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See detailEfficiency of haplotype-based methods to fine-map QTLs and embryonic lethal variants affecting fertility: Illustration with a deletion segregating in Nordic Red cattle
Kadri, Naveen Kumar ULg; Sahana, Goutam; Guldbrandtsen, Bernt et al

in Livestock Science (2014), 166

Despite its importance, fertility has been declining in many cattle populations. In dairy cattle, this decline is often attributed to the negative correlation between fertility and productions traits ... [more ▼]

Despite its importance, fertility has been declining in many cattle populations. In dairy cattle, this decline is often attributed to the negative correlation between fertility and productions traits. Recent studies showed that embryonic lethal variants might also account for a non-negligible fraction of the fertility decline. Therefore identification of such embryonic lethal variants is essential to improve fertility. We herein illustrate, with an example of a large recessive lethal deletion recently identified in Nordic Red cattle, that haplotype-based method are particularly efficient to identify such embryonic lethal variants. We first show that haplotypes can be used in traditional QTL mapping approaches and that they present very high linkage disequilibrium with underlying variants. Haplotypes can also be used in scan for lack of homozygosity. Indeed,if a haplotype is associated to a recessive lethal variant, significantly fewer living individuals will be homozygote for that haplotype than expected. For both approaches, haplotype- based methods were particularly efficient. The lack of homozygosity approach achieved higher significance than the QTL approach. Only frequent variants can be detected with both approaches unless huge genotyped cohorts are available. An alternative approach would rely on identifying potential harmful variants in next-generation sequencing data followed by the genotyping of a larger population for these variants. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic analysis of pig survival up to commercial weight in a crossbred population
Dufrasne, Marie ULg; Misztal, Ignacy; Tsuruta, Shogo et al

in Livestock Science (2014), 167

Records from 99,384 crossbred pigs from Duroc sires and Large White x Landrace dams were used to estimate genetic parameters for survival traits at different stages of the fattening period, and their ... [more ▼]

Records from 99,384 crossbred pigs from Duroc sires and Large White x Landrace dams were used to estimate genetic parameters for survival traits at different stages of the fattening period, and their relations with final weight. Traits analyzed were preweaning mortality (PWM), culling between weaning and harvesting (Call), culling during the farrowing period (Cfar), in the nursery site (Cnur), during the finishing phase (Cfin), and hot carcass weight (HCW). Because of the binary nature of PWM and culling traits, threshold-linear models were used: Model 1, including PWM, Call, and HCW; Model 2, including PWM, Cfar, Cnur, Cfin, and HCW. Both models included sex and parity number as fixed effects for all traits. Contemporary groups were considered as fixed effect for HCW and as random effects for the binary traits. Random effects were sire additive genetic, common litter, and residual effects for all traits and models. Heritability estimates were 0.03 for PWM, and 0.15 for HCW with both models, 0.06 for Call with Model 1, and 0.06 for Cfar, 0.14 for Cnur, and 0.10 for Cfin with Model 2. Litter variance explained a large part of the total variance and its influence declined slightly with age. For Model 1, genetic correlations were -0.36 between PWM and Call, -0.02 between PWM and HCW, and -0.25 between Call and HCW; correlations for litter effect were -0.15 between PWM and Call, -0.19 between PWM and HCW, and -0.21 between Call and HCW. For Model 2, genetic correlations were all positive between PWM and culling traits, except between PWM and Cnur (-0.61). Genetic correlations between HCW and the other traits were moderate and negative to null. Correlations for common litter effect were all negative between traits, except between Cfar and Cfin, and between Cnur and Cfin. Heritability of PWM and culling traits increased with age period. Therefore, selection for survival after weaning may be more efficient. The low genetic correlations between PWM and culling traits suggest that different genes influence pre- and postweaning mortality. The HCW was not correlated with the other traits. However, relationships are not strongly unfavorable, therefore selection for survival and high final weight is possible. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of permanent use of feeding stalls as living area on ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions for group-housed gestating sows kept on straw deep-litter
Philippe, François-Xavier ULg; Laitat, Martine ULg; Wavreille, José et al

in Livestock Science (2013), 155

In pig production, the interest for litter systems in relation with animal welfare and the ban by 2013 in the EU of individual accommodations for gestating sows could promote the group-housing of ... [more ▼]

In pig production, the interest for litter systems in relation with animal welfare and the ban by 2013 in the EU of individual accommodations for gestating sows could promote the group-housing of gestating sows on deep-litter. However, compared to slatted-floor systems, few data are available on the gaseous emissions associated with the different modalities of rearing sows on deep-litter. In this study, two modalities were compared: group housing on a 3 m2/sow deep-litter or on a 1.8 m2/sow deep-litter plus 1.2 m2/sow concrete floor. In both cases, sows were fed in individual feeding stalls (1.2 m2/stall) but the access was limited at feeding time in the first case and permanent in the second one. Three successive batches of 10 gestating sows were used. Each batch was divided into 2 homogeneous groups randomly allocated to one of two treatments: fully (3 m2/sow) or partly (1.8 m2/sow) straw-based deep-bedded floor. The groups were kept separately in two identical rooms with same volume and same surface, equipped with five individual feeding stalls in contact with a pen of either 9 or 15 m2 deep-litter. The feeding stalls were equipped with front feeding troughs and rear gates allowing or not permanent access to the stalls outside of feeding times. Between each batch, the pens were cleaned. In both rooms, ventilation was automatically adapted to maintain a constant ambient temperature. The gas emissions (nitrous oxide, methane, carbon dioxide, ammonia and water vapour) were measured 3 times (weeks 2, 5 and 8 of stay) during 6 consecutive days by infrared photoacoustic detection. Sow performance was not significantly affected by floor type. With sows kept on partly bedded floor, gaseous emissions were significantly greater for methane (12.76 vs. 9.90 g/d.sow; P<0.001), carbon dioxide (3.12 vs. 2.90 kg/d.sow; P<0.01) and water vapour (4.70 vs. 4.03 kg/d.sow; P<0.001), and significantly lower for nitrous oxide (3.14 vs. 6.12 g/d.sow; P<0.001) and CO2 equivalents (1.24 vs. 2.10 kg/d.sow; P<0.001) compared to sows housed on fully bedded floor. There was no significant difference for ammonia emissions (8.36 vs. 7.45 g/d.sow; P>0.05). From the present trial in experimental rooms, it can be concluded that keeping group-housed gestating sows on partly straw bedded floor with permanent access to the concrete feeding stalls compared to fully straw bedded floor did not significantly influence animal performance and NH3-emissions, and decreased CO2eq-emissions (-40%). This decrease was observed owing to an important decrease of N2O-emissions (-49%). [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic variability of the mid-infrared prediction of lactoferrin content in milk for Walloon Holstein first-parity cows
Leclercq, Gil ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg et al

in Livestock Science (2013), 151(2-3), 158-162

The objective of this study was to assess the genetic variability of the mid-infrared prediction of lactoferrin content in milk (pLF) in Holstein first-parity cows. Variance components were estimated by ... [more ▼]

The objective of this study was to assess the genetic variability of the mid-infrared prediction of lactoferrin content in milk (pLF) in Holstein first-parity cows. Variance components were estimated by Average Information Restricted Maximum Likelihood using a single-trait test-day random regression animal model. The dataset included 395,287 test-day records from 67,178 cows in 1190 herds from the Walloon Region of Belgium. Average pLF was 164.89. mg/L and the standard deviation was 76.07. mg/L. Frequency distribution for pLF was slightly asymmetrical, and pLF seemed to increase almost linearly all along the first lactation after a sharp decrease in early lactation. Genetic variance of pLF increased with days in milk within lactation while the permanent environmental variance was the highest in early lactation, then decreased to become lower than genetic variance at 50 days in milk, and finally increased in the last lactation stages. The pLF was a moderately heritable trait. Daily heritability of pLF was the lowest at 5 days in milk (0.19), then increased to reach a maximum at 260 days in milk (0.44), and finally decreased for the last stages of lactation (0.35 at 365 days in milk). Results from this study indicated that pLF is variable and heritable over the lactation and therefore it could be changed by genetic selection. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. [less ▲]

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See detailChanges in intestinal microbial ecophysiology as related to the carbohydrate composition of barleys and oats cultivars in an in vitro model of the pig gastrointestinal tract
Bindelle, Jérôme ULg; Pieper, Robert; Leterme, Pascal et al

in Livestock Science (2010), 133

The influence of variation in carbohydrate (CHO) composition within the same type of cereal on intestinal fermentation patterns and microbial community composition in the pig is unknown. Ten hulless ... [more ▼]

The influence of variation in carbohydrate (CHO) composition within the same type of cereal on intestinal fermentation patterns and microbial community composition in the pig is unknown. Ten hulless barleys (HLB), 6 hulled barleys (HB), 6 oats (O) and 6 oat groats (OG) were studied in vitro. These cultivars differed in β-glucan, non-starch polysaccharides (total, soluble and insoluble), starch content and structure. They were hydrolyzed enzymatically, inoculated with pig feces and fermented for 72h. Fermentation kinetics was modelled, and microbial composition and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) profiles analyzed using TRFLP and gas chromatography. Multivariate analysis revealed that microbial profiles, SCFA and fermentation parameters were affected by CHO composition but differently according to the grain type (HLB, HB, O or OG). Members of Clostridium cluster XIVa were associated to higher amylose contents and butyrate production in HB cultivars and in HLB cultivars. Several clostridia phylotypes were positively influenced by β-glucan content in HLB and HB. Cellulolytic Ruminococcus-like bacteria were increased with cellulose content in HB, HLB and OG and these bacteria tended to increase acetate production in general. Bacteroides-like bacteria were positively affected by amylopectin and starch content of barley cultivars. Cereal cultivars differing in CHO composition can alter the pig intestinal microbial ecophysiology to possibly improve gut health. [less ▲]

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See detailIn vitro fermentation characteristics for pigs of hulless barleys differing in β-glucan content
Jha, Rajesh; Bindelle, Jérôme ULg; Rossnagel, Brian et al

in Livestock Science (2010), 133

Isolated non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), especially isolated β-glucan, are reported to have prebiotic effects in pigs. However, little information is available on their possible functional properties ... [more ▼]

Isolated non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), especially isolated β-glucan, are reported to have prebiotic effects in pigs. However, little information is available on their possible functional properties when they are still present in the fibrous matrix of whole cereals. Hulless barleys (hB) are rich but variable sources of β-glucan. In order to evaluate their potential as functional feeds, an in vitro experiment was carried out to study the fermentation characteristics of 6 hB varieties and breeding lines varying in their β-glucan content (36–99 g/kg DM) in comparison to three hulled barleys (HB), two oat groats, three oats and one wheat, taken as reference. After pepsin–pancreatin hydrolysis, the ingredients were incubated in a buffered mineral solution and pig faeces (inoculum). The accumulated gas production, proportional to the amount of fibre fermented, was measured for 48 h and modelled. Short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) and ammonia concentrations were measured in the fermented solutions. A cereal type effect (Pb0.05) was observed on the fermentation kinetics parameters. Rates of degradation and total gas productions were higher with hB than with oat (Pb0.05). Differences were also found between hB for total gas production, lag time and rate of degradation (Pb0.01). The production of SCFA was also higher with hB (6.1 mMol/g DM incubated; Pb0.05) than with hulled barley and oat (4.9 and 2.9 mMol/g DM incubated respectively). In contrast, oat generated higher ammonia (Pb0.05) production (1.4 mMol/g DM incubated, on average) than both hB and HB (1.0 mMol/g). In conclusion, hB are better fermented, produce more beneficial (SCFA) and less harmful (ammonia) metabolites and have a better potential than other cereal species to modulate gut microbiota and improve gut health. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimation of genetic and crossbreeding parameters for daily milk yield of Ayrshire × Sahiwal × Ankole crossbred cows in Burundi
Hatungumukama, G.; Detilleux, Johann ULg

in Livestock Science (2008)

The pedigree of 317 cows of which 184 were controlled for milk production has been used to estimate crossbreeding parameters for daily milk yield of Ayrshire, Sahiwal and Ankole crosses in the Mahwa ... [more ▼]

The pedigree of 317 cows of which 184 were controlled for milk production has been used to estimate crossbreeding parameters for daily milk yield of Ayrshire, Sahiwal and Ankole crosses in the Mahwa station. Lactating cows belonged to one of 6 different genetic groups defined on the basis of the mating system used to produce them. REML estimates of the genetic parameters were obtained with a repeated animal model using daily milk records. Estimated heritability (h2) and repeatability (r2) were 0.27 and 0.36, respectively. The genetic group effects were used to estimate crossbreeding parameters following Dickerson's genetic model. Estimates for the additive effects for daily milk yield of Ankole, Sahiwal and Ayrshire breeds were − 1.66l, − 0.48l and 5.22l, respectively. Estimates of direct heterosis for daily milk yield for Sahiwal × Ankole, Ayrshire × Ankole, and Ayrshire × Sahiwal crosses were 1.97l, 2.30l and − 2.33l, respectively. [less ▲]

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See detailLinseed oil supplementation in diet for horses: Effects on palatability and digestibility
Delobel, Agathe; Fabry, Christophe ULg; Schoonheere, Nicolas ULg et al

in Livestock Science (2008), 116

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See detailComparison of ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions during the fattening of pigs, kept either on fully slatted floor or on deep litter
Philippe, François-Xavier ULg; Laitat, Martine ULg; Canart, Bernard et al

in Livestock Science (2007), 111(1-2), 144-152

Five successive batches of fattening pigs were raised, each during a four month period, on a totally concrete slatted floor in one experimental room and on straw based deep litter in another. The rooms ... [more ▼]

Five successive batches of fattening pigs were raised, each during a four month period, on a totally concrete slatted floor in one experimental room and on straw based deep litter in another. The rooms were automatically ventilated to maintain a constant ambient temperature. Available floor space was of 0.75 in m(2) per pig kept on the slatted floor and 1.20 m(2) per pig kept on the deep litter. With this last system, about 46 kg of straw were supplied per pig throughout a fattening period. The slurry pit was emptied and the litter removed after each batch. Once a month, the emissions of ammonia (NH3) nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2O) were measured continuously for 6 consecutive days by infra-red. photoacoustic detection. The performance of the animals was not significantly different according to the floor type. Gaseous emissions from pigs raised on the slatted floor and on the deep litter were, respectively, 6.2 and 13.1 g per pig per day for NH3, 0.54 and 1.11 g per pig per day for N2O, 16.3 and 16.0 g per pig per day for CH4, 1.74 and 1.97 kg per pig per day for CO2 and 2.48 and 3.70 kg per pig per day for H2O. Except for the CH4 emissions, all the differences were significant (P<0.001). Thus, pig fattening on deep litter releases nearly 20% more greenhouse gases than on slatted floor, with 2.64 and 2.24 kg of CO2 equivalents, respectively (P<0.001). Whatever the floor type, emissions increased from the beginning to the end of the fattening periods by about 5 times for NH3, 4 times for N2O, 3 times for CH4 and 2 times for CO2 and H2O. Correlation coefficients between CO2-emissions and H2O, NH3 and CH4 emissions were, on average for both floor types, 0.82, 0.77 and 0.74, respectively. Although rearing pigs on straw generally has a good brand image for the consumer, this rearing system produces more pollutant gases than keeping pigs on slatted floors. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect Of Bovine Colostrum Supplementation On Cytokine mRNA Expression In Weaned Piglets
Boudry, Christelle ULg; Buldgen, André; Portetelle, Daniel ULg et al

in Livestock Science (2007), 108(1-3), 295-298

The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of a bovine colostrum supplementation on the immune Th1/Th2 response in weaned piglets. After weaning at 21 days, 21 piglets were fed daily ad libitum ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of a bovine colostrum supplementation on the immune Th1/Th2 response in weaned piglets. After weaning at 21 days, 21 piglets were fed daily ad libitum with a starter diet supplemented for 3 weeks with 0, 1 or 5 g of bovine colostrum. Growth performances were measured weekly. Spleen and gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT) (ileal Peyer’s patch (iPP), jejunum wall (JW) and mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN)) biopsies were collected on each piglet after the 3 weeks treatment and analyzed for their cytokine mRNA expression (IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-12 and IFN) by RT-PCR. Growth performances were not affected by bovine colostrum (P > 0.05). In the colostrum groups, the iPP cells showed higher IL-4, IL-10 and IL-12 cytokine levels (P < 0,05), associated with a decrease of IFN-γ (P < 0,01) and no effect on IL-2 production (P > 0,05). IL-10, IL-2 and IL-12 productions increased (P < 0,05) in MLN, with no effect on IFN-γ and IL-4 levels (P > 0,05). The IL-12 production was also increased (P < 0,01) in JW cells with no modification for the other cytokine. No modification of cytokine production was observed in the spleen (P > 0,05). These results suggest an immunomodulatory effect of bovine colostrum on the GALT which answered by producing, at different levels, both Th1 pro-inflammatory cytokines - IL-2, IFN-γ and IL-12 - and Th2 anti-inflammatory cytokines - IL-4 and IL-10. This bipolarity of the Th1/Th2 response protects the weaned piglets from both allergic (food) as well as infectious (pathogens) diseases. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of non-genetic and crossbreeding factors on daily milk yield of Ayrshire x (Sahiwal x Ankole) cows in Mahwa station (Burundi)
Hatungumukama, G.; Sidikou, D. L.; Leroy, Pascal ULg et al

in Livestock Science (2007), 110(1-2), 111-117

The study was carried out at the Mahwa station located in Bututsi natural region in South of Burundi at 1850 m of altitude. The objective of the study was to assess the effects of days in milk, cow's ... [more ▼]

The study was carried out at the Mahwa station located in Bututsi natural region in South of Burundi at 1850 m of altitude. The objective of the study was to assess the effects of days in milk, cow's calving age, type of crossbreeding, year and month of lactation, parity on daily milk yield of crossbreds Ayrshire (AY) x Sahiwal (S) x Ankole (A) cows. Milk yields were obtained from 9 cows (S) that have been both milked and suckled during the entire lactation, on 8 cows (M) only milked during the entire lactation and on 150 cows (SM) suckled before and milked after weaning. Data were analyzed using the procedure GLM in SAS for S,M, and SM cows separately. All factors affected significantly daily milk yields (P < 0.001). Least-squares means (LSM) for daily milk yields were highest at the 8th (7.16 +/- 0.07 1), 8th (7.63 +/- 0.35 1), and 7th (7.34 +/- 0.39 1) day in milk for SM, S and M lactations, respectively. The Wood model was able to detect 2 main groups of curve shape: standard for SM and S cows and atypical decreasing for M cows. An important decrease in milk production was observed around the 120th day in SM cows corresponding to the weaning period. Crossbreeding improved milk production and highest yields were observed with 50% to 75% of Ayrshire inheritance (LSM = 5 +/- 0.05 to 5.51 +/- 0.02 1/day). A significant increase was observed from 1977 to 1992 due to the improvement of genetic and management techniques. During this period, LSM raised from 1.26 +/- 0.11 1 to 4.74 +/- 0.03 1 per day for SM cows. Unfortunately, the 1993 civilian war destabilized the managerial techniques and consequently, the milk production decreased in Mahwa station, In all cows, milk production was significantly higher from December to May (LSM - 3.96 +/- 0.03 1/day) during the rainy season than in September (LSM = 3.12 +/- 0.03 1/day) at the end of the dry season. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of purified dietary fibre on bacterial protein synthesis in the large intestine of pigs, as measured by the gas production technique.
Bindelle, Jérôme ULg; Buldgen, André; Michaux, David et al

in Livestock Science (2007), 109

Microbial fermentation of non-digestible carbohydrates in the pig's large intestine induces a shift of N excretion from urea in urine to bacterial protein in faeces. Experiments were carried out to ... [more ▼]

Microbial fermentation of non-digestible carbohydrates in the pig's large intestine induces a shift of N excretion from urea in urine to bacterial protein in faeces. Experiments were carried out to measure the mineral N incorporation by the pig intestinal microflora using 5 purified carbohydrates in a gas-test: starch (S), cellulose (C), inulin (I), pectin (P) and xylan (X). Fermentation kinetics was modelled. N source in the buffer solution was replaced by 15N labelled NH4Cl. The bacterial N fixation was determined at mid-fermentation, measuring 15N incorporation into the solid phase of the buffer. The bacterial N fixation was higher (Pb0.001) with I and S (19.9 and 18.1 mg N/g incubated DM), compared to P, C and X (8.7, 5.9 and 5.5 respectively). Inulin and S were fermented also more rapidly, even if I (0.081 h−1) and C (0.074 h−1) showed lower half time fractional rate of degradation than S (0.153 h−1), P (0.133 h−1) and X (0.104 h−1). The insoluble dietary fibre content of the substrates was negatively correlated to bacterial N fixation (r=−0.957, P=0.011). The high crude protein content of P (32.5 mg g−1DM) might explain the lower impact of this substrate on bacterial N fixation, despite its rapid fermentation. Beside the proportion of insoluble fibre, the N content and the rate of fermentation seem to be the major factors influencing bacterial protein synthesis. Further studies including ingredients with variable content of indigestible protein and mean retention time in the pig's intestines are necessary. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative responses to sodium selenite and organic selenium supplements in Belgian Blue cows and calves
Guyot, Hugues ULg; Spring, P.; Andrieu, S. et al

in Livestock Science (2007), 111(3), 259-263

Belgian Blue (BB) beef cattle is particularly prone to selenium (Se) deficiency due to the poor Se content of soil and roughages on rearing farms and the higher requirements of this hypermuscled breed ... [more ▼]

Belgian Blue (BB) beef cattle is particularly prone to selenium (Se) deficiency due to the poor Se content of soil and roughages on rearing farms and the higher requirements of this hypermuscled breed. The goal of this trial was to compare the effects of different forms and concentrations of Se supplementation on Se status, health and performance in 60 pregnant Se-deficient BB cows. Cows were allocated to 3 experimental groups receiving selenized-yeast at 0.5 ppm Se on total ration (Y-Se 0.5), Na-selenite at 0.5 ppm Se on total ration (Na-Se 0.5) and Na-selenite at 0.1 ppm Se on total ration (Na-Se 0.1), respectively. Cows were supplemented from 2 months before calving until 2 months after calving. Data on performance, health and Se status of the dams and their calves were analyzed using a linear model, least squares means and logistic regression. At the end of the study, plasmatic Se (pSe) was significantly higher (P<0.01) in cows receiving Y-Se than in cows from other groups. Glutathion-peroxidase in erythrocytes (GSH-pxe) was higher in Y-Se and Na-Se 0.5 than Na-Se 0.1 group (P<0.01). Se content in colostrum and milk was significantly higher (P< 0.01) in Y-Se than other groups. At birth, Se status of calves from group Y-Se was significantly higher than those of other groups (P<0.01). Plasmatic Se in calves remained higher for 75 days after birth in Y-Se compared to other groups (P<0.01). Diarrhoea was the most commonly observed disease in the calves and, during the first 15 days of life, diarrhoea occurred in 6%, 21% and 35% of calves from groups Y-Se, Na-Se 0.5 and Na-Se 0.1, respectively. Over the whole 75 days trial period, incidence of diarrhoea was 19, 29 and 65%, respectively. Average daily gain (ADG) in calves born from Y-Se group of cows tended to be higher than in Na-Se 0.5 (P=0.06) and Na-Se 0.1 (P<0.05) but there was no difference between Na-Se 0.5 and Na-Se 0.1 (P>0.1). At the same dosage, Y-Se conferred better Se status in both dams and their calves than did Na-Se. Requirement of 0.1 ppm Se seems to be insufficient in BB to optimise health and performance. Regarding health status and ADG in calves, Y-Se seems also to result in better performance. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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