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The effects of differential feeding on ileum development, digestive ability and health status of newborn calves

  • Wang, Jie
  • Chen, Yang
  • Li, Mianying
  • Xia, Siqi
  • Zhao, Kaisen
  • Fan, Huimei
  • Ni, Jiale
  • Sun, Wenqiang
  • Jia, Xianbo
  • Lai, Songjia
Published Article
Frontiers in Veterinary Science
Frontiers Media S.A.
Publication Date
Sep 08, 2023
DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2023.1255122
  • Veterinary Science
  • Original Research


Pre-weaning is the most important period for the growth and development of calves. Intestinal morphology, microbial community and immunity are initially constructed at this stage, and even have a lifelong impact on calves. Early feeding patterns have a significant impact on gastrointestinal development and microbial communities. This study mainly analyzed the effects of three feeding methods on the gastrointestinal development of calves, and provided a theoretical basis for further improving the feeding mode of calves. it is very important to develop a suitable feeding mode. In this study, we selected nine newborn healthy Holstein bull calves were randomly selected and divided into three groups (n = 3), which were fed with starter + hay + milk (SH group), starter + milk (SF group), total mixed ration + milk (TMR group). After 80 days of feeding Feeding to 80 days of age after, the ileum contents and blood samples were collected, and the differences were compared and analyzed by metagenomic analysis and serum metabolomics analysis. Results show that compared with the other two groups, the intestinal epithelium of the SH group was more complete and the goblet cells developed better. The feeding method of SH group was more conducive to the development of calves, with higher daily gain and no pathological inflammatory reaction. The intestinal microbial community was more conducive to digestion and absorption, and the immunity was stronger. These findings are helpful for us to explore better calf feeding patterns. In the next step, we will set up more biological replicates to study the deep-seated reasons for the differences in the development of pre-weaning calves. At the same time, the new discoveries of neuro microbiology broaden our horizons and are the focus of our future attention.

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