Serum protein profiles under study

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Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Waseca-based calf-and-heifer-rearing facility run a serum protein test on all incoming calves. Last year, the research center brought in 787 calves from three commercial Minnesota dairies. Average serum protein concentration of those calves was 5.5 grams per deciliter, which meets the facility’s goal. What’s more, 45 percent of those calves had profiles greater than 5.5.

The researchers also are documenting calf-treatment costs. This will allow them to create cost profiles for calves from two to four days of age up to six months of age based on the calves' initial total serum protein levels.

The chart below shows how serum protein levels of incoming calves have changed since 2003. Continually strive to move your profiles toward the right side of the table, says Hugh Chester-Jones, animal scientist at the facility.

 

Serum protein levels of 907 calves (grams per deciliter), 2003-2004

Less than 4.0

4.1 to 4.5

4.6 to 5.0

5.1 to 5.5

Greater than 5.5

Average

% of calves

12
percent

13.8 percent

34.6 percent

19
percent

22.8 percent

5.0
g/deciliter



Serum protein levels of 787 calves (grams per deciliter), 2006

Less than 4.0

4.1 to 4.5

4.6 to 5.0

5.1 to 5.5

Greater than 5.5

Average

% of calves

0.2
percent

7.6 percent

23.8 percent

23.3
percent

45.1 percent

5.5
g/deciliter


Data courtesy of Hugh Chester-Jones

Southern Research and Outreach   Center, University of Minnesota

 



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