Genetic Parameters of Serum Total Protein Concentration Measured with a Brix Refractometer in Holstein Newborn Calves and Fresh Cows

Aikaterini Soufleri*, Georgios Banos, Nikolaos Panousis, Alexandros Kougioumtzis, Vangelis Tsiamadis, Georgios Arsenos, Georgios E. Valergakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

The objective was to estimate the genetic parameters of serum total protein concentration in newborn calves (calfSTP) and post parturient dairy cows (cowSTP). The study included 1013 calves and 989 cows from 10 dairy farms. Calf blood samples were collected 24–48 h after parturition while cow blood and colostrum samples were collected in the first 24 h after calving. Blood serum total protein and colostrum total solids content were determined using a Brix refractometer. Chemical analysis of colostrum was performed with Milkoscan. Univariate mixed linear models were used to estimate the heritability of calfSTP and cowSTP and their genetic and phenotypic correlations with colostrum traits. The heritability estimates of calfSTP and cowSTP were 0.21 and 0.20 (p < 0.05), respectively. Strong genetic correlations (r > 0.90) were detected between calfSTP and colostrum total solids and protein content (p < 0.05). Corresponding phenotypic correlations were 0.31–0.33 (p < 0.05). No genetic or phenotypic correlations were detected with colostrum fat content while the respective correlations with lactose were negative (−0.82 and −0.19, p < 0.05). No genetic correlations were detected between cowSTP and colostrum traits and only a low negative phenotypic one with lactose was detected. The results confirm that genetic selection aiming to improve the passive transfer of immunity in newborn calves and general fresh cow health would be feasible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number366
JournalAnimals
Volume13
Issue number3
Early online date20 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 20 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • dairy cows
  • newborn calves
  • refractometer
  • total proteins

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