Abstract

The gastrointestinal tract is an organ system crucial in feed digestion, nutrient absorption and protection against external pathogens. In this respect, changes in the structure of the small intestine in pre-ruminant calves are particularly important because it is the primary site of digestion and absorption (Blum 2006). Understanding factors that influence intestinal development is essential to inform calf feeding practices to optimise growth performance and health. Increasing milk allowance increases calf growth, but suppresses solid feed intake before weaning and, therefore, delays rumen development (Khan et al. 2011). In comparison to the rumen, development of the small intestine has received little attention in calf nutrition (Steele et al. 2016) and the effect of increased milk intake on small intestine development in calves is largely unknown (Khan et al. 2016)....

P van Keulen, AC Welboren, MA Kahn, FW Knol, J Dijkstra, and SA McCoard

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 77, Rotorua, 88-90, 2017
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