Effects of Mn supplementation in late-gestating and lactating red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) on milk production, milk composition, and calf growth
Landete Castillejos, Tomás
García Díaz, Andrés José
Gómez, José Ángel
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This study describes the effects of Mn supplementation of 20 late-gestating and lactating Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) females (hinds) fed a balanced diet on milk production and milk composition over the lactation period. Body weight of their calves at birth and at weaning was also evaluated. In addition, the effect of lactation stage was studied. For these purposes, 2 groups of hinds, one composed by 12 individuals (experimental) and the other by 8 individuals (control) were compared. Experimental hinds were s.c. injected weekly with Mn (2 mg Mn/kg BW) from day 140 of gestation until the end of lactation (week 18; forced weaning by physical separation). Control hinds were injected with a physiological saline solution with the same volume and at the same frequency as the experimental group. Serum Mn content of hinds was assessed just before the first Mn injection and at week 10 of lactation to assess whether the injected Mn increased Mn concentrations in blood. No differences were observed for BW of calves at birth but calves whose mothers were injected with Mn tended (P = 0.07) to have greater gain of BW from birth to weaning in proportion of BW at birth compared to calves from control hinds. In addition, supplementation with Mn increased (P ≤ 0.05) daily milk production by 10.2%, milk fat content by 11.2%, and total fat yield by 17.8%. Also, milk from hinds supplemented with Mn had more Ca (P < 0.001) and P (P < 0.05) than milk from control hinds. Manganese supplementation did not influence Mn serum content when blood was analyzed at week 10 of lactation, but increased the Mn content of milk by 18.3% (P < 0.001). Lactation stage affected (P < 0.001) fat, protein, lactose, and DM. Their contents increased as lactation proceeded, and protein was substituted by fat. Therefore, results suggest that Mn supplementation of hinds is recommended, even when they are fed a balanced diet, to increase milk production and the content of fat, Ca, P, and Mn of milk.