Phytogenic as feed additive for suckling dairy calves’ has a beneficial effect on animal health and performance
Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the use phytogenic as feed additive of Holstein calves could exert beneficial effects on animal health and performance. Thirty newborn calves were randomly divided into two groups (control and treated), and the treated consisted of 10 g of the phytogenic product diluted in milk once a day for 30 days. Blood and fecal samples were collected, and fecal score was performed daily in order to determine the occurrence of diarrhea. Treated calves showed higher hematocrit on days 45 and 60 of life. Serum levels of urea, total proteins, globulins and glucose were lower in the treated group on day 60 of life, while triglycerides were lower on days 15 and 60 of life. Serum glutathione S-transferase activity was higher in treated animals on day 60 of life. Fecal bacterial count was lower in treated animals on days 30 and 60 of life. The weight gain was higher in treated animals on days 60 and 210 of life. Based on these results, it is possible to conclude that the addition of phytogenic as feed additive for calves was able to minimize fecal bacterial infections and to increase body weight gain.