Inclusion of anti-phospholipase A2 antibody to backgrounding diets on performance, feed efficiency, in vitro fermentation, and the acute-phase response of growing beef calves.
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In Exp. 1, individual performance and daily DMI was measured on 70 crossbred weaned calves during a 70-d period using a GrowSafe system (GrowSafe Systems Ltd., Airdrie, AB, Canada) at the University of Florida North Florida Research and Education Center Feed Efficiency Facility (FEF). Calves were fed a low-concentrate (LC) growing diet, blocked by weight and sex, and then randomly assigned to pens to receive either no additional supplement (CON; n = 35) or receive a supplement of anti-phospholipase A2 antibody (aPLA2) at an inclusion rate of 0.6% of the diet DM (n = 35). After the 70-d feed efficiency (FE) trial (Phase 1), calves were loaded into a commercial livestock trailer and were driven for approximately 1,600 km during 24 h. Upon return to the FEF (Phase 2), calves were relocated to the same pens and groups and received the same diets and treatments for 28 d. Blood samples from each calf were collected on d 0, 1, 3, 5, 7, 14, 21, and 28 relative to initiation of transportation and were analyzed for determination of concentrations of plasma ceruloplasmin and haptoglobin. In Phase 1, initial BW (242.0 3.7 kg; P = 0.92), BW at d 70 (313.0 4.1 kg; P = 0.79), and ADG (1.01 0.02 kg; P = 0.95) were similar between treatments. However, daily DMI was greater (P = 0.01) for CON (9.18 0.15 kg) than aPLA2 (8.53 0.15 kg). In addition, residual feed intake was greater (P = 0.002) for CON (0.389 0.110 kg/d) than aPLA2 calves (-0.272 0.110 kg/d). In Phase 2, after transportation, there were no differences between treatments on BW loss due to transportation shrink (26.0 0.6 kg; P = 0.86), BW at d 28 (339.0 4.1 kg; P = 0.72), ADG (1.28 0.03 kg/d; P = 0.72), G:F (0.164 0.004; P = 0.83), and concentrations of plasma haptoglobin (0.08 0.02 mg/mL; P = 0.41). However, concentrations of plasma ceruloplasmin were greater (P < 0.001) for CON calves (14.3 0.3 mg/dL) compared to aPLA2 calves (13.0 0.3 mg/dL). In Exp. 2, the effects of aPLA2 inclusion on LC and high-concentrate (HC) substrates on in vitro fermentation parameters were assessed. Addition of aPLA2 had no effects on in vitro fermentation parameters of LC and HC substrates. In conclusion, supplementation of aPLA2 improved FE of growing beef calves when fed LC diets in Phase 1 and addition of aPLA2 had no effect on fermentation parameters of LC and HC substrates. In addition, calves supplemented with aPLA2 had reduced concentrations of plasma ceruloplasmin after 24 h of transportation.