What does full-potential feeding look like?

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Purina Animal Nutrition and Land O’ Lakes welcomed more than 475 dairy producers, family members and industry representatives to the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., earlier this year for the Leading Dairy Producer Conference. Now in its 12th year, it is one of the largest dairy producer conferences held annually in the Upper Midwest.

This year’s attendees represented 212 dairy farms and more than 145,000 cows. One of the most popular attractions at the meeting were two, 4-month-old Holstein calves -- one that had been raised on a conventional feeding program, the other that had been raised on a “full-potential” feeding program using Land O’Lakes Cow’s Match® ColdFront milk replacer, and  AMPLI-Calf® Starter and Grower feeds. Specifically, their feeding programs were:

Calf #1:

20-20 milk replacer, 1.25 lbs./day
16% protein calf starter/grower

Calf #2:

Cow’s Match® ColdFront, 2.5 lbs./day
AMPLI-Calf® Starter 22%
AMPLI-Calf® Grower 18%

At 4 months of age, the two animals posted the following growth results:

  Conventional Full Potential Advantage % Improvement
Weight gain 194 pounds 253 pounds 59 pounds 30.4
Height gain 8.75 in. 11.25 in. 2.5 in. 28.6
ADG, Birth to weaning 0.71 pounds 1.57 pounds 0.86 pounds 121

And, most telling was the visual comparison of size between the two animals. Calf #1 is on the right; calf #2 is on the left.

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Dave Sjeklocha, DVM    
Satanta, KS  |  April, 14, 2014 at 01:54 PM

Is it safe to assume that this trial consisted of 2 calves? If so, can we assign any validity to this trial?

new york  |  April, 14, 2014 at 08:11 PM

Kind of a fluff article. Not a lot of answers. What were the genetics of the calves? what would be the result if you doubled the 20-20? What is the cost for this increase? Just for starters.

Wisconsin  |  April, 16, 2014 at 02:37 PM

Steve & Dr. Sjeklocha, The article was just intended to highlight a couple of live calves we had at that meeting - not a trial per se. Land O' Lakes Animal Milk products ran a trial (22 calves/trt) that showed that there was a statistically significant(P<0.05) increase in growth of 11.5 lb. body weight when calves were fed a 28-20 vs. 20-20. Body length, hip height, and heart girth were also improved significantly (P<0.0001). Cost per pound of gain is usually similar or lower.

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