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Evaluation of the artificial rearing of lactating calves, with two types of starter feed

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Authors: S. Pared, G. Bilbao, S. Gatius, P.I. Alvarado y R.A. Rubio
Issue: 116-1 (30-40)
Topic: Animal Production
Keywords: Artificial rearing, calves, milk, feeding

The aim of this work was to evaluate dry matter (DM) and gross energy (GE) consumption, daily weight gain (DWG) and food conversion index (FCI) during 60‑days when different solid feed were supplied (with or without extrusion) during the first 20‑day of rearing. 20 male and 20 female crosbred calves (Montbeliarde × Holstein), which were distributed equally in two feeding groups (A and B). The diet was composed of cow's milk (6 L/day in 2 feedings until day 30 and 4 L/day up to day 45) and solid feed (A: extruded feed until day 20 of age and starter feed from day 21 to the day 60 of age; or B: starter feed from day 1 to day 60 of age). The live weight of the calves was recorded at the beginning of the artificial rearing process, and then weekly up to the end of the process. The consumption of solid feed was estimated daily by difference between milk and feed offered and rejected until the 45th day and, later on, cumulative consumption was estimated every 5 days until the 60th day. In the first 20 days, the DM intake of solid feed was 1.81 kg for group A and 1.42 kg for B, that together with the milk DM intake represents a total of 17.34 kg and 16.23 kg for group A and B, respectively. The GE intake was (14.08 Mcal and 12.06 Mcal) and the FCI was (2.19 and 2.13) for group A and B respectively. The DWG during 60 days of age was 0.685 ± 0.1 kg/day and 0.700 ± 0.1 kg/day for group A and B, respectively. None of the variables studied during the 60‑day period showed significant differences between the feeding groups (P > 0.05). It is concluded that feeding calves with solid extruded or starter feed and 6 L of milk per day in 2 feedings during the first 20 days of age allows obtaining similar solid feed intake, DWG and FCI.


Pared S, Bilbao G, Gatius S, Alvarado PI, Rubio RA (2020). Evaluación de la crianza artificial de terneros lactantes, con dos tipos de alimentación inicial. ITEA‑Información Técnica Económica Agraria 116(1): 30‑40.

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