Objective—To determine effects of breed and oral
vitamin E supplementation during late gestation on
serum vitamin E and IgG concentrations in beef cows
that calved in late winter and late summer and in
Animals—73 Angus and 43 Hereford primiparous
and multiparous cows and their calves.
Procedure—Cows in groups that were homogeneous
regarding breed and age distribution were randomly
allotted to groups that were orally supplemented
(n = 59) or not supplemented (57) with vitamin
E beginning 30 days prior to onset of 65-day calving
seasons. Supplemental vitamin E was provided in
a vitamin-mineral mix offered free-choice until parturition.
Procedure—Cows that calved in late winter and were
supplemented orally with vitamin E had higher serum
vitamin E concentrations at calving and after calving
than did unsupplemented cows; differences between
groups before calving were not significant. Calves
from supplemented multiparous cows had higher vitamin
E concentrations than did calves from unsupplemented
cows. Winter-born calves from supplemented
Hereford cows had heavier 205-day adjusted
weaning weights than did winter-born calves from
unsupplemented Hereford cows. Supplementation
did not affect vitamin E or IgG concentrations in
the herd that calved in late summer and did not affect
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Oral vitamin
E supplementation during late gestation may be economically
beneficial in certain cow-calf operations in
which late-gestation cows are consuming stored forages.
( Am J Vet Res 2001;62:921–927)
Objective—To determine effects of breed and supplemental
administration of vitamin E and selenium
(Se) during late gestation on circulating concentrations
of these micronutrients in periparturient Jerseys
Design—Randomized controlled clinical study.
Animals—16 Jersey and 36 Holstein cows.
Procedure—Cows were allotted to blocks on the
basis of breed and expected parturition date. Cows
within blocks were randomly assigned to be given vitamin
E or Se parenterally 3 to 4 weeks prior to anticipated
parturition in a 2 × 2 factorial design.
Results—Results of ANOVA indicated Jerseys had
higher blood concentrations of Se and lower serum
concentrations of vitamin E than Holsteins at the end
of lactation. Jerseys had higher blood concentrations
of Se than Holsteins 3 to 4 weeks prior to parturition
and at parturition. Selenium administration increased
blood concentrations of Se at parturition.
Administration of nutrients did not affect serum concentrations
of vitamin E at parturition or 2 to 3 weeks
after parturition or blood concentrations of Se 2 to 3
weeks after parturition.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Jerseys and
Holsteins consuming rations of comparable Se content
differ in blood concentrations of Se during the
nonlactating period, suggesting breed-related differences
in Se metabolism during late lactation and the
nonlactating period. Parenteral administration of Se 3
to 4 weeks prior to anticipated parturition increased
blood concentrations of Se at parturition; however, Se
concentrations of both groups at parturition were considered
within the reference range for clinically normal
cattle. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1052–1056)