Diagnostic value of copper parameters to predict growth of suckling calves grazing native range in Argentina
Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira
A study was conducted to evaluate the predictive diagnostic value of different copper (Cu) parameters as indicators of average daily gain (ADG) in growing calves. The effects in calves of cow Cu supplementation in the last one-third gestation period were also evaluated. Five supplementation trials, with a total of 300 calves, were carried out. Two groups of 30 calves were randomly assigned to each trial, one group was parenterally supplemented (SG) and the other was not supplemented (NSG).
... emented (NSG). Trials began when calves were three-month-old and ended at weaning time. At each sampling calves were weighed and blood was taken to determine Cu concentrations in plasma, Whole Blood (WB), Red Cells (RC) and Packed Cell Volume (PCV). Liver samples from six animals of each group were taken both at the beginning and at the end of the trial. In two trials the mothers of the SG received Cu supplementation at the last one- third gestation period. Four of the five trials exhibited low ADG in the NSGs. In these groups, plasma Cu concentration decreased rapidly before low ADG was detected, which occurred with values remaining below 25µg/dl. The decrease of RC Cu concentration was considerably slow. WB showed an intermediate position. PCV in the SGs was higher than in the NSGs in all trials. Cow supplementation was insufficient to generate a liver storage able to last after calves reached the 3 months of age. These data could be useful to predict the risk of low ADG in grazing calves.