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The effect of different milk feeding levels on starter intake and subsequent performance and health of calves pre- and postweaning.

D. Ziegler

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06-22-2020

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Abstract:

M127
The effect of different milk feeding levels on starter intake and subsequent performance and health of calves pre- and postweaning.
D. Ziegler*1, H. Chester-Jones1, B. Heinz2. 1University of Minnesota Waseca, MN, 2University of Minnesota Morris, MN.

One-hundred eleven (2 to 5 d old) Holstein heifer calves (39.2 � 0.61 kg) from 2 commercial dairies were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 milk replacer (MR) treatments to evaluate the effect of different milk feeding rates on calf starter intake, performance and health pre- and post weaning from d 1 to 84. The study was conducted between September 2019 and January, 2020. All calves were fed a medicated (Decoquinate at 45.4 g/ton) texturized calf starter (CS; 18% CP as fed). Water and CS were offered free choice from d 1 to 56. All MR were formulated with all-milk protein and fed at a solids content of 13.5%. Treatments were as follows: (1) 20% CP:20% Fat non medicated MR, fed at 10.75% of BW 2� daily from d 1 to 35 and 1� daily from d 36 to weaning at d 42, (CON); (2) 28% CP:18% Fat MR formulated with Bio-Mos fed at 17.0% of BW 2� daily from d 1 to 21 and then switched to MR as in CON at 10.75% of d 1 BW 2� daily from d 22 to 35 and 1� daily from d 36 to weaning at 42 d, (MOD); (3) 28% CP:18% Fat MR as in MOD, fed at 17% of BW 2� daily from d 1 to d 42, then 1� daily from d 43 to weaning at d 49 (HI). Data were analyzed using the PROC mixed procedure of SAS and repeated measures analyses applied where appropriate. Total MR and CS intake were different (P < 0.05) across treatments 20.8, 57.5 kg for CON 27.1, 48.2 kg for MOD and 38.5, 38.4 kg for HI, respectively. Total DMI was not different (P > 0.05) averaging 35.1 kg intake. There was a significant increase (P < 0.05) in ADG d 1 to 56 and d 1 to 84 for HI compared with CON and MOD, averaging 0.85, 0.85; 0.75, 0.79; and 0.77, 0.79 kg/d, respectively. Average fecal scores d 1 to 56 were greater (P < 0.05) for HI and MOD compared with CON, (1 to 4; where 1 = normal, 4 = watery), averaging 1.42 compared with 1.33, respectively. The earlier weaning of calves fed MOD compared with HI MR feeding program resulted in greater CS intake for MOD, however they had similar performance (d 1 to 56) to CON fed calves negating early performance advantages.

Keywords: calf performance, calf starter, milk replacer.