Inclusion of psyllium in milk replacer for neonatal calves. 1. Effects on growth, digesta viscosity, rate of passage, nutrient digestibilities, and metabolites in blood

S. J. Cannon, G. C. Fahey, M. R. Murphy, C. L. Dikeman, B. L. Miller, J. K. Drackley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Based on research in other species, inclusion of psyllium in milk replacer might improve nutrient utilization and gastrointestinal function in neonatal calves. Male Holstein calves were fed a milk replacer (22% crude protein, 20% fat) either without or with psyllium (1.1% of dry matter) from 2 d through 28 d of age. Milk replacer was reconstituted to 12.5% dry matter (DM) and fed at 12% of calf body weight (BW), adjusted weekly. Water was offered ad libitum but no starter was fed. Three calves per treatment were harvested weekly to sample digesta from the rumen, abomasum, jejunum, proximal colon, and distal colon. Mean daily intakes of water, DM, crude protein, and metabolizable energy did not differ between treatments. Average daily gain of BW did not differ between treatments. Digesta from the abomasum and colon of calves fed psyllium was more viscous than digesta from control calves. Mean retention time of digesta in the total digestive tract tended to be greater for calves supplemented with psyllium (9.7 vs. 8.4. h). Feces and digesta from the proximal and distal colon of calves fed psyllium had lower DM content than feces and digesta from control calves. Total-tract apparent digestibility of DM (92.8 vs. 94.1%) was lower for psyllium-fed calves, likely as an effect of the addition of the more poorly digestible psyllium; digestibilities of energy and ash also tended to be lower. The prefeeding plasma glucose concentration (10. h after previous feeding) tended to be greater for psyllium-fed calves but concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids, β-hydroxybutyrate, cholesterol, urea N, and total protein did not differ between treatments. Blood components did not differ between treatments at 2. h postfeeding. Inclusion of psyllium in the milk replacer of neonatal calves increased digesta viscosity and slowed passage of digesta through the gastrointestinal tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3652-3660
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume93
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2010

Keywords

  • Calf
  • Digesta passage
  • Psyllium
  • Viscosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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