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The effect of tube versus bottle feeding colostrum on immunoglobulin G absorption, abomasal emptying, and plasma hormone concentrations in newborn calves

Desjardins-Morrissette, M., van Niekerk, J.K., Haines, D., Sugino, T., Oba, M., Steele, M.A.
Journal of dairy science 2018 v.101 no.5 pp. 4168-4179
Holstein, acetaminophen, blood glucose, blood serum, bottle feeding, bulls, calves, catheters, colostrum, glucagon-like peptide 1, glucagon-like peptide 2, glucose, immunoglobulin G, insulin, neonates, whole milk
The objective of this study was to determine if feeding colostrum to newborn calves through an esophageal tube, compared with a nipple bottle, would delay abomasal emptying, which would in turn decrease passive transfer of IgG and plasma glucose, insulin, and glucagon-like peptide (GLP) 1 and GLP-2 concentrations. Twenty newborn Holstein bull calves were fed 3 L of colostrum replacer (200 g of IgG) through either an esophageal tube or nipple bottle at 2 h after birth followed by feeding pooled whole milk every 12 h after birth. Acetaminophen was mixed into the colostrum meal as a marker for abomasal emptying. A jugular catheter was inserted 1 h after birth and blood was sampled frequently to analyze serum for IgG and acetaminophen and plasma for glucose, insulin, GLP-1, and GLP-2. Feeding method did not affect abomasal emptying, and as a result no treatment effect was present on serum IgG concentrations. Maximum concentration of serum IgG was 24.4 ± 0.40 mg/mL (± standard error), which was reached at 14.6 ± 1.88 h after the colostrum meal for both groups. Apparent efficiency of absorption at maximum concentration of IgG was 52.9%, indicating high efficiency of passive transfer of IgG for both treatments. Tube feeding increased glucose and insulin area under the curve before the first milk meal, most likely due to the decreased time to consume the colostrum meal. In addition, tube-fed calves consumed 0.5 ± 0.13 L more milk in their first milk meal than bottle-fed calves. No treatment effect on plasma concentrations of GLP-1 or GLP-2 was present, but both hormones increased after colostrum feeding. These findings confirm that there is no effect on absorption of IgG from colostrum when feeding good-quality colostrum at a volume of 3 L through either an esophageal tube or nipple bottle.