Last month, we told you how researchers at Penn State University have revisited the concept of once-a-day milk replacer feeding. Study results published in this month’s issue of Livestock Science quantify their findings. Here are some of the highlights:
- Improved starter intake. For example, calves fed milk replacer once daily from 15 days of age until weaning at six weeks of age ate about 1 pound more starter per day before weaning than calves fed milk replacer twice daily.
- Similar growth rates. Overall, average daily gain of calves weaned at six weeks was 1.43 pounds for calves fed once daily and 1.23 pounds for calves fed twice daily.
- Calf health unaffected. Both groups achieved the same fecal and respiratory scores.
- Same rumen development. Rumen papillae length, width and rumen wall thickness were the same for both groups.