Effects of protected fish oil in the diet of periparturient dairy goats on phenotypic variation in blood and milk leukocytes
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 March 2010
The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary protected fish oil (FO) on phenotypic variation in blood, milk leukocytes, and some productive and metabolic parameters in periparturient dairy goats. About 12 Alpine goats, selected from a larger group of second-parity animals, were fed from 15 days before kidding until the 15th day of lactation with the same basal diet that had been supplemented with either 47 g/head per day of FO or 47 g/head per day hydrogenated palm oil (PO). Dry matter intake, live body weight (LBW), body condition score (BCS), and productive performance were evaluated in 2 weeks after kidding. On days 15, 7, and 2 before kidding and days 2, 7, and 15 after kidding, plasma samples were collected for evaluation of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, non-esterified fatty acids, glucose, beta-hydroxybutyrate, cholesterol, and urea levels. White blood cell and blood leukocyte subsets were counted in whole blood samples on the kidding day, as well as at 1, 4, and 15 days after kidding. In addition, milk somatic cell count, intramammary infection (IMI), and milk leukocyte subsets were evaluated on days 4 and 15 after kidding. No differences were observed in dry matter intake and BCS, while LBW was higher in FO-fed animals. Milk production and composition, plasma metabolites, and liver enzymes were similar in both experimental groups. Blood CD4 positive cells increased constantly (P = 0.05) in FO-fed group, while CD8 and CD14 cell counts significantly increased 4 days after kidding (P < 0.01). Milk leukocyte subsets showed a significant (P < 0.01) decrease in PO-fed group and a non-significant increase (P = 0.34) in FO-fed group, despite the presence of coagulase negative staphylococci IMI. The results of the productive performance evaluation agreed with those of many other studies, which did not find any significant differences between dairy goats fed diets enriched with FO or PO supplements. The administration of FO to dairy goats in transition appeared to affect the variation in blood leukocytes with a constant increase in CD4- and CD8-positive cells in comparison with a PO fat-supplemented diet.
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