Journal Article


Bernadette Earley
Sean Doyle
Mark McGee
Eilish M Lynch



stress physiology weaning beef calves abrupt weaning phase ii cattle grass silage management biomarkers stress response ad libitum concentrate physiological effect

Effect of post-weaning management practices on physiological and immunological responses of weaned beef calves (2011)

Abstract The objectives were: i) to investigate the physiological and immunological responsesof previously grazed, abruptly weaned beef calves that were then either housed (H)and offered a diet of grass silage ad libitum plus concentrate or returned to familiarpasture (P) (Phase I), and ii) to examine the effect of subsequent housing (35 dayspost-weaning) on these responses in P calves compared with the H calves, which wereacclimated to housing (Phase II). Rectal temperature was recorded and jugular bloodwas collected on days 0 (weaning), 2, 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35 (Phase I) and on days 0(housing of P), 2, 7, 14, and 21 (Phase II). There was a treatment × sampling timeinteraction (P<0.05) for rectal temperature, fibrinogen concentration, total leukocyteand lymphocyte number, and phytohaemagglutinin-induced interferon-γ productionduring Phase I, with H calves having higher (P<0.05) rectal temperature and fibrinogenconcentrations on day 7, lower total leukocyte and lymphocyte number on days7 to 35 and days 2 to 28, respectively, and reduced interferon-γ production on day7 compared with P calves. Neutrophilia (P<0.05) was present in P calves on days 2and 7 post-weaning. In Phase II, total leukocyte and neutrophil numbers increased(P<0.05), whereas lymphocyte number declined on day 2 relative to values on day 0of Phase II. In conclusion, deferring housing at the time of weaning resulted in aless marked stress response in beef calves compared with the traditional combinedpractice of weaning and simultaneous housing, however these changes were minimal suggesting that the overall health and welfare of beef calves was not compromised byabrupt weaning and simultaneous housing.
Collections Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Academic Unit = Faculty of Science and Engineering: Biology
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Livestock Systems
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Animal & Bioscience
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Status = Published
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Animal & Grassland Research & Innovation Programme
Ireland -> Teagasc -> IJAFR, Volume 50, no. 2, 2011
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Open Access DRIVERset
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Type = Article
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Academic Unit = Faculty of Science and Engineering
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Irish Journal of Agricultural & Food Research

Full list of authors on original publication

Bernadette Earley, Sean Doyle, Mark McGee, Eilish M Lynch

Experts in our system

Bernadette Earley
Total Publications: 120
Sean Doyle
Maynooth University
Total Publications: 130
Mark McGee
Total Publications: 81