taken and divided into four groups of six each. Vitamin E (VE), zinc (Zn) and copper were supplemented from 30 days pre- to 30 days postcalving in groups 1, 2 and 3. Animals without supplementation served as control. Blood sampling was done on days 30, 15, 7 and 3 precalving; at calving; and on days 3, 7, 15 and 30 postcalving. Plasma cortisol levels were measured by ELISA. Supplementation of VE and Zn significantly (P<0.05) reduced plasma cortisol levels at calving and at 30 days postcalving. KF cows exhibited best results with VE, whereas SW cows and Mu buffaloes responded best to Zn. Copper increased the peripartum cortisol levels. Reduction in cortisol levels may help in keeping the animal healthy and stronger to fight immuno-suppression generally observed around the period of peripartum.

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