The short-term physiological responses of 5 to 10-day-old calves to refeeding after 30 hours without food and up to 12 hours of transport were assessed by monitoring packed cell volume and plasma concentrations of total protein, glucose, triglycerides, urea and lactate. Samples were taken immediately before refeeding after three and 12 hours of transport and at the end of 30 hours without food, and in each case three hours later. Refeeding after fasting caused replenishment of plasma glucose concentrations to control levels and in some cases beyond. It was suggested that the overshoot in glucose concentrations, when it occurred, may have been caused by a temporary increase in insulin resistance as a result of metabolic adaptation to starvation. Refeeding after 12 hours transport also resulted in increased glucose concentrations. Thus, refeeding after transport and starvation was beneficial to the calves as it enabled rapid replenishment of depleted energy reserves.

SE, Todd, DJ Mellor, KJ Stafford, NG Gregory, RA Bruce, and RN Ward

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 60, Hamilton, 230-233, 2000
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