Effect of a beta-carotene supplementation to dry cows on IgG concentration in the blood of calves

Raemy, Mireille; Burren, Alexander; Probst, Stefan (2019). Effect of a beta-carotene supplementation to dry cows on IgG concentration in the blood of calves In: Book of abstracts of the 70th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (p. 181). Wageningen, The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers

The reduction in the use of antibiotics through alternatives is a current topic for farmers. A beta-carotene supply to dry cows might contribute to a better calves’ health due to a higher antibodies concentration in the calves blood. This hypothesis was verified through a feeding trial with 60 dry cows on 4 different farms in Switzerland. On each farm the dry cows were divided into two groups, one control group without beta-carotene and one test group that was supplied with 600 mg beta-carotene per cow per day during at least the last 14 days of gestation. Calves were fed with colostrum of their mother within 6 hours after birth. Between 24 and 72 hours after birth IgG concentration of the calves’ blood was measured using a semi-quantitative quick test (Fassisi Bovine IgG, Fassisi, Goettingen, Germany). Blood IgG concentration was analysed using a generalized linear mixed model with binominal distribution. The probability to attain an IgG concentration in the blood higher than 10 mg/l was 65% in the control group and 93% in the test group, respectively (P=0.012). A concentration higher than 10 mg/l is described in the literature as necessary to ensure an effective immunity transfer and good health of the calves during their first weeks. We conclude that a supply of beta-carotene to dry cows might be a possibility to support calves health during their first weeks of life and therefore reduce the use of antibiotics. Further research is required to identify the optimal amount of beta-carotene supplementation to dry cows.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Resource-efficient agricultural production systems
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Agriculture


Raemy, Mireille;
Burren, Alexander0000-0001-9948-7039 and
Probst, Stefan0000-0003-4703-8789




Wageningen Academic Publishers




Stefan Probst

Date Deposited:

06 Jan 2020 11:27

Last Modified:

18 Dec 2020 13:29



Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Provide Feedback