Optimizing soybean flour-, whey powder- and colostrums ratios for rearing dairy calves

Author: C.W. Cruywagen
Year: 1982
Issue: 2
Volume: 12
Page: 103 - 112

The object of the study was to determine diet combinations consisting of soybean flour, whey powder and colostrum that can be employed in practice to decrease the pre-weaning rearing costs of dairy calves. In a mixture design experiment the soybean flour content of the liquid diets varied from l0 to 20%, the whey powder content from 40 to 60% and the colostrum content from 20 to 50%, on a dry mass basis. Each of 30 Friesian bull calves received a different diet combination during the pre-weaning period of 28 days. Body mass gains during the last l4 days of the trial, apparent digestibilities of dry matter, nitrogen and gross energy, as well as nitrogen retention increased systematically in proportion to decreasing soybean flour- and whey powder contents of the diet and a corresponding increase of the colostrum content. An important observation was that comparable results were obtained with specific colostrum levels, but different soybean flour- and whey powder levels. Compared with whole milk, all the experimental diets indicated an energy deficiency and as no concentrate was offered, mass gains were generally poor. The highest average daily gain, viz. 186 g occurred with a ration consisting of l0% soybean flour, 40% whey powder and 50% colostrum. Pre-weaning feeding costs were 82 to 89% lower in comparison with whole milk

Keywords: calves, colostrums, milk replacers, soybean flour, whey powder
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