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Immunological effects of feeding macroalgae and various vitamin E supplements in Norwegian white sheep-ewes and their offspring

Novoa-Garrido, Margarita; Aanesen, Lise; Lind, Vibeke; Larsen, Hans Jørgen S.; Jensen, Søren K.; Govasmark, Espen and Steinshamn, Håvard (2014) Immunological effects of feeding macroalgae and various vitamin E supplements in Norwegian white sheep-ewes and their offspring. Livestock Science, 167, pp. 126-136.

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Summary

It is assumed that ewes raised in areas with long indoor winter feeding periods need to be supplemented with vitamins or other substances that help to maintain the health status of the animals. Various supplements are available on the market, but the most widely used supplemental antioxidant and vitamin E source is synthetic all-rac-α-tocopheryl acteate. The objective of the present study was to compare potential vitamin E and immune stimulant sources with synthetic vitamin E regarding bioactivity associated with immunological parameters in order to identify alternatives to synthetic vitamin E for small ruminants. Sources tested were meal of the seaweed Ascophylum nodosum and natural RRR-α- tocopheryl acetate. Forty pregnant ewes were randomly allocated to four treatment group with two replicates (5 ewes in each replicate). The treatments were supplements containing seaweed (SW: 546 g Ascophylum nodosum/kg), natural vitamin E (NatE: 562.5 mg RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate/kg), synthetic vitamin E (SyntE: 1125 mg all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate/kg), or no extra seaweed or vitamin E (control). The supplements were fed at an isoenergetic daily rate, on average 144 g DM/ewe for SW and 114 g DM/ewe for the three other treatments, from mating until start grazing season (200 days). It was assumed that 0.5 mg RRR- α-tocopheryl acetate was equal to 1 IU=1 mg all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate. The planned supplementation in the SyntE and NatE treatments were 140 IU vitamin E/ewe daily, and the daily supplemental rate was on average for the whole experimental period 20, 146, 121 and 4 IU in SW, SyntE, NatE and C treatments, respectively. The ewes and their newborn lambs were monitored throughout the entire indoor feeding period. Supplementing pregnant ewes with natural vitamin E had a positive effect on immunity against Mycobacterium sp. in the lambs, whereas supplementing ewes with seaweed interfered with the passive immunity of the offspring resulting in a mortality rate of 35%, compared with 10% in C, 5.6% in NatE and 0% in SyntE. The adaptive immunity of the lambs was not affected by seaweed supplementation. In the ewes, it seemed that supplementation with either seaweed, natural vitamin E or synthetic vitamin E had no beneficial health effects, and serum IgG concentrations were reduced in the seaweed treatment group.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:α-tocopherol, Antioxidant, Ascophyllum nodosum, Feed supplement, Immunological parameters, Sheep, NatVit
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Sheep and goats
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Norway > Bioforsk - Norwegian Institute for Agriculture and Environmental Research > Bioforsk Arctic Agriculture and Land Use Division
Norway > Bioforsk - Norwegian Institute for Agriculture and Environmental Research > Bioforsk Organic Food and Farming Division
Norway > NVH - Norwegian School of Veterinary Science
ISSN:1971-1413
DOI:10.1016/j.livsci.2014.05.021
Deposited By: Steinshamn, Dr Håvard
ID Code:26259
Deposited On:16 Dec 2014 15:09
Last Modified:16 Dec 2014 15:09
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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