Murray State Theses and Dissertations


The objective of this trial was to evaluate the effects of amino acid profile and essential oil products on receiving calf growth and feed efficiency, as well as evaluate the effects of amino acid profile and essential oil products on fecal and blood Immunoglobulin A (IgA) concentrations as a marker for systemic and gastrointestinal tract immune status of receiving calves. One hundred-thirty crossbred calves (500-600 lbs) were transported to the ADM Animal Nutrition Research Facility in Mendon, IL. On d -1, cattle were weighed, dewormed, implanted, vaccinated, and a rectal temperature was recorded. An at-risk group of cattle was targeted for this trial. Based on initial BW and health status, cattle were allotted to 12 pens with 10 calves per pen so that each pen had similar weight and distribution of sick animals. Treatments were randomly assigned to pens with 2 pens per treatment. Initial body weights were similar (P = 0.99) among treatments. Cattle were weighed on days -1, 0, 21, 42, 63, and 64. Treatments were arranged in a 2 x 3 factorial design of AminoGain formula (AminoGain 6 or AminoGain 6 Plus) and essential oil product (no essential oil, Stay Strong EO, or Spearmint Extract). Individual animal intake was recorded from d 0-63 using the GrowSafe® cattle feeding system. Stay Strong EO was targeted to deliver 1 g / 100 lb body weight. Based on calculations, 1.07 g/100 lb body weight was delivered. Preliminary analysis indicated the Spearmint Extract was composed of 13% limonene and 70% carvone. The Spearmint Extract treatment targeted to deliver 40 ppm limonene and 220 ppm carvone. Once the analysis came back, the extract actually contained 0.08% limonene and 91.73% carvone. There is a possibility that limonene was oxidized to carvone subsequent to initial analysis. Three animals from each pen were randomly selected for fecal and sample collection. Blood and fecal samples were collected on d 0, 21, and 42 for analyses of IgA concentrations. An interaction of AminoGain 6 formulation by essential oil source resulted (P < 0.02) for cumulative ADG. Cumulative ADG did not differ (P > 0.05) with the addition of Spearmint Extract or Stay Strong EO to the AminoGain 6 formula. However, the addition of Spearmint Extract worsened (P < 0.03) cumulative ADG when added to the AminoGain 6 Plus formula. This was likely the result of cumulative feed intake tending (P ≤ 0.06) to be lower when the AminoGain 6 Plus x Spearmint Extract was fed. IgA concentrations in blood were not different (P > 0.05) as a result of treatment for any of the measured time points. The responsiveness of IgA assay to changing disease status make it an effective tool to assess gross disease state of receiving cattle. Further research is needed to determine the effects of using essential oil as a feed additive upon health and growth of cattle.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

IgA, GrowSafe System, Amino Acids, Essential Oils, Beef Cattle

Thesis Advisor

Brian A Parr

Committee Chair

Alyx M Shultz

Committee Member

Cheryl A Porr

Committee Member

Amanda J Davis

Document Type