Performance and health of dairy calves fed limited amounts of acidified milk replacer

Author: O. Güler, M. Yanar, B. Bayram and J. Metin
Year: 2006
Issue: 3
Volume: 36
Page: 149 - 154

To compare growth performance of Brown Swiss calves fed acidified milk replacer (AMR) at 8% of birth weight, 20 newborn calves were reared under a new calf-feeding programme. Body weights, total weight gains and gains in body measurements, feed intake and feed efficiency values determined at different stages of growth of AMR-fed calves were comparable to those of calves fed sweet milk replacer (SMR). Faecal consistency scores and percent days with diarrhoea of calves offered AMR from four to 35 days of age were respectively 0.4 and 19.1% lower than those fed SMR. Most of the behavioural parameters studied were not unfavourably influenced by acidification of the replacer. In conclusion, growth, feed intake and feed efficiency characteristics of Brown Swiss calves fed AMR or SMR were not different from each other. However, incidence of diarrhoea of the young calves was decreased and health status of the calves was improved with the feeding of acidified milk.

Keywords: Acidified milk substitute, behaviour, Brown Swiss, calf feeding, weight gain
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