The effect of selenium supplementation before ...



Title The effect of selenium supplementation before calving on early-lactation udder health in pastured dairy heifers
Author(s) A. Ceballos-Marquez, H. W. Barkema, H. Stryhn, J. J. Wichtel, J. Neumann, A. Mella, J. Kruze, M. S. Espindola, F. Wittwer
Journal Journal of Dairy Science
Date 2010
Volume 93
Issue 10
Start page 4602
End page 4612
Abstract Selenium (Se) deficiency has been associated with lowered resistance to mastitis in dairy cattle. However, little published data exists on the effect of Se supplementation before calving on udder health of pastured dairy heifers. Further, the relative efficacy of injectable barium selenate and oral organic Se for improving udder health in cows has not previously been tested. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of precalving Se supplementation and type of supplementation on the blood activity of glutathione peroxidase and measures of udder health immediately after calving and during the first month of lactation in pastured dairy heifers. One hundred forty pregnant Chilean Holstein-Friesian heifers were fed a basal diet containing, on average, 0.15 mg of Se/kg of dry matter. One month before predicted calving, heifers were allocated to 1 of 3 groups. Group 1 (n = 49) received no supplementary Se, group 2 (n = 46) received a single subcutaneous injection of Se (1 mg/kg of live weight, as barium selenate), and group 3 (n = 45) was fed Se yeast (3 mg/heifer/d until calving). Heifers supplemented with barium selenate had a higher glutathione peroxidase activity from 14 d in milk onwards. Selenium supplementation, irrespective of source, tended to reduce the prevalence of intramammary infection (IMI) and decrease the prevalence of quarters with high somatic cell count (SCC) at calving. Overall, Se supplementation did not result in a reduction of the incidence of new IMI or clinical mastitis or in decreased SCC during the balance of the first month of lactation. However, in pasture-based heifers injected with barium selenate before calving, and fed diets with 1.3 and 2.5 mg of Se/d precalving and during lactation, respectively, no cases of clinical mastitis were observed in the first month of lactation.
DOI 10.3168/jds.2010-3086

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