Restricted milk diets increase and hasten the onset of solid feed intake in milk-fed calves (de Passillé et al., 2011) and facilitate the weaning of calves, which reduces the growth check during weaning in comparison to ad libitum fed calves (Huuskonen & Khalili, 2008). As a consequence, dairy calves are commonly fed a restricted milk allowance of approximately 10% of a calf’s BW (approximately 4 to 6 L of milk/d; e.g. Vasseur et al., 2012). However, calves fed a restricted amount of milk (10% of BW) show increased behavioural signs of hunger like non-nutritive visits to the milk feeder (Rushen & de Passillé, 1995) and less growth pre-weaning when compared with calves fed more milk (Khan et al., 2007). Indeed, a growing body of research has consistently shown that calves fed more milk exhibit greater BW gains before weaning (see review by Khan et al., 2011). The aim of this study was to identify the effect of feeding 6 or 12 L/d of milk on average daily gain (ADG) and final body weight (BW) after weaning when using a gradual, step-down weaning method.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 76, Adelaide, 175-176, 2016
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