Effect of Milk Replacer Solids Content on Intake, Growth and Fecal Characteristics of Holstein calves

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Exhibit Hall AB (Kansas City Convention Center)
J. D. Quigley , Provimi North America, Brookville, OH
T. M. Hill , Provimi North America, Brookville, OH
H. G Bateman, II , Provimi North America, Brookville, OH
J. M. Aldrich , Provimi North America, Brookville, OH
R. L. Schlotterbeck , Provimi North America, Brookville, OH
Abstract Text: Increased energy intake during cold weather is required to maintain adequate calf growth.  Many producers have limited ability to increase volume of liquid offered to calves; therefore, increasing solids content (SC) of the MR solution can increase energy content of milk replacer (MR).  Common SC are 12 to 13%, but calves may be fed MR with SC up to 18% in some situations.  It is unclear whether changing SC may affect performance, intake or health of young calves fed MR.  Our objective was to compare different SC in calves fed MR to 56 d.  Holstein bull calves (n = 48; initial BW = 45.4 ± 4.0 kg; 2-3 d of age) were assigned randomly to receive a commercial MR (Nurture Plus EZ, Provimi North America, Brookville OH) at 0.625 kg of MR powder from 0 to 39 d, then 0.313 kg/d until weaning at d 42.  The MR (23% protein and 21% fat, DM basis) was diluted to 10.0, 12.5, 15.0, or 17.5% SC and offered twice daily in open pails.  Amount of reconstituted MR offered was 6.25, 5.00, 4.17 and 3.57 kg/d for 10.0, 12.5, 15.0 and 17.5% SC, respectively.  Texturized calf starter (CS; 20% CP, DM basis) and water were available for ad libitum consumption throughout the study.  Data were analyzed as a completely randomized design using a repeated measures ANOVA.  Orthogonal polynomials were used to determine linear and quadratic effects of SC.  Pen was the experimental unit.  There was no effect (P > 0.10) of SC on average daily gain (0.57 ± 0.027 kg/d), CS intake (0.74 ± 0.06 kg/d), MR intake (0.603 kg/d to weaning), gain to feed ratio (0.48 ± 0.017 kg ADG/kg DM intake), or hip width change (0.1 ± 0.01 cm/d) from d 0 to 56.  Number of abnormal fecal days and medical days preweaning declined linearly (P < 0.05) with increasing SC.  Number of preweaning abnormal fecal days were 0.22, 0.13, 0.13 and 0.07 ± 0.039 and preweaning medical days were 0.32, 0.25, 0.19 and 0.08 ± 0.056, respectively, for calves fed 10.0, 12.5, 15.0, and 17.5% SC.  Increasing milk replacer SC reduced abnormal fecal days and number of treatments.

Keywords: Calves, Milk replacer, Growth