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Evaluation of branched-chain amino acid inclusion in milk replacers on growth and health of Holstein calves.

S. Y. Morrison



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Evaluation of branched-chain amino acid inclusion in milk replacers on growth and health of Holstein calves.
S. Y. Morrison*1, H. Gauthier1, A. Obata2, K. Hirano2, H. Uchihori2. 1William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute Chazy, NY, 2ZEN-NOH National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Association Tokyo, Japan.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA; Leu, Ile, and Val) are required in the diet but evaluation of BCAA in calf diets is limited. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of including BCAA in calf milk replacer (MR) on calf growth and health through 10 wk of age. Female Holstein calves (n = 52) were blocked by birth date and assigned to 1 of 2 milk protein-based MR formulated to contain 26% crude protein 18% fat, 2.34% Lys, and 0.72% Met (dry basis) in a complete block design. Treatments were a control MR (CMR) or a MR with additional BCAA included at concentrations observed in whole milk [SMR; Leu (2.81%), Ile (1.68%), and Val (1.89%)]. Intake of MR (wk 1—8), starter (wk 2—9), and hay (wk 7—9) and health scores were recorded daily through wk 9 of age. Body weight and stature measurements were recorded weekly through 10 wk of age. Blood was sampled at wk 2, 6, and 8 of age. Data were analyzed using the MIXED and GLIMMIX procedures in SAS. The model included the fixed effect of treatment, time, and block. Initial measures were used as a covariate when appropriate. Results are shown in Table 1. Initial BW (42.1 � 0.7 kg) and serum total protein (6.4 � 0.1 g/dL) were not different between treatments. No difference in intake, weight, and body stature measurements or fecal, respiratory, or hydration scores was observed between treatments. Additional BCAA in MR did not influence growth or health of calves but did decrease serum Met concentration and increase serum BCAA concentrations in the preweaning period.Table 1.

ItemCMRSMRTreatmentTimeTreatment � Time
Milk replacer, g/d1,0381,03540.62<0.0010.13
Starter, g/d533503500.69<0.0010.12
Hay, g/d776960.36<0.0010.26
Weight (wk 8), kg87.
Weight (wk 10), kg102.2102.01.70.93
ADG (wk 1—10), g/d890874170.53<0.0010.39
Gain:feed (wk 1—9), kg/kg0.650.630.010.28<0.0010.87
Serum Lys, mg/mL30.729.60.90.41<0.0010.62
Serum Met, mg/mL15.913.90.60.03<0.0010.02
Serum Ile, mg/mL17.422.90.5<0.001<0.0010.16
Serum Leu, mg/mL27.235.50.8<0.001<0.0010.27
Serum Val, mg/mL31.248.10.9<0.001<0.0010.01

Keywords: branched-chain amino acid, milk replacer, calf.