Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science (Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Sciences)

Document Type



Sixty-three neonatal Holstein calves (45 female; 18 male) were assigned to one of 3 treatments at d 2 of age to study effects of milk replacer feeding frequency on growth, performance, and health. Treatments consisted of 1X, with total amount of reconstituted milk replacer fed 1X/day at 6:00 a.m.; 2X, with total amount of reconstituted milk replacer divided into 2 equal amounts and fed at 6:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.; or 3X, with total amount of reconstituted milk replacer divided into 3 equal amounts and fed at 6:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 5:00 p.m. Calves were housed in individual hutches and fed milk replacer until abrupt weaning at 42 d of age. Total daily amount of milk replacer offered was equal to 1.5% of birth weight and reconstituted to a total volume of 10% birth weight. An 18% crude protein calf starter was offered ad libitum beginning on d 3 and fed throughout the duration of the trial. Water was offered ad libitum on d 3. Calves remained in their hutches until d 56 to determine immediate post weaning performance. BW was determined at birth and weekly throughout the trial. Wither height (WH), hip height (HH), and hip width (HW). Feed intake, water intake, and fecal scores were recorded daily. Blood samples were collected on d 14, 28, 42, and 56 for plasma urea nitrogen, plasma glucose concentration (PUN), and â-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA). Effects of treatment, week, and their interactions were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS® (Cary, NC). There was no effect (P > 0.05) of treatment on BW, HH, HW, WH, PUN, plasma glucose concentrations, or BHBA. There was a week effect (P < 0.05) for grain and water intake, with all calves increasing intake throughout the duration of the study. There was no treatment effect (P > 0.05) for fecal scores, with calves scoring similarly throughout the project. No treatment effects were observed (P > 0.05) for PUN, glucose, or BHBA. Glucose concentrations decreased (P < 0.05) and PUN and BHBA concentrations increased (P > 0.05) as calves aged. Overall, milk replacer feeding frequency had no significant effects on growth or performance of these Holstein dairy calves fed MR once, twice, or three times daily.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

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Committee Chair

Williams, Cathleen