Impact On Productivity Of Feeding Pre Weaned Calves Biology Essay

The dairy husbandman has a scope of options to feed pre-weaned heifer replacing calves. Beef-cross calves and dairy bull calves are typically sold at 10-40 yearss of age at the local farm animal market. These animate beings besides need feeding in a cost-efficient mode, both to salvage provender costs and to bring forth a healthy, salable immature animate being.

Replacement raising costs are a important cost of a diary farm, and provender costs are a important proportion of the raising costs. Besides, other factors such as direction clip, accomplishing a good growing rate for mark weight additions required for entry into the milking herd at 24 months ( this facet is peculiarly of import for block calving ) and the extra direction and vetinary/medicine costs incurred by sick wellness are of import factors. Further, one time the animate being is in the dairy herd she needs to be healthy and populate a long life to be profitable.

The natural provender for pre-weaned calves is their female parent ‘s milk but calves are typically separated from their dikes 1-4 yearss after birth. Weaning occurs early ( typically 6-8 hebdomads ) because liquid provenders tend to be more expensive than solid provenders. So, there is a period of 38-55 yearss when a calf requires liquid provender. It would be possible to utilize tank milk but this is comparatively expensive and ‘loss of production ‘ would happen since a proportion of the output would necessitate to be used to feed the calves. Normally, dairy farms use powdery milk or shit ( antibiotic ) milk which are cheaper. Another option is to utilize a ‘suckler cow ‘ , which is breastfeeding but whose milk is unsuitable for sale. This may be due to her being on antibiotics or another drug with a milk backdown period ; or other grounds.

Any state of affairs where milk is pooled, or a calf receives fresh ( unpasteurized ) milk from a cow other than her dike, carries a hazard of disease spread via the milk. The chief concern is Johne ‘s disease.

Besides there is a concern that antibiotic milk leads to a physique up of antibiotic opposition in the calf, which might impact her intervention and forecast during rise uping or subsequently on in her productive life-time.

The different options of feeding pre-weaned calves carry widely different direction demands. For illustration, once-a-day eating is popular and if big Numberss of calves are reared together, automated/computerised feeding offers clip nest eggs.

Common facets – measure of provender

In nature, milk is available to calves ( about ) extemporaneous – from their dikes. In modern agriculture, in the first few yearss of life, this is the instance, so long as jobs such as mismothering or weak calf syndrome ( Dewell et al. , 2010 ) do non happen. This is a critical stage due to the demand of foremilk consumption, so if the calf does non intake plenty, it is necessary to step in.

In a modern dairy agriculture system, calves and their dikes are separated between 1-4 yearss after break uping. From this clip to ablactation, the measure of provender consumption is a direction factor.

The natural option is to seek to emulate the dike by offering milk ( or a replacement ) ad-lib. Ad-lib eating has been shown to increase liveweight addition no affair if the calf is devouring by suckling a cow ( Froberg, 2008 ) , imbibing milk from a mammilla ( Jasper and Weary, 2002 ) or imbibing milk replacer ( from a mammilla on an machine-controlled feeder ) ( Borderas, 2009 ) . Additionally, there are behavioral benefits such as a decrease in cross Suckling ( Froberg, 2008 ) . Fears of a decrease in solid provenders intake post-weaning and a subsequent growing cheque ( Passille et al. , 2011 ; Hepola, 2003 ) are unproved:

“ Ad libitum nipple eating of milk to dairy calves can let for increased milk consumption and weight addition with no damaging effects on consumption of solid nutrient after ablactating. ”

( Jasper and Weary, 2002 )

However this is expensive. So, restricted eating is the norm, and is perceived as the most economically efficient system. Over recent old ages, a ‘traditional ‘ system has been established where calves are fed about 5 liters milk ( replacement ) per twenty-four hours ( Dairyco, 2008 ) .

Liquid provenders ( pre-weaning ) are traditionally comparatively expensive. However, in some state of affairss, extemporaneous eating is an option ( or recommendation ) for a assortment of grounds:

The calf may be left on the dike. This should be done for organic calf raising:

“ 11.5.2

You should let calves to ablactate of course.


When natural ablactation is non possible you should merely ablactate calves when they are taking adequate solid nutrient to fulfill their full nutritionary demands.


Your calves ‘ diet should dwell of:

aˆ? foremilk, sooner suckled within six hours of birth

aˆ? organic whole milk, suckled from the dike or nurse cow until ablactating, and

aˆ? suckled milk one time or twice a twenty-four hours, beyond 12 hebdomads. ”

( Soil Association, 2010 )

High growing rate may be desired to suit the peculiar system ( eg veau )

Excess milk is available at cheap/no cost ( eg shit milk, a ill cow is available to further calves onto ) .

Traditional suckler herds besides efficaciously feed pre-weaned calves ad-lib, although the cow will typically give milk in sensible measures ( eg 10 liters per twenty-four hours, a suited sum for a calf to devour ) whereas a modern high familial virtue Holstein cow might give up to 60 liters per twenty-four hours.

Common facets – ablactation age

In traditional systems, milk or milk pulverization is much more expensive per unit of nutritionary benefit than solid provenders, so there is an economic inducement to ablactate calves every bit shortly as possible. Weaning age should non be the standards – it should be equal first stomachs development, as determined by sum of starting motor ( solid provender ) consumed per twenty-four hours ( Quigley, 1997 ) . This typically equates to 6-8 hebdomads for Holstein dairy calves. However if feed cheaper than solids is available, widening the weaning age makes economic sense.

There is some fluctuation in sentiments of the ideal ablactating age. In a survey by Passille et Al. ( 2011 ) the later weaned calves did better on qualitative steps:

“ Delaying the age at which calves are weaned off milk reduces the bead in energy consumption and behavioural marks of hungriness that consequence from ablactating. ”

When public presentation steps ( liveweight addition, bosom girth, hip tallness, withers height, and wellness steps such as fecal mark and respiratory mark ) were taken into history:

“ Management abilities, calf wellness and labour determine the best method to utilize for raising immature calves on single operations. Many direction combinations are possible for manufacturers ; nevertheless, ablactating calves every bit early as 4 hebdomads and one time day-to-day eating can be used to salvage clip and money by manner of decreased labour with no evident negative effects on calves through 8 hebdomads of age. ”

( Kehoe et al. , 2007 )

Experiments have been done where ablactation has been done every bit early as 3 hebdomads with no damaging consequence ( Kehoe et al. , 2007 ) and it was noted that provender costs and labour demand was less, the earlier they are weaned.

Weaning is a critical clip so it is of import to turn to any jobs at this clip.

“ Cross-sucking may be intensified during gradual ablactation ” .

“ Furthermore, there look to be jobs with cross-sucking around ablactating, particularly in calves fed big sums of milk, and there is a deficiency of cognition of the consequence of different ablactating methods on cross-sucking. ”

( Jensen, 2003 )

Organic calf rise uping imposes excess duties at ablactation, including her being at least 12 hebdomads of age. ( Soil Association, 2010 ) .

Common aspects – wellness risks/benefits

Johne ‘s disease

Johne ‘s disease is caused by an infection with the MAP ( mycobacteria avium races paratuberculosis ) bacteria ( XLVets, day of the month unknown ) . It is a disease which shows few symptoms in early life but subsequently on ( typically 3-6 old ages of age ) , causes scouring and weight loss despite normal provender consumptions. Subsequently on its clinical marks are bottle-jaw, bonyness and decease. It is basically irreversible. Even before decease, it has a production impact and the decreased length of service is typically half the engendering lifetime of an unaffected animate being. So from a production point of position, it is an of import disease.

It is spread from imbibing contaminated colostrum/milk from the dike, consuming droppings which may be present on the nipples ; contaminated provender and contaminated environment. While older animate beings remain susceptible, calves within the first 2 months of life are most at-risk ( DEFRA, 2004 ) . In rare instances it can be spread from the cow to the unborn calf.

It is wise to hold a wellness program in topographic point for Johne ‘s disease:

Know your wellness position. Isolate and prove any animate beings demoing clinical marks

If Johne ‘s is in the herd, follow safeguards such as culling affected animate beings, non retaining their progeny, hygiene during calving, and keeping biosecurity steps to restrict the spread ( including non pooling foremilk or milk from affected or fishy animate beings )

If the herd is Johne ‘s free, so the biosecurity steps should be approached from a somewhat different angle, by monitoring and guaranting the herd remains disease-free. Measures such as keeping a closed herd or purchasing known-status ( disease free ) animate beings in are critical. Pooling foremilk or feeding shit milk has no impact if the herd is disease free.



“ The presence of drug or antibiotic residues in milk and meat is illegal. ”

( Jones, 1999 )

There are several grounds why antibiotics are non allowed in milk. First, there is a concern that antibacterial opposition will develop in worlds, if antibiotics are consumed. Secondly, some people are extremely allergic to beta-lactam antibiotics and would endure a reaction to antibiotic milk ( NaturalCheck, 2008 ) . And thirdly, it is known to interfere with the production of dairy merchandises such as cheese, butter and yoghurt ( Jones, 1999 ) .

When a cow is treated with antibiotics, it is necessary to detect the backdown period which is detailed for each drug. This is determined after considerable research ( RUMA, 2005 ) .

A common misinterpretation is that organic milk is free of antibiotics, while non-organic milk is likely to be contaminated. This is untrue, but frequently used as an statement for organic.

Dump milk

The ordinances give rise to milk being collected ( individually from armored combat vehicle milk ) which, apart from holding a hazard of higher than MRL ( maximal residue bound ) antibiotics is otherwise normal. Milk is dumped for other grounds excessively, for illustration other wellness concerns of the cow might increase the bodily cell count, bactoscan sums or it may be visually faulty. For a big herd ( ie where fluctuations over clip are smoothed out due to big Numberss of cows/calves ) and depending on the sum of disease or antibiotic usage, there is normally adequate shit milk to adequately feed all the pre-weaned calves.

Antibiotic opposition

There is grounds that feeding calves antibiotic milk additions their opposition to antibiotics ( Langford et al. , 2003 ; Berge et al. , 2005 ) . In Langford et Al. ‘s survey, apart from the antibiotic opposition buildup, their public presentation ( based on weight addition ) was unaffected. Berge et Al. ( 2009 ) disagreed, and concluded that weight addition is affected ( albeit merely somewhat ) by antibiotics, and besides noted that their wellness ( determined by instances of diarrhea and febrility ) is poorer.

Benefits of antibiotics?

There is a school of idea that extra antibiotics ( over and above a disease intervention degree ) has a good curative consequence on calves, and it may be intentionally incorporated into milk pulverizations ( Alpharma, 2003 ) . However Donovan et Al. ( 2002 ) suggests that:

“ antibiotics in milk replacers can be replaced with compounds such as fructooligosaccharides, probiotics, and allicin to obtain similar calf public presentation ” .

Composition of milk

Fat, Protein, Carbohydrate

Milk is an emulsion of H2O and fat, with other ( non-fat ) solids of chiefly protein as casein and saccharide as milk sugar.

Typical composing is fat: 3.7 % , protein 3.4 % , carbohydrate 4.6 % , ash 0.7 % ( Jensen, 1995 ) . In the production of dairy merchandises, fat is the most valuable constituent, followed by protein.


Milk fat is of complex composing. 98 % are triacylglycerols ( Varnam and Sutherland, 1994 ) .


Over 80 % of the protein in milk is casein, the staying being whey proteins. There are 5 chief categories of casein. Whey proteins are beta-lactoglobulins, alpha-lactalbumins, proteose-peptones and little measures of blood-derived proteins, serum albumen, lactoferrin and Igs. Milk protein is of really high nutritionary value and supply indispensable amino acids ( Varnam and Sutherland, 1994 ; Jensen, 1995 ) .


Lactose is the dominant saccharide in milk.

Other components

Ash consists of minerals including an of import beginning of dietetic Ca, and a big figure of minor constituents including urea, about 50 enzymes including muramidase, fibrinolysin, lipoprotein lipase, catalase, lactoperoxidase and xanthine oxidase. These have of import functions in oxidizations of unsaturated fatty acids, gustatory sensation, and antimicrobic action and besides play a function in stableness during storage. Pasteurisation inactivates most of these. Besides present are vitamins A ( as the precursor beta-caratine ) , B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D, E, panththenic acid, niacin, vitamin H and folic acid. Vitamin A and D are present in dietetic important sums. The vitamin content of milk is strongly modified by losingss during processing and storage ( Varnam and Sutherland, 1994 ; Jensen, 1995 ) .

Mention must besides be made of contaminations which can come in milk, eg antibiotics, mycotoxins and radioactive stuff may be found when the cow is exposed or consumes these components.

How milk pulverization differs

Milk pulverization is non the same composing as milk ( solids constituents ) . The production procedure would render it more expensive than majority ( armored combat vehicle ) milk at its marketable monetary value. If this occurred it would be really unmerchantable. So it is manufactured to be cheaper, by replacing valuable constituents of milk with surrogates.

Fat beginning

Since milk fat is a valuable component of milk, milk pulverizations are made from byproducts of the dairy nutrient industry where the fat has been removed:

Skim milk byproduct of milk when the fat is removed automatically, from non-homogenised milk.

Buttermilk byproduct of butter production ( fat removed by churning )

Whey byproduct of cheese production ( fat removed by acidification so curdling )

The fat in powdery milk is so made up with other, cheaper fats/oils such as carnal oil ( Thickett et al. , 1988 ) , vegetable oil or coconut oil ( Webster, day of the month unknown ) . Animal oils are now banned from inclusion in calf provender ( Garnsworthy, 2005 ) .

Protein beginning

Skim milk pulverization ( or those based on buttermilk ) are rich in milk protein ( chiefly casein ) , holding about 35 % protein. However due to the denaturation of casein during heat intervention ( pasteurization ) they do non coagulate every bit much as natural milk ‘s protein, the consequence depending on the badness of heat intervention. Whey based pulverizations contain far less milk protein ( 12-13 % ) ( but higher in sugar ) and need to be supplemented with protein from other beginnings. Examples include soluble wheat gluten ( Garnsworthy, 2005 ) soybean, fish, single-cell man-made protein and high-protein wheys ( Thickett et al. , 1988 ) .

The sum of casein is of import because it is able to clot in the tummy of a calf, due to the action of rennin, which is an enzyme secreted by the fourth stomach of the calf, doing the liquid feed more able to be to the full digested over clip. This is of import for merchandises designed to be fed once-a-day.

Preparation for conventional or automated eating

Many milk pulverization makers produce a scope of pulverizations with versions designed/optimised for “ instant commixture ‘ or computerised/automated eating, the difference being the latter is designed to be a free flowing pulverization. This is typically achieved by utilizing a different procedure of adding fat ( homogenised, so added to liquid skim before spray drying ) and is somewhat more expensive to make. Non-machine mix pulverizations have their fat added by intermixing after drying, but this tends to chunk in shop.

Besides pulverizations can be made easier to blend by ‘instantisation ‘ , which is a procedure of retaining an agglomerative signifier in fluidiser beds and surfacing with lecithin during industry ( Thickett et al. , 1988 ) .

Shine Compumate, distributed by Richard Webster Nutrition Ltd, claims to be the lone milk pulverization specifically formulated ( as distinct from free fluxing physical belongings ) for computerised eating, in an effort to turn to some of the wellness issues:

“ Shine Compumate contains anti bacterial agents such as Lactoperoxidase, Lactoferrin and organic acids to guarantee disease degrees are minimised particularly around the nipple and provender station. Compumate contains high degrees of Vitamin C, E and organic Se to increase calf unsusceptibility. ”

( Webster, undated )


Acidified milk pulverizations were introduced in 1978 and are designed for a cold extemporaneous system. Mild organic acids are added to protract the maintaining clip before cleaning out is necessary ( direction clip salvaging ) . However the degree of sourness is of import. At excessively high a degree, casein precipitation occurs. The degree of sourness is by and large mild plenty non to impact gustatory sensation to the calf and affect consumption degrees. For non-casein milk pulverizations ( whey based ) the degree of sourness may be higher although this can be less acceptable to the calf ( Thickett et al. , 1988 ) .

Other additives ( munition )

There is a wide scope of components which may be added to milk pulverization by the maker:

Component added





Massey Feeds


GP Feeds


GP Feeds


( GP Feeds, xx ) ( Webster, undated )


( Robblee, 2003 ) ( Webster, undated )


( Webster, undated )

Vitamin C

( Webster, undated )

Vitamin E

( GP Feeds, xx ) ( Webster, undated )


( Terramycin and fradicin )

( Donovan et al. 2002 )


AureomycinA® ( Aureomycin ) .

( Alpharma, 2003 )


a blend of fructooligosaccharides, allicin, and gut-active bugs

Allicin is an organosulphur compound with questionable antibiotic and fungicidal belongingss )

( Donovan et al. 2002 )

( Amagase, 2001 )


An anticoccidal

( Massey Feeds ) ( Alpharma, 2003 )


an ionophore:

a chemical compound capable of organizing a composite with an ion and transporting it through a biological membrane

( Elanco, 2011 )

( Collins English Dictionary, 2011 )


Management issues

Feeding calves milk ( either tank milk or dump milk ) is best suited to feeding merely after milking, to continue the freshness of the milk. Besides if decently coordinated, about no reheating ( which is frequently done by adding hot H2O ) will be necessary, if its ‘straight out of the cow ‘ . With twice-a-day milking, the calves would hence be fed twice a twenty-four hours.

Once-a-day eating

Once-a-day eating of calves offers important clip and labour nest eggs ( Kehoe et al. , 2007 ) with no damaging consequence on growing rate or wellness. Many others ( Ackerman et al. 1969 ) have looked at this over clip and no damaging effects have been found.

It is deserving adverting that the ordinances require that calves are checked at least twice-a-day ( The Welfare of Farmed Animals ( England ) Regulations 2000 ) .

Automated eating

Milk pulverization offers the chance to blend the pulverization and H2O on demand, to provide ‘fresh ‘ milk ( pulverization ) to calves at any clip of the twenty-four hours. This could be set to offer extemporaneous, or up to a maximal sum per twenty-four hours or maximal figure of visits to the eating machine after which visits are empty-handed. This has the possible to offer farther time/labour nest eggs. Hepola ( 2003 ) noted that automated fed calves needed less medicine, but higher incidence of pneumonia and diahorroea. However this may be related to being housed in larger groups.

Grouping calves together

Many labour salvaging direction schemes rely on grouping calves together into larger and larger groups, to gain the labour nest eggs. Their possible cost nest eggs besides rely on being able to feed big Numberss of animate beings, to distribute the fixed costs.

Calfs should be grouped in similar size/age ranges to understate competition during eating and other times which are likely to emphasize the younger/smaller animate beings. Besides, the greater the figure of animate beings in each group, the more susceptible they are to cross-infection of a broad scope of diseases. So it is of import when measuring provenders to find if it is the provender itself, or the manner in which it is fed, which is a co-factor in the comparative virtue of that provender ( Hepola, 2003 ) .

Evaluation of available provenders


Cow ‘s milk is the obvious pick for feeding calves, so it should be included in an rating. A calf ( or any pre-weaned mammal ) needs nil more than her female parent ‘s milk. However, it is expensive compared to others, its monetary value being the salable monetary value of the milk. This is presently ( March 2011 ) 26.34p ( Dairyco, 2011 ) .

“ In world it makes no economic sense on most farms to feed whole milk to calves ”

( Webster, undated )

Besides, if a once-a-day government is desired, milk is unsuitable because to optimize solids intake, the solid per centum of the liquid provender demands to be about 20 % ( Webster, undated ) . Milk pulverizations can be assorted to 20-25 % solids ( ie ‘double strength ‘ ) .

In some instances this high monetary value can be justified, for illustration in organic milk production, the criterions require that at least 51 % of a calf ‘s provender is milk:

“ 11.5.7 Revised

The milk you feed to your calves must be:

aˆ? at least 51 % fresh, whole, organic milk ( preferably maternal milk ) , for at least 12 hebdomads, and

aˆ? no more than 49 % organic dried milk, skimmed milk pulverization or milk replacer which must be free from additives such as antibiotics, growing boosters or ingredients of carnal beginning ( except milk derived functions ) . ”

( Soil Association, 2010 )

It makes sense that milk should be used as a baseline for other provenders, even if it is non finally selected on cost evidences.

Milk Powder


Animal fat is easy digestible for immature calves, and was used for milk pulverizations in the yesteryear. This is no longer available ( as ordinances now prohibit it ) so milk pulverization makers are obliged to utilize vegetable fat.

“ The pick of vegetable fat greatly affects the growing of immature preweaned calves. ”

( Huuskonen et al. 2005 )

Research suggests that coconut oil is the best, rapeseed oil is good and cottonseed, maize, and soya bean oils give hapless public presentation. Once animate beings get older ( eg veau calves ) the beginning of oil is less of import ( Xu et al. , 1999 ) .


Manufacturers make bold claims about their peculiar blend of milk and non-milk proteins:

“ ProtimaxA® is rich in specific proteins to assist protect calves from the chief challenges of early life.

aˆ? Rotavirus

aˆ? Coronavirus

aˆ? Salmonella

aˆ? E. Coli

aˆ? Clostridium ”

( NWF, day of the month terra incognita )

Comparison between milk and non-milk proteins shows that ( milk based ) casein performs better, nevertheless non statistically significantly so ( Yuangklang et al. , 2004 ) .

“ By and large the higher the degree of milk merchandises in the replacer the better. ”

( Webster, day of the month terra incognita )

The frequence of eating is of import. When fed once-a-day, the curdling of milk in the calves stomach is of import, and this is strongly related to the sum of casein protein. So, whey-based pulverizations will be unsuitable where skim-based perform well.

Other constituents/fortification

Many of the additives are already present in milk, eg Ca, vitamins, etc. Without inside informations of sums of components in the milk used in fabricating the pulverization ; and the concluding merchandise, it is non known whether it is simply monitored, assumed or added to the merchandise, the merchandise labels of each milk pulverization merchandise would necessitate to be interpreted carefully.

The existent benefits of many of these additives is hard to set up because there is a deficiency of independent research – while information is available, many of the surveies are sponsored by provender companies and are published to look like scientific documents. Besides it is non clear whether each compound added would demo a benefit in isolation, or if it interacts with others. Additionally, a medicated additive may be effectual merely on calves under disease force per unit area. For illustration Deccox is available as an linear and marketed as assisting with subclinical coccidiosis ( Alpharma, 2003 ) But if calf direction were kept at high criterions the disease would be controlled anyhow.

One of the few scientific surveies shows lacroferrin is a benefit ( Robblee et al, 2003 ) .

Monetary values and fluctuations

An rating of milk pulverizations reveals that there is a broad fluctuation in types and monetary values of milk pulverization. Price information is by and large non published, but email correspondence with NWF Agriculture obtained these monetary values:


Based on

Monetary value

Monetary value expressed as ppl, assorted to 12 % DM content

Ultra Milk Yellow




Ultra Milk Blue

High quality whey



Ultra Milk Red




Note that all milk pulverizations cost less than salable milk ( mean 26.34p ) .

Milk pulverizations vary greatly in their composing when fat and protein are considered in item. Besides there are different merchandises for machine or pail eating. So is it of import to stipulate the milk pulverization demand for a given scenario accurately, in any comparing.

In decision, the best milk pulverizations are merely marginally worse than existent milk, and offer excess advantages ( such as possible to feed once-a-day, storage, easiness of usage etc ) . Cheaper milk pulverizations do n’t execute so good but are significantly cheaper.

Dump milk

Dump milk ( a superset of antibiotic milk ) is basically, a ?0 provender since it would otherwise be disposed of. For this ground, any rating should take into history that even if it performs less good compared to other provenders, so long as basic nutritionary demands are met and other issues can be worked around, it is still deserving utilizing.

Consistency of supply

Three factors are of import:

Number of cattles whose milk is non salable

The output from these cattles

The figure of calves which need feeding

It is expected the first factor varies well from farm-to-farm depending on the ‘healthiness ‘ of the herd and the sum of usage of antibiotics or other drugs which have a milk backdown period. Anecdotally, there is usually an surplus of shit milk so over clip, there is small likeliness of non adequate shit milk being available to feed calves, even if there is an exceeding figure necessitating fed. On the rare occasions when there is non adequate milk, so armored combat vehicle milk could be used ( which should be easier to pull off than exchanging to milk pulverization ) but this lone occurs a smattering of yearss per twelvemonth.

In herds with good wellness, it is expected that calf provender demands might transcend dump milk handiness more often – it could still be incorporated as a partial fulfillment of the eating of preweaned calves though. Equally, if dump milk is available in excess, so ablactating age can be extended to salvage solid provender costs with no damaging effects.

Risks – Johne ‘s disease, other

Using shit milk ( or tank milk ) increases the hazards of Johne ‘s disease spreading uncontrolled, but merely if one or more cattles in the herd suffer from it. For this ground, it is indispensable that a wellness program is in topographic point to cover with it. If non, so it would be reasonable non to feed shit ( or armored combat vehicle ) milk at all. Colostrum would necessitate to be managed carefully excessively.

Using a ill cow as a suckler cow

A system is proposed where a cow which, for assorted grounds can non fall in the chief herd and be milked in the parlor, may be housed with pre-weaned calves which are expected to suckle from her. The calves may/may non be her ain progeny, and there may be more than one calf per cow ( it would besides be possible to house more than one cow and a group of calves together ) . This at the same time solves many direction issues:

the eating of the calf

the milk let-down of the cow ( if she is left unmilked, she will endure uncomfortableness through milk back-pressure and dry off )

saves a trip to the parlor, eg if the cow is feeble

saves milk being gathered and dumped, eg if antibiotics used

It is hard to accurately find milk consumption, so research has measured other variables such as growing rate ( Roth et al. , 2009 ) , visits to the cow, proportion of empty-handed Suckling efforts ( Jensen, 2003 ) , etc. One survey nowadayss consequences including consumption of suckled milk ( foremilk ) but does non advert how these consequences were obtained ( Franklin et al. , 2003 ) .

There are a few jobs with the system

There is no accurate manner to cognize the consumption of milk from cow to calf. So it could be possible that a calf is non having sufficient provender. This might be exacerbated with & gt ; 1 calf or larger groups with & gt ; 1 cow.

The system imposes that a calf is housed with a cow – so disease hazards compared to calf lodging ( where it is entirely calves housed ) are present.

Evidence shows that feed consumptions are, in fact, much greater ( Wagenaar and Langhout, 2007 ) ; Franklin et Al. 2003 ) so this is non a serious issue ( ordinances still require calves are checked twice a twenty-four hours, so this should pick up issues with non-suckling calves ) . One side consequence of greater provender consumption might be scouring, although it is non clear whether this is caused by greater provender intake straight, or is a effect of the lodging agreements:

“ This can be explained by the tremendous milk amounts the calves consumed, which caused a high incidence of diarrhea. ”

( Roth et al. , 2009 )

But big consumptions of provender in itself might non do scouring:

“ No increased incidence of disease was found for high-fed calves ( extemporaneous and high volume milk groups ) . ”

( Borderas et al. , 2009 )

There are more qualitative benefits such as more natural behavior ( Wagenaar and Langhout, 2007 ; Roth et al. , 2009 ) including less cross Suckling ( Froberg and Lidfors, 2007 ) . However disadvantages include emphasis at ablactating ( Wagenaar, and Langhout, 2007 ) . If the system has calves suckling from healthy cattles ( eg organic might make this, for criterions conformity ) , so there is a loss of marketable milk. Many of the advantages and disadvantages of shit milk besides apply to this system, eg hazard of Johne ‘s disease spreading and consistence of supply.


It is possible to unite robotic milking and ( partial – portion of the twenty-four hours ) entree to the cattles by calves ( Froberg and Lidfors, 2009 ) ; or to unite regular parlors milking with partial entree.

Experiment Design

Choice of provenders to measure

While it is noted that armored combat vehicle milk is the obvious pick of provender for preweaned calves, its high comparative cost likely means that it would non be chosen. A suckler cow is an interesting direction scheme, but troubles in quantifying feed consumption and other act uponing factors such as lodging, consistence of supply, etc intend it is impractical to mensurate and give a meaningful comparing. Milk pulverizations vary greatly, so it is of import to guarantee its specification is suited for the usage.

Milk pulverization and shit milk will be evaluated.

Method and direction

It is proposed that brace of heifer calves on an all-year-round calving dairy farm are selected harmonizing to the undermentioned standards:

Any inveterate sick calves are excluded

Any ensuing from hard calvings are excluded

Underweight or overweight ( & lt ; 30kg or & gt ; 50kg ) calves are excluded.

In the first 4 yearss of life, the calves suckle foremilk from their dike so separated and fed bottle fed foremilk. The brace of calves are so housed in the same shed but in separate pens. They are bottle Federal, so trained to feed from a nipple pail ( for easiness of direction ) .

Each calf is ( restricted ) fed either 2l twice day-to-day shit milk, or 2l twice day-to-day pulverization milk ( a suited specification and trade name chosen for twice-a-day eating from a pail ) prepared to the same DM content as shit milk. In add-on to liquid provender, each calf will be offered fresh barley straw and starting motor solid provender. Weaning will happen at 6 hebdomads or one time equal consumption of solid provender is ensured, whichever occurs subsequently.


Solid provender consumption will be measured daily.

The undermentioned parametric quantities will be measured at 4d ( start of experiment ) , 7d, 14d, 21d, 28d, 35d, 42d, 49d and at ablactation:

Live weight

Height at withers

Chest girth

Episodes of scouring, other unwellness or any necessary vetinary intercession will be recorded, alongside any interventions given and mortality.

Area of future survey


The possible result would beaˆ¦..



Area for future survey – consequence of ablactating age?

Number of calves – how to choose, exclusion standards ( inveterate badly, hard calving, weight scope )

Management – restricted eating, group housed

Measurements – weight at 7d, 14d, 21d, 28d, etc etc


episodes of scouring

treaetments needed ( eg vet/med used )

Appendix A – ppl computation of milk pulverizations

Price per ton ?1860

Solids content of mix 12 %

Sum to add to 880g H2O to do 12 % mix to 1000g 120g

( denseness of mix is assumed to be 1000g/litre )

?1860 per ton i? 1860/1000000 per gm

1860/1000000 ten 120 per 120 gms powder

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