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https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.21.0321    [Accepted] Published online October 29, 2021.
Effects of stress after road transportation and oral administration of chromium and meloxicam on plasma cortisol concentrations and behavior in dairy calves
Da Jin Sol Jung1  , Jaesung Lee1  , Do Hyun Kim1  , Seok-Hyeon Beak1  , Soo Jong Hong1  , In Hyuk Jeong1  , Seon Pil Yoo1  , Jin Oh Lee1  , In Gu Cho1  , Dilla Mareistia Fassah1  , Hyun Jin Kim1  , Myunggi Baik1,2,* 
1Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Korea
2Institutes of Green Bio Science Technology, Seoul National University, Pyeongchang 25354, Korea
Correspondence:  Myunggi Baik, Tel: +82-2-880-4809, Fax: +82-2-872-8583, Email: mgbaik@snu.ac.kr
Received: 16 July 2021   • Revised: 9 August 2021   • Accepted: 15 September 2021
Abstract
Objective
This study was performed to determine the effects of stress after road transportation and oral administration of chromium and meloxicam on growth performance, plasma cortisol, serum metabolites, and behavior in dairy calves.
Methods
A total of 50 Holstein heifers (average body weight [BW]: 172 ± 4.19 kg; average age: 5.53 ± 0.12 months) were randomly assigned to five groups including NL (not transported + D-lactose; 1 mg/kg BW), TL (transported + D-lactose; 1 mg/kg BW), TC (transported + chromium; 0.5 mg/kg dry matter [DM] feed), TM (transported + meloxicam; 1 mg/kg BW), and TMC (transported + combination of meloxicam and chromium; 1 mg/kg BW and 0.5 mg/kg DM, respectively). Doses of D-lactose monohydrate, meloxicam, and chromium were prepared for oral administration by suspension in 15 mL of water in a 20-mL dosing syringe. Blood was collected before transportation, immediately after 120 km of transportation (IAT), and at 6, 24, and 48 h after transportation.
Results
Neither transportation nor administration of meloxicam and/or chromium affected (p = 0.99) average daily gain and feed intake. Plasma cortisol concentrations in the NL group (average: 0.13 and 0.18 nmol/L, respectively) were lower (p<0.001) compared to the TL group (average: 0.39 and 0.61 nmol/L, respectively) at IAT and 48 h after transportation. At 48 h after transportation, cortisol concentrations were lower (p<0.05) in the TC group (average: 0.22 nmol/L) than in the TL group (average: 0.61 nmol/L), and TC calves had similar cortisol concentrations to NL calves. Lying duration (min/d) was shorter (p<0.05) in the TL group than in the NL group at 2 d after transportation. Lying duration was longer (p<0.05) for the TC and TMC groups than for the TL group at 2 d after transportation.

Conclusion

Transportation increased cortisol concentrations and affected lying behavior, while chromium administration reduced cortisol concentrations and changed lying behavior. Thus, chromium administration before transportation may be a viable strategy to alleviate stress elicited by road transportation.
Keywords: Chromium; Dairy Heifer; Meloxicam; Transportation Stress


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