Effects of supplemental garlic (Allium sativum) powder and probiotics on diarrhea and immunoglobulin response in pre-weaned dairy calves

Monday, July 21, 2014
Exhibit Hall AB (Kansas City Convention Center)
Thaphelo W Kekana , University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
Abstract Text: This study was carried out to investigate the effects of feeding Garlic powder or Probiotics or both on diarrhoeal incidence and immunoglobulin response of pre-weaned Holstein calves. Sixteen Holstein calves (BW = 34.5 ± 1.65 kg) were randomly assigned at birth to 4 treatments to evaluate the effects of garlic powder or probiotics, or both on feed intake, diarrhea, serum glucose and immunoglobulin (IgG) in Holstein calves.  The treatments were: C (control, no additive); G: supplemented with 5g/d garlic powder; P: supplemented with 4 g/d probiotics (total viable count: 1.3 x 107 cfu/g) and G+P: supplemented with 5 g/d garlic powder and 4 g/d probiotic. Calves were given colostrum for the first 3 d of life followed by a standard whole milk feeding until weaning at 42 days.  A commercial calf starter was offered ad libitumstarting at 4 d of age until the end of the study.  Fresh water was available throughout the study.  Intake of whole milk and starter feed were measured daily and body weights were taken weekly.  Blood samples were collected to determine glucose and IgG concentrations. Garlic and probiotics were diluted in milk and fed daily from day 4. Starter DMI tended to be higher (P<0.10) in G+P calves compared to Control calves. Calves fed G and G+P had higher (P≤0.05) IgG than C and P calves (28.0 and 27.5 vs. 23.5 and 25.5 g/l: respectively). Calves fed C and G had lower (P≤0.05) final BW (56.0 kg) compared to G+P (60.3 kg). Garlic, P and their combination (G+P) did not affect (P>0.05) serum glucose and body temperature. Calves in G+P and P groups had lower (P<0.05) faecal score, days of diarrhea and days fed electrolytes compared to C and G calves. The results suggest complementary effects of the combined garlic powder and probiotics when fed to calves during the first 42 days of life.  Improved starter feed intake and final body weight in group G+P suggest high concentrations of ruminal volatile fatty acid for a stimulated rumen development.  Additionally, higher serum IgG in G+P may indicate an improved intake of nutrients responsible of immunity modulation and regulation.

Keywords:  Garlic powder, probiotics, IgG, Holstein calves.