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Estimation of minimum tolerated milk temperature for feeding dairy calves with small- and large-aperture teat bottles: A complementary dose-response study.

Authors
  • Ellingsen-Dalskau, K1
  • Mejdell, C M2
  • Holand, T3
  • Ottesen, N4
  • Larsen, S3
  • 1 Department of Animal Health and Food Safety, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Adamstuen, N-0106 Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Norway)
  • 2 Department of Animal Health and Food Safety, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Adamstuen, N-0106 Oslo, Norway. , (Norway)
  • 3 Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Adamstuen, N-0102 Oslo, Norway. , (Norway)
  • 4 Institute of Radiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Adamstuen, N-0102 Oslo, Norway. , (Norway)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Dairy Science
Publisher
American Dairy Science Association
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2020
Volume
103
Issue
11
Pages
10651–10657
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3168/jds.2020-18460
PMID: 32896411
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

At birth, calves are functionally monogastric and remain so for the first weeks of life. Milk in the rumen may cause indigestion, diarrhea, and reduced growth. Calves are often fed cold milk from a large-aperture teat, but warm milk and sucking behavior are believed to trigger the esophageal reflex. The aim of this study was to use radiography to estimate the lowest milk temperature that can be given to dairy calves at high and low intake rates without causing milk in the rumen. Our hypothesis was that cold milk drunk at high speed would cause insufficient closure of the esophageal groove and hence milk in the rumen. Fifteen Norwegian Red calves, 9 to 27 d of age, weighing between 45.5 and 71.0 kg, were tested according to the response surface pathway design. Each calf was offered 4 L of milk from both a small- (2 mm) and a large-aperture (19 mm) teat. The milk contained barium sulfate, and radiography was applied before, during, and after the milk meal. Following radiography, the calves were returned to a group pen and observed for 2 h using continuous live behavioral observation to detect signs of abdominal pain or discomfort. Starting with a low number of subjects and increasing this number with increasing design levels reduces the sample size without reducing the statistical power. The minimum milk temperature was estimated to be 8°C. No behavioral signs of pain or discomfort were observed, but shivering was noted in several calves drinking 8°C milk. These results strengthen the argument that calves can be fed large milk meals without risk of causing milk in the rumen, even cold milk drunk at high speed. The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. and Fass Inc. on behalf of the American Dairy Science Association®. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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