Pre- and post-weaning performance of artificially reared calves. 1.High and low fat levels in milk replacers and cement kiln dus

Author: S. Couvaras
Year: 1979
Issue: 1
Volume: 9
Page: 41 - 46

Twenty-four Friesland-cross calves were reared artificially in a 22-factorial experimental design for a period of 13 weeks. The two factors and levels investigated were (1) the fat content of the milk replacer, viz. 20,8 per cent (F1) or 12,6 per cent (Fo) on an air-dry basis and (2) the amount of cement kiln dust added to the calf starter meal. viz. 3,5 per cent (C1) or 0 per cent(Co) of the air-dry ration. The average live mass gain over the weaning period for the group of calves receiving the high-fat (F1,) milk replacer was significantly higher than those receiving the low-fat milk replacer. viz: week 7 (P<0,01), week 8 (P < 0,001) and week 9 (P <0.01). Dry matter intake at weaning age was also significantly greater (P < 0,05) for the F1, group as compared to the Fo group. Over the entire experimental period the total live mass gain and feed conversion ratio for these two groups also differed significantly (58.71 kg and 2,15 vs. 50,14 kg and 2,47; P < 0.05 and P < 0,01 respectively). Although there were no significant differences in live mass gain at any stage between the C1 and Co groups, the dry matter intake of the Co group at weaning age was significantly higher (P< 0.05) than that of the C1 group. At this age there was also a significant (P < 0,05) interaction in both dry matter intake and live mass gain in the F1C1 group. The fat content of the milk replacer had a significant influence on the occurrence of diarrhoea – the highest incidence occurring amongst the calves receiving the low fat diet.

Keywords: calves, milk replacers
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