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Effects of source of trace minerals and plane of nutrition on growth and health of transported neonatal dairy calves1

Journal of Dairy Science
American Dairy Science Association
DOI: 10.3168/jds.2011-5042
  • Trace Mineral
  • Calf Growth
  • Milk Replacer
  • Biology
  • Design
  • Medicine


Abstract The aims of the experiment were to evaluate the effects of source of trace minerals (TM) and plane of nutrition (PN) early in life on growth and health of transported calves. Ninety male Holstein calves <1wk old were assigned to treatments in a 2×2 factorial arrangement of PN and TM source in a randomized complete block design. Calves assigned to low PN (LPN) received milk replacer [22% crude protein (CP), 20% fat, 568g of powder/d for wk 1 to 4, and 284 g of powder/d for wk 5] plus ad libitum access to starter [18% CP, dry matter (DM) basis, for wk 1 to 12] and a limited amount of hay (0.5kg/d as fed, for wk 10 to 12); LPN calves were weaned at 6 wk. During wk 13 to 20, LPN calves were fed 3.2kg/d of grower mix (16% CP, DM basis) plus chopped hay for ad libitum intake. Calves assigned to high PN (HPN) received variable amounts of milk replacer (28% CP; 20% fat; and 810, 1,136, and 568 g of powder/d for wk 1, 2 to 6, and 7, respectively) plus ad libitum access to starter (22% CP, DM basis, wk 1 to 12) and limited hay (0.5kg/d as fed, for wk 10 to 12); HPN calves were weaned at wk 7. Calves assigned to HPN were offered grower mix for ad libitum intake plus a limited amount of chopped hay (0.5kg/d, as-fed basis) from wk 13 to 20. Milk replacers were formulated to contain balanced amounts of either inorganic (I) or organic (O) TM (50, 50, 10, and 100mg/kg of Zn, Mn, Cu, and Fe, respectively), whereas respective ITM or OTM starters and growers contained Zn, Mn, Cu, and Co at 70, 55, 12, and 1mg/kg. The HPN treatments increased final body weight and stature measurements, average daily gain, and gain-to-feed ratio through wk 20. Starter intake was lower for calves fed HPN. The OTM increased growth when supplemented to HPN but not when supplemented to LPN. During the liquid-feeding period, fecal scores were more fluid for calves fed HPN but measures of health status did not differ among diets. Results indicated that an enhanced nutritional program during early life allowed calves to have greater overall growth and maintain a normal health status throughout the preweaning period. High PN and OTM were synergistic in increasing early growth of calves.

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