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Colostrum quality, IgG absorption and daily weight gain of calves in small-scale dairy production systems in Southern Vietnam

Thu Hang, Bui Phan, Dicksved, Johan, Sjaunja, Kerstin Svennersten, Wredle, Ewa
Tropical animal health and production 2017 v.49 no.6 pp. 1143-1147
absorption, blood serum, brix, colostrum, correlation, dairy calves, dairy cows, diarrhea, immunity, immunoglobulin G, males, milk production, neonates, production technology, protein content, small farms, surveys, weight gain, Vietnam
Dairy production is expanding rapidly in Vietnam, but still, the smallholder farms are most common. The aim of this study was therefore to get improved knowledge about colostrum quality in dairy cows, immunoglobulin G (IgG) absorption, daily weight gain in dairy calves and calf management in small-scale dairy production systems in Southern Vietnam. A field survey was conducted on 40 farms, with two calves on each farm being intensively studied. It was observed that newborn calves were separated from their dams immediately after birth and offered 2–4 L first colostrum within 4 h by bucket feeding. The first colostrum IgG level, fat and protein content were on average 35.6, 4.8 and 21.4%, respectively, and 91% of the cows produced colostrum of good quality (Brix value >22%). The IgG level in serum of calves, measured as Brix value, was on average 9.3%. Colostrum in the samples studied was of quite high quality and on-farm observations showed that colostrum was offered on the first day of calf life, so passive transfer of immunity to the calves was high. In total, 10% of the calves had a Brix value for IgG in serum lower than 8.3%, indicating that those calves had suffered from failure of passive immune transfer (FPT). The daily weight gain of female and male calves was 0.75 and 0.54 kg, respectively. Serum IgG was positively correlated with colostrum protein (P = 0.002). Daily weight gain and diarrhoea was negatively correlated (P = 0.001).