Neonatal dairy calf nutritional strategies are constantly manipulated and explored as gastrointestinal development, growth, health, and cost are considered. Functional food incorporation is becoming increasingly important to eliminate fed antimicrobials. Alternative protein use is continuously research as competition for whey proteins increases. All programs need to result in the healthiest and well-grown calf possible, with a well-developed ruminant system before weaning, achieved by grain intake. These three studies investigate achieving these goals. Whey cream replacing a portion of conventional milk replacer (22% protein, 20% fat, DM basis) was successful with some tendencies for growth and health. The large amount (4% of BW) of high starch starter (38%) consumed by harvested calves showed signs of mild to moderate acidosis and gastrointestinal inflammation. A study replacing 5% of 22% whey protein with soy isolate led to similar performance and health when fed at a step-up method. A study comparing the interaction of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) on the plane of nutrition with an accelerated (28% protein, 21% fat, DM basis), resulted in most benefits with MCFA was combined with a high plane of nutrition. Although starter intake was greater for the low plane of nutrition, high plane of nutrition had increased body weight gain because energy intake between the treatments was not similar until week 6 of life. Harvested calves in this study (week 3) yielded interesting results about when maturation of the gut may begin in relationship to grain intake.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. July 2014. Major: Animal sciences. Advisor: Noah Litherland. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 90 pages.
Feeding strategies during the nursery phase of dairy calves to promote increased gastrointestinal development efficiency and reduced weaning costs.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.