The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of the starter restriction and of the ad libitum TMR (total mixed ration) inclusion on intake, growth performance, rumination time (RT), and health condition of Holstein dairy calves during weaning. We randomly assigned thirty female Holstein calves (with an average weight of 38.5 ± 1.96 kg at birth) to one of three treatments. From 21 days of age, the calves were fed one of three treatments as follows: a control diet (CTR) with an ad libitum calf starter but without TMR; Treatment 1 diet (TRT1) with both an ad libitum calf starter and ad libitum TMR; Treatment 2 diet (TRT2) with ad libitum TMR and a restricted amount of a calf starter (50% of the intake recorder in the control group day by day). Calves in the TRT2 group, between 56 and 63 days of age, had a lower body weight (80.1; 79.5; 75.6 kg for the CTR, TRT1, and TRT2 groups, respectively) compared with CTR and TRT1 calves. This outcome is ascribed to the average daily gain (0.759; 0.913; 0.508 kg/day for the CTR, TRT1, and TRT2 groups, respectively), resulting also in TRT2 being lower than CTR or TRT1 calves. The inclusion of ad libitum TMR increased the rumination time, especially after weaning (15.28 min/h, 18.38 min/h, and 18.95 min/h for the CTR, TRT1, and TRT2 groups, respectively). Concerning the rumen metabolism and inflammometabolic response, overall, no differences were observed between the three dietary treatments. In conclusion, the results indicated that a TMR could partially replace a calf starter in weaning dairy calves, since neither growth performance nor health status were impaired. In addition, providing TMR (with or without concentrate restriction) led to a better rumen development and likely a better rumen fermentation efficiency in post-weaning.

The Effect of Feeding a Total Mixed Ration with an ad libitum or Restricted Pelleted Starter on Growth Performance, Rumination Behavior, Blood Metabolites, and Rumen Fermentation in Weaning Holstein Dairy Calves

Spina AA
;
Britti D;Tilocca B;Morittu VM
2024-01-01

Abstract

The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of the starter restriction and of the ad libitum TMR (total mixed ration) inclusion on intake, growth performance, rumination time (RT), and health condition of Holstein dairy calves during weaning. We randomly assigned thirty female Holstein calves (with an average weight of 38.5 ± 1.96 kg at birth) to one of three treatments. From 21 days of age, the calves were fed one of three treatments as follows: a control diet (CTR) with an ad libitum calf starter but without TMR; Treatment 1 diet (TRT1) with both an ad libitum calf starter and ad libitum TMR; Treatment 2 diet (TRT2) with ad libitum TMR and a restricted amount of a calf starter (50% of the intake recorder in the control group day by day). Calves in the TRT2 group, between 56 and 63 days of age, had a lower body weight (80.1; 79.5; 75.6 kg for the CTR, TRT1, and TRT2 groups, respectively) compared with CTR and TRT1 calves. This outcome is ascribed to the average daily gain (0.759; 0.913; 0.508 kg/day for the CTR, TRT1, and TRT2 groups, respectively), resulting also in TRT2 being lower than CTR or TRT1 calves. The inclusion of ad libitum TMR increased the rumination time, especially after weaning (15.28 min/h, 18.38 min/h, and 18.95 min/h for the CTR, TRT1, and TRT2 groups, respectively). Concerning the rumen metabolism and inflammometabolic response, overall, no differences were observed between the three dietary treatments. In conclusion, the results indicated that a TMR could partially replace a calf starter in weaning dairy calves, since neither growth performance nor health status were impaired. In addition, providing TMR (with or without concentrate restriction) led to a better rumen development and likely a better rumen fermentation efficiency in post-weaning.
2024
dairy calves, rumen development, forage, total mixed ration, rumination time
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12317/91558
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