Ultrasonographic measurement of abomasal volume in calves after administering 4 liters colostrum through tube feeding.
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Aim of this study was to determine which amount of 4 liters colostrum administered to newborn calves by esophageal drenchers would enter the abomasum. This feeding strategy is used to provide calves sufficient amounts of immunoglobulins, in order to prevent failure of transfer of passive immunity (FTPI). To newborn calves (n = 4) 4 liters colostrum was administered by an esophageal drencher, within 2 hours after birth. Abomasal volume was determined using ultrasonography. Mean determined abomasal volume was 2.74 liters (CI 1.87 – 3.61). No correlation (- 0.134) was found between determined abomasal volume and administered volume. Determined abomasal volume was significantly different from administered volume (p = 0.025). In another newborn calf 2.1 liters of a solution of colostrum and barium-sulfate was provided by an esophageal drencher. X-rays and fluoroscopy was performed to determine localization of provided colostrum. Fluoroscopy showed a first entry of colostrum into reticulum and ruminal atrium, after which overflow to all ruminal compartments, omasum and abomasum occurs. No flow into duodenum was detected. This study clearly shows that the abomasum is unable to contain 4 liters colostrum. Also, this study shows colostrum is localized in all parts of the forestomachs and abomasum. Further research should be conducted to determine other effects of this feeding strategy applied on newborn calves.