TitleEffects of feeding pregnant beef cows selenium-enriched alfalfa hay on selenium status and antibody titers in their newborn calves.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsWallace LG, Bobe G, Vorachek WR, Dolan BP, Estill CT, Pirelli GJ, Hall JA
JournalJ Anim Sci
Date Published2017 Jun
KeywordsAnimal Feed, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Cattle, Colostrum, Dietary Supplements, Female, Immunization, Passive, Immunoglobulin G, Medicago sativa, Pregnancy, Red Meat, Selenium, Sodium Selenite, Yeast, Dried

In newborn dairy calves, it has been demonstrated that supranutritional maternal and colostral Se supplementation using Se yeast or sodium selenite, respectively, improves passive transfer of IgG. In beef cattle, agronomic biofortification with Se is a more practical alternative for Se supplementation, whereby the Se concentration of hay is increased through the use of Se-containing fertilizer amendments. It has been previously demonstrated that agronomic Se biofortification is an effective strategy to improve immunity and performance in Se-replete weaned beef calves. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of feeding beef cows Se-enriched alfalfa () hay during the last 8 to 12 wk of gestation on passive transfer of antibodies to calves. At 10 wk ± 16 d before calving, 45 cows were assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups with 3 pens (5 cows/pen) per treatment: Control cows were fed non-Se-fortified alfalfa hay plus a mineral supplement containing 120 mg/kg Se from sodium selenite, Med-Se cows were fed alfalfa hay fertilized with 45.0 g Se/ha as sodium selenate, and High-Se cows were fed alfalfa hay fertilized with 89.9 g Se/ha as sodium selenate; both the Med-Se and the High-Se groups received mineral supplement without added Se. Colostrum and whole blood (WB) were collected from cows at calving, and WB was collected from calves within 2 h of calving and at 12, 24, 36, and 48 h of age. Concentrations of IgG1 and J-5 antibody in cow colostrum and calf serum were quantified using ELISA procedures. Selenium concentrations linearly increased in WB ( < 0.001) and colostrum ( < 0.001) of cows and in WB of newborn calves ( < 0.001) with increasing Se concentration in alfalfa hay. Colostrum concentrations of IgG1 ( = 0.03) were increased in cows fed Se-biofortified alfalfa hay, but J-5 antibody ( = 0.43) concentrations were not. Calf serum IgG1 ( = 0.43) and J-5 antibody ( = 0.44) concentrations during the first 48 h of age were not affected by prior Se treatment of cows. These data suggest that feeding Se-biofortified alfalfa hay promotes the accumulation of Se and antibodies in colostrum but does not affect short-term serum antibody concentrations in calves.

Alternate JournalJ. Anim. Sci.
PubMed ID28727057