Master of Science (MS)


School of Animal Science

Document Type



Seventy-one Holstein calves were used to evaluate the effects of milk replacer (MR) feeding management alone or in combination with a multivitamin-electrolyte supplement on growth and mitigation of heat stress. Milk replacer treatments consisted of Land O’Lakes Herdmaker Supreme (20% CP, 20% fat) and Land O’Lakes Warm Front (27% CP, 10% fat). Calves received either 0 or 20 ml Palamountains Calf Boost® in MR once daily. Calves were offered treatments beginning on day 4. Calves on 27% CP : 10% fat MR were fed 2.72kg MR twice daily for the first three weeks of life, and 3.86kg twice daily until weaning. Beginning on day 42, MR feeding was reduced to 1 time per day to decrease MR intake by 50%. On day 49 calves were weaned. Water and calf starter (20% CP) were offered ad libitum beginning on day 4. Body weight, hip height, wither height, hip width, and body length were recorded weekly, and grain and water intakes were measured twice daily. Blood was collected on days 14, 28, 42, and 56 for analysis of plasma urea nitrogen (PUN), glucose, and â-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA), as well as rumen fluid for analysis of volatile fatty acids (VFA) and pH. There was a main effect of MR, with calves fed 27% CP: 10% fat MR showing greater body weights and increased hip height, wither height, and body length (P<0.05). Calves fed 27% CP: 10% fat MR consumed less grain than 20% CP: 20% fat MR calves (P<0.05) until the end of week 7, but showed no difference at week 8). Calves fed 27% CP: 10% fat MR had greater PUN concentrations (P < 0.05) than 20% CP: 20% fat. Glucose concentrations decreased (P < 0.05) as calves aged. There was no treatment effect (P > 0.05) on plasma BHBA or VFA concentrations; however, concentrations increased (P < 0.05) as calves aged. No effects of treatment or time were observed (P > 0.05) for rumen pH. These data indicate that MR feeding management may improve growth performance in neonatal dairy calves, but multivitamin mineral supplements may not provide any additional benefit.



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Committee Chair

Williams, Cathleen