1997, Number 3
Colostral immunoglobulin levels in dairy calves from Tijuana, Mexico and its effect on calf survival rate and growth
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ABSTRACTA total of 884 sera obtained from dairy 1-7 days of age calves, from 6 Tijuana, B.C. Mexico dairies were analyzed in order to determine their passive immunoglobulin (Ig), as well as the effect of passive Ig levels on calf mortality rate (CMR) and growth rate (GR). In all animals, birth and weaning weights were evaluated through girth diameter. From the Ig levels obtained, the calves were divided in: Level 1 = ‹ 5 mg/ml; level 2 = 5-10 mg/ml; level 3 = 10-15 mg/ml and level 4 = › 15 mg/ml. Furthermore, farms were classified in low mortality- (LMH) and high mortality herds (HMH), depending of their CMR (below or above the median). The overall CMR found in these 6 farms, during the first 60 days of life was 10.2% (range: 4.8% to 30.5%). In level 4 it was found only in 39.03% of all calves, whereas 11.9% and 21.8% were classified as levels 1 and 2, respectively. LMH showed a significant (P ‹ 0.05) lower percentage of level 1 and higher rate of level 4 calves. In addition a higher (P ‹ 0.05) daily weight gain was found in levels 3 and 4, which reflected in a higher (P ‹ 0.05) weaning weight in these animals. The importance of passive Ig in both mortality- and growth rate in dairy calves in this region is discussed.
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