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Effects of selenium biofortification of hayfields on measures of selenium status in cows and calves consuming these forages

Effects of selenium biofortification of hayfields on measures of selenium status in cows and calves consuming these forages

Journal of Animal Science 95(1): 120-128

ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8812

PMID: 28177352

DOI: 10.2527/jas.2016.0943

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the Se status of weaned calves (Exp. 1) and pregnant cows and newborn calves (Exp. 2) consuming bermudagrass [ (L.) Pers.] fertilized with Se. Sodium selenate was dissolved into water (8.8 g/L) and sprayed onto hayfields. Selenium-fertilized forage had greater ( ≤ 0.001) Se concentration compared with the control forage without Se fertilization (7.7 ± 1.81 vs. 0.1 ± 0.04 mg Se/kg DM and 10.8 vs. 0.1 mg Se/kg DM for Exp. 1 and Exp. 2, respectively). In Exp. 1, beef calves ( = 32; 176 ± 8.7 kg initial BW) were stratified by BW and randomly assigned to pens (16 pens; 2 calves/pen). Treatments were randomly assigned to pens, including control (no supplemental Se), Se hay, or sodium selenite ( = 2, 7, and 7 pens, respectively). A 42-d pair-feeding design was used, wherein each pen receiving Se hay was paired to a pen receiving sodium selenite. Blood and liver samples were collected on d 0, 21, and 42. Liver Se concentrations were greatest ( ≤ 0.005) on d 42 for calves provided Se hay compared with calves provided sodium selenite or control. This difference was attributed only to paired-feeding groups consuming <3 mg Se daily. In Exp. 2, mature, late-pregnancy cows were randomly assigned to 3 treatments: Se hay ( = 12), sodium selenite ( = 9), or control (no supplemental Se; = 6). Cows assigned to the sodium selenite and Se hay treatments were provided 2.5 mg of supplemental Se daily. Upon enrollment, cows were moved into individual feeding areas at an estimated 30 d prior to calving. Following calving, cotyledon and colostrum samples were collected from cows. Four days later, liver and blood samples were collected from both cows and calves. Selenium-supplemented cows had greater ( ≤ 0.001) liver, cotyledon, plasma, and whole blood Se concentrations compared with cows not receiving supplemental Se. Furthermore, cows provided Se hay tended ( = 0.11) to have greater liver Se concentrations compared with cows provided sodium selenite. Calves born to Se-supplemented cows had greater ( = 0.001) plasma Se concentrations than calves born to cows receiving no supplemental Se. Furthermore, calves born to cows provided Se hay tended ( = 0.06) to have greater plasma Se concentrations compared with calves born to cows provided sodium selenite. These data imply that Se biofortification of hayfields is an effective method to increase Se concentration of forage. Consumption of these forages result in increased Se status of weaned calves, periparturient cows, and their calves.

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