Effect of level of supplemental chromium on performance, serum constituents, and immune status of stressed feeder calves

Author: Written by Moonsie-Shageer, S and D. N. Mowat

Journal: Journal of Animal Science: 1993 71: 232-238.

Abstract: The effects of level of supplemental Cr from high-Cr yeast on performance, blood chemistry profile, morbidity, and immune status were investigated using 84 Charolais-crossed steer calves in a completely randomized design. Calves of 236-kg average weight, after transportation from Saskatchewan to Ontario, were randomly assigned to four treatments; 0, .2, .5, and 1 ppm of supplemental Cr, incorporated into a corn-silage diet. Blood was collected via jugular venipuncture at d 0, 7, 14, 21, and 28 and analyzed for metabolites, minerals, immunoglobulins, hematocrit (Hct), and leucocytecounts. Hemagglutinating antibody titers to human red blood cells (HRBC) were quantified after immunizations on d 0 and 14. Contact sensitivity after sensitization and challenge with dinitrochlorobenzene was also measured. A 27% increase (P < .05) in ADG was observed at d 30 for calves that were fed .2 and 1 ppm of supplemental Cr. Dry matter intake also increased (P < .05) for the .2- and 1-ppm Cr treatments. A linear decrease (P < .05) in serum cortisol with increasing Cr level was observed at d 28. Chromium supplementation decreased (P < .05) morbidity, as well as rectal temperatures at d 2 and 5. Peak primary antibody titers to HRBC (P < .05) and immunoglobulin G1 concentrations (P = .06) at d 14 were higher for steers that received the Cr supplementation. However, Cr treatment had no effect on expression of contact sensitivity. Chromium supplementation increased (P < .05) Hct ond 14 and 21 and serum Ca and Mg on d 7.