Effects of added spray-dried whole colostrum and spray-dried plasma on veal calf health and performance
The study objective was to evaluate the effects on calf health and performance from supplementing either whole spray-dried colostrum (SDC) or additional spray-dried plasma (SDP) on top of a spray-dried plasma-containing (5.2% plasma inclusion rate, otherwise all-milk) veal starter formula (fed days 1 – 57) and a spray-dried plasma-void veal finisher formula (fed days 58 - 140). Auction-sourced Holstein bull calves (n=128; approximately one week of age) were randomly placed in individual, raised stalls for ten weeks and were then reared as pairs loose-housed. Treatment pairs were equally placed within each row, i.e. calves in stalls 1 and 2 were fed supplemental WPC/dry fat blend control (WPC), calves in stalls 3 and 4 were supplemented SDP/dry fat blend and calves in stalls 5 and 6 were supplemented SDC. SDC contained 13% IgG and SDP/dry fat blend was formulated to also contain 13% IgG. Both SDC and WPC were 44.3% CP and 18.1% fat. In order to be formulated with 13% IgG and 18.1% fat, SDP had to contain 57.3% CP, resulting in SDP-fed calves receiving an additional 200 grams of CP over the feeding period verses SDC or WPC. Calves experiencing FPT (<5.5 g/dL serum total protein) were 70.4%, 76.2% and 83.3% of all calves in WPC-, SDP- and SDC-fed groups, respectively. The calves were fed formula and supplemented 25 grams/feeding (2X/day) of the respective supplement week 1, 15 grams/feeding week 2, 10 grams/feeding weeks 3 – 5, 5 grams/feeding weeks 6-7 and 2.5 grams/feeding weeks 8 – 20, when slaughtered. Accounting for total solids intake, calves were started on a 25:18 (CP:Fat), increased to 871 grams / day of a 21:18 by 21 days age (medicated to day 21) and 1,742 grams per day of a 20:18 by 53 days age. Calves received no dry feed. Data was analyzed using F-test for variances and student t-test comparing two means. Calves fed additional SDP outgained (P<0.05) WPC by +2.52 kg days 1 – 53 (SDC was intermediary). SDC tended (P<0.077) to outgain WPC by +8.57 kg days 53 – 140 (SDP was intermediary). SDP and SDC reduced incidences of refusals (P<0.05). SDC tended (P<0.082) to reduce the number of calves treated verses SDP (WPC intermediary). SDC and SDP improved intake. SDP improved 53 day gains.