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Colostrum and whole milk feeding from birth until 4 weeks

, : Colostrum and whole milk feeding from birth until 4 weeks. Journal of Dairy Science 56(5): 683

Thirty-six Holstein calves were fed 3.6 kg of one of three liquid diets once daily from birth until weaning at 4 wk. Diets were: (1) colostrum (collected for five milkings postpartum and frozen), (2) whole milk, or (3) whole milk plus sufficient whey protein concentrate to bring diets 1 and 3 to similar amounts of whey protein. Colostrum feeding improved weight gains by 40% at week 1, 25% at week 2, 23% at week 3, and 10% for the entire 4 wk compared to whole milk. Mean weight gains (kg/day) from birth to 4 wk were .47, .43, and .44 kg for diets 1, 2, and 3. Performance of calves was not different among treatments from 4 to 10 wk. Dry matter consumption of a complete pelleted starter (80% grain and 20% hay) for the first 4 wk averaged .19, .27, and .24 kg per day for diets 1, 2, and 3. Colostrum-fed calves required less dry matter intake per kg gain (1.44) than did calves fed diets 2 and 3 (1.82 and 1.77). Incidence of scours tended to be greater for colostrum- fed calves. Serum protein values were similar for all calves.


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