The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of lactose inclusion in calf starters on plasma glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and GLP-2 concentrations and gastrointestinal tract development in calves. Holstein bull calves (n = 45) were raised on an intensified nursing program using milk replacer containing 28.0% CP and 15.0% fat, and were fed a texturized calf starter containing 0 (control), 5.0 (LAC5), or 10.0% (LAC10; n = 15 for each treatment) lactose on a DM basis. Lactose was included in the starter by partially replacing dry ground corn in pelleted portion of the starter. All calf starters were formulated with 23.1% CP. The ethanol-soluble carbohydrate concentrations of the control, LAC5, and LAC10 starters were 7.3, 12.3, and 16.8% on a DM basis, respectively. Starch concentrations of the control, LAC5, and LAC10 starters were 29.7, 27.0, and 21.4% on a DM basis, respectively. All calves were fed treatment calf starters ad libitum. Blood samples were obtained weekly from 1 to 11 wk of age, and used to measure plasma GLP-1, GLP-2, and insulin concentrations, serum β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentration, and blood glucose concentration. At 80 d of age, calves were euthanized, and weights of the reticulorumen, omasum, abomasum, small intestine, and large intestine tissue were measured. Serum BHB concentration was higher for calves fed the LAC10 (171 μmol/L) starter than for those fed the control (151 μmol/L) and LAC5 (145 μmol/L) starters. Plasma GLP-1 and GLP-2 concentrations did not differ between treatments. However, relative to the baseline (1 wk of age), the plasma GLP-1 concentration was higher for the LAC10 (125.9%) than for the LAC5 (68.2%) and control (36.8%), and for the LAC5 than for the control (36.8%). Moreover, similar differences between treatments were observed for GLP-2 concentration relative to the baseline (88.2, 76.9, and 74.9% for LAC10, LAC5, and control treatments, respectively). The serum BHB concentration was positively correlated with the plasma GLP-1 concentration (r = 0.428). Furthermore, the plasma GLP-1 concentration was positively correlated with the insulin concentration (r = 0.793). The weights of the reticulorumen, omasum, abomasum, small intestine, and large intestine were not affected by the treatments. In conclusion, inclusion of lactose in calf starters resulted in higher plasma GLP-1 and GLP-2 concentrations, and BHB might be associated with higher plasma GLP-1 concentration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology