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J Dairy Sci. 2015 Jan;98(1):204-10. doi: 10.3168/jds.2014-8350. Epub 2014 Oct 25.

The effect of colostrum source (goat vs. sheep) and timing of the first colostrum feeding (2h vs. 14h after birth) on body weight and immune status of artificially reared newborn lambs.

Author information

1
Department of Animal Science, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35413 Arucas, Gran Canaria, Spain; Veterinary Physiology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bremgartenstrasse 109a, CH-3001 Bern, Switzerland.
2
Facultad de Ciencia Pecuarias, Escuela Superior Politécnica de Chimborazo, EC-060150 Riobamba, Ecuador.
3
Department of Agroindustrial Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Chimborazo, EC-060150 Riobamba, Ecuador.
4
Unidad de Gestión Clínica de Endocrinología y Nutrición, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Málaga (IBIMA), Complejo Hospitalario de Málaga (Virgen de la Victoria), Universidad de Málaga, Ciber Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Málaga 29010, Spain.
5
Instituto Canario de Investigaciones Agrarias, La Laguna, Tenerife 38200, Spain.
6
Department of Animal Science, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35413 Arucas, Gran Canaria, Spain.
7
Department of Animal Science, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35413 Arucas, Gran Canaria, Spain. Electronic address: noemi.castro@ulpgc.es.

Abstract

Several factors can affect lamb body weight (BW) and immune status during the first days of life, including colostrum source and timing of the first colostrum feeding. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of colostrum source (goat or sheep) and timing of the first colostrum feeding (2 or 14h after birth) on lamb BW and immune status. In this study, 40 lambs were removed from their dams at birth and randomly assigned into 4 groups of 10 lambs each. Lambs were subsequently fed at 2 or 14h after birth with goat or sheep colostrum. Blood samples and BW recording were performed before feeding. Blood plasma was used to measure the immunoglobulin concentration (IgG and IgM), chitotriosidase activity, and complement system activity (total and alternative pathways). In general, no differences in any of the measured variables were observed among the 4 groups, indicating that neither colostrum source nor timing of the first colostrum feeding had an effect on these variables. These findings may improve management on lamb farms that raise animals under artificial conditions, because our results indicate that it is not necessary to feed colostrum to lambs immediately after birth and that goat colostrum may be used to feed newborn lambs.

KEYWORDS:

chitotriosidase; complement system; goat colostrum; lamb

PMID:
25468691
DOI:
10.3168/jds.2014-8350
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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