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Open AccessArticle

Parenteral Cu Supplementation of Late-Gestating and Lactating Iberian Red Deer Hinds Fed a Balanced Diet Reduces Somatic Cell Count and Modifies Mineral Profile of Milk

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Animal Science Techniques Applied to Wildlife Management Research Group, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Universitario sn, 02071 Albacete, Spain
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Sección de Recursos Cinegéticos y Ganaderos, Instituto de Desarrollo Regional, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Universitario sn, 02071 Albacete, Spain
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Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología Agroforestal y Genética, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos y Montes, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Universitario sn, 02071 Albacete, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(1), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010083
Received: 9 December 2019 / Revised: 26 December 2019 / Accepted: 28 December 2019 / Published: 3 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism)
The benefits of Cu supplementation have been reported for male deer and cows. In deer, supplementation with this mineral is frequent in males even in animals receiving balanced diets. The benefits of Cu supplementation for antler cortical thickness in adult deer and for deer meat characteristics have also been demonstrated. Since Cu supplementation of cows has positive effects to achieve optimal offspring growth, it could be interesting to assess such effects for hinds since this mineral is transported across the placenta and has an important role in animal growth. Our results in lactating hinds showed that Cu supplementation decreased the number of somatic cells, improving the health quality of the milk and indicating a lower risk of mastitis. It also increased Ca and K content of milk, although not that of Cu. This is the first study demonstrating that Cu supplementation during late-gestation and lactation in hinds fed a balanced diet could be a good strategy to reduce somatic cell count (improving the health quality of milk) and modify the mineral profile of milk increasing its Ca content.
This study describes the effects that Cu supplementation of late-gestating and lactating females (hinds) of Iberian red deer fed a balanced diet have on milk production, composition, and somatic cell count (SCC). Experimental hinds (n = 9) were subcutaneously injected every 42 days with Cu (0.83 mg Cu/kg body weight) from day 202 of gestation until the end of lactation (week 18). Control hinds (n = 8) were injected with a physiological saline solution with the same volume and at the same frequency as the experimental group. Copper supplementation decreased the SCC from 1.64 to 1.36 log 10/mL (p = 0.003) and modified the milk mineral profile. In particular, milk from hinds supplemented with Cu had more Ca (p = 0.02), Mg (p = 0.06), and K (p = 0.03) than milk from control hinds. However, Cu supplementation did not influence the Cu content of milk. Therefore, it can be concluded that Cu supplementation of hinds fed a balanced diet from late-gestation to the end of lactation could be a good strategy to reduce SCC and modify the mineral profile of milk increasing its Ca content. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cu supply; Iberian hinds; lactation stage; milk nutrient; milk production; offspring growth Cu supply; Iberian hinds; lactation stage; milk nutrient; milk production; offspring growth
MDPI and ACS Style

Pérez Serrano, M.; García, A.J.; Landete-Castillejos, T.; Cappelli, J.; Gómez, J.Á.; Hidalgo, F.; Gallego, L. Parenteral Cu Supplementation of Late-Gestating and Lactating Iberian Red Deer Hinds Fed a Balanced Diet Reduces Somatic Cell Count and Modifies Mineral Profile of Milk. Animals 2020, 10, 83.

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