Calves do better on texturized starter than pelleted starter — even when it was flavor-enhanced.
During a 56-day study (42 days pre-weaning and 14 days post-weaning), researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Southern Research and Outreach Center fed calves an 18-percent crude protein calf starter. Calves were offered one of the following options: 1) texturized starter, 2) a complete pellet or 3) the same complete pelleted starter supplemented with intake-enhancing ingredients of chocolate, whey or a commercial sweet flavoring.
The results show calves fed texturized starter grew 7.1 percent faster over the 56-day period than calves fed the complete pellet. They also had the best feed efficiency. Calves fed pelleted starter with the sweet flavoring performed the worst. Pre-weaning average daily gain of those calves was 11.3 percent lower than the other pelleted diets. This trend continued through the end of the 56-day study.
Here are some of the results:
|Texturized||Pellet||Pellet + Chocolate||Pellet + whey||Pellet + sweet flavoring|
|Pre-weaning (1-42 days)|
|Average daily gain, lbs||1.32||1.24||1.25||1.22||1.10|
|Post-weaning (43-56 days)|
|Average daily gain, lbs||2.13||1.95||2.06||1.85||1.36|
Source: Hugh Chester-Jones,