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Feeding conjugated linoleic acids and various concentrate proportions to late pregnant cows and its consequence on blood metabolites of calves

The study aimed to investigate the influence of maternal conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation and various concentrate proportions in diets during late pregnancy on blood metabolites of unsuckled compared to suckled calves to examine possible CLA effects on calf metabolism. Pregnant German Holstein cows had ad libitum access to silage-based rations three weeks prior to calving. Cows received 100 g/d control fat (CON) or CLA supplement, either in a low (20%; CON-20, CLA-20) or high (60%; CON-60, CLA-60) concentrate diet. In total 5–6 calves were used out of potentially available calves per group to carry out the study. Blood samples were obtained from unsuckled calves immediately after parturition and from the same calves after staying for 16–24 h with their dam. Calves had ad libitum access to colostrum in this time. Antepartum dry matter intake of dams of group CLA-60 was highest, whereas birth weight of calves remained unaffected. Nearly all blood metabolites were increased in suckled calves compared to unsuckled calves due to colostrum intake, whereas concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids decreased slightly and serum albumin showed similar concentrations after colostrum intake. However, no significant maternal diet effect and no effect by intake of CLA enriched colostrum could be observed. Results indicate that CLA supplementation and various concentrate levels in dairy cow diets during the final weeks of pregnancy did not affect the metabolic status of the offspring.



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