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Effect of methods of introducing purchased calves to ad libitum systems of warm milk replacer feeding on their performance

, : Effect of methods of introducing purchased calves to ad libitum systems of warm milk replacer feeding on their performance. Irish Journal of Agricultural Research 24(1): 21-32

Friesian bull calves [260] (approximately aged 7 days at purchase) were used in 4 experiments to evaluate methods of introducing calves to automatic feeders. The incidence of diarrhea and liveweight gains were recorded for the periods 1-21 and 1-42 days, respectively. In Experiment 1 calves (20/treatment) in 4 treatment groups were either introduced to automatic feeders dispensing milk replacer at 100 g dry matter [DM] l and assisted for 7 days (A7) or 1 day (A1) or given a 7-day preparatory period of nipple (N7) or pail (P7) feeding before introduction to the feeder. Treatments N7 and P7 did not reduce the incidence of diarrhea. Calves on P7 had significantly lower liveweight gains than those on other treatments in the period 1-21 days but not in the period 22-42 days. In Experiment 2, calves (40/treatment) were introduced to automatic feeders which were dispensing milk replacer containing either 100g DM/l (A100) or 200g DM/l (A200). After 4 days, Treatment A200 was discontinued as 3 calves had died and 8 others were critically ill. Calves given Treatment A200 showed a significantly increased incidence of diarrhea (0.45 vs. 0.20). In Experiment 3, the calves (20/treatment) were allocated to automatic feeders dispensing milk replacer containing 100g DM/l (A100) or 50g DM/l (A50). The incidence of diarrhea was 0.55 and 0.10 and liveweight gains were 670 and 580 g/day, respectively. In Experiment 4, calves (30/treatment) were allocated to automatic feeders dispensing milk replacer containing either 100g DM/l (A100) or 50g DM/l (A50) which was gradually increased to 100g DM/l solution over 15 days (A50/100). The liveweightgains were 630 and 640 g/day, with an incidence of diarrhea 0.30 and 0.03, respectively.


DOI: 10.2307/25556099

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