Vitamin E and beta-caroten levels in cows, colostrum and young calves in farms with high or low calf mortality
The aim of the project was to get more knowledge on associations between the dairy calves concentration of vlood vitamin E/beta-caroten, vitamin levels in colostrum and vitamin levels in newly calved cows in herds with high or low calf mortality.
The results indicate that high concentration of vitamin E in the young calf is associated with lower calf mortality. The most important vitamin source of the calf is colostrum. In the study associations between colostrum vitamin contents and its fat and total protein content, as well sa between vitamin and total protein conten in calf blood. This indicates that measurements of fat or total protein in colostrum give a good estimate of the vitamin content. A simple method to measure fat content of colostrum is not availble but total protein can easily be measured using eg a colostrometer. According to other studies, the cow vitamin status has strong effect on colostrum vitamin content. According to this study the vitamin contents in total mixed ratio or mixed ratio given to the cows in late pregnancy is an important factor for the vitamin status of the newly calved cow.