PreWeaned Calf Management Dr' Howard Tyler Department of Animal Science - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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PreWeaned Calf Management Dr' Howard Tyler Department of Animal Science


PreWeaned Calf Management Dr' Howard Tyler Department of Animal Science – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: PreWeaned Calf Management Dr' Howard Tyler Department of Animal Science

Pre-Weaned Calf ManagementDr. Howard
TylerDepartment of Animal Science
Priorities in Calf Management
  • Minimize stress of birth
  • Maximize passive immunity
  • Reduce feed and labor costs
  • Meet nutrient requirements of calf
  • Optimize rumen development
  • Maintain animal health

Why Should You Care??
  • If you can reduce calf mortality from 20
    (national average) to 6, and reduce age at first
    calving from 27 months to 23 months
  • Reduces cost per heifer
  • More heifers to either sell or to enter herd,
    increasing voluntary culling rate in herd
  • Improve NET income by 40-50,000 for a 100-cow

Cost Distribution For Heifers (Hoffman 1998)
.21 (.08-.52)
.20 (.03-.55)
.95 (.67-1.50)
.25 (.08-.52)
Cost Distribution For Calves until Weaning (ICPA
Costs of Pre-Weaned Calves
  • First 2 months of a 24-month rearing period (8
    of rearing period)
  • Take over 50 of vet and medicine costs
  • 15 of feed costs to get 6 of weight gain
  • 25 of labor costs
  • gt90 of mortality losses
  • Risks and costs BOTH drop post-weaning

Costs after Weaning (NCSU calculations)
  • Cost per pound of gain drops from 2.46 down to
  • Total cost per day drops 50, from 3.51 down to

Calf Mortality
  • During last 20 years, overall calf mortality
    increased from 13 to over 20
  • Stillbirths (mean 9 -- range from 0.5 to 25)
  • First 48 hours (mostly dystocia-related) (mean
  • Between 2 days and weaning (combination of
    passive immunity and dystocia) (mean 4)
  • 40 of calves severely stressed at birth die
    within 3 weeks
  • High variance mortality rates range from 1 to
  • Suggests it is possible to affect change through
    appropriate intervention strategies

Addressing the Problem
  • Ignore the problem, live with the costs
  • Treat the consequences
  • Prevent the problem
  • requires understanding of the cause
  • multifaceted problems more problematic
  • dystocia encompasses many different problems
    with a single term
  • to understand dystocia, must first understand
    normal fetal development and the normal
    parturition process

Costs of calf mortality
  • Direct costs of calf - 20 mortality rate reduces
    net farm profit by over one-third
  • Indirect costs also critical to consider
  • Decrease availability of herd replacements
  • Decreased voluntary culling
  • Potential limitation on rate of genetic gain
  • Decreased potential for marketing valuable
    animals for profit

  • Abnormal or difficult delivery process
  • Subjective scoring system
  • Associated factors often confused with causative
  • Short- and long-term implications
  • True economic costs difficult to estimate

Calving Ease Scoring System
  • Deliveries scored from 1-5
  • Subjective scoring system
  • Score of 1 represents unassisted delivery
  • not necessarily an easy delivery!
  • unattended always scored as a 1
  • Score of 5 represents extreme force
  • not necessarily required force
  • Does not differentiate between causes of dystocia

Relationship between dystocia and stillbirth rate
in Holsteins
CES and Stillbirth Rate (2007)
Stillbirth Rate (2007)
Effect of dystocia on losses of 305-d milk (kg)
Effect of dystocia on increases in days open
Days Open for Cows Delivering Stillborn Calves
Stillborn calf (ave. 258 days)
Live calf (ave. 178 days)
Hazard rate for becoming pregnant was 24 lower
for cows delivering stillborn calves
Culling Rate For Cows Delivering Stillborn
Live calf
Stillborn calf
Cows delivering stillborn calves had a gt40
higher hazard rate for culling or death in next
Effect of dystocia on percent cow deaths
Association with other calving disorders
  • Retained placenta - increased risk with assisted
  • Metritis - 2- to 3-fold increase
  • Left-displaced abomasum - increased risk
  • Milk fever and dystocia interrelated

Relationship between dystocia and incidence of
retained placenta in cows without milk fever
Relationship between dystocia and incidence of
milk fever
Cost () associated with calving ease scores
Sources of dystocia problems
  • Embryo/fetus effects
  • Dam effects
  • Sire effects
  • Breed effects
  • Environmental effects
  • Management effects

Factors associated with embryo development
  • IVF-derived and cloned calves have altered fetal
  • Programmed defects initiated during early
    embryo development
  • Prolonged gestation
  • Placental/umbilical and other circulatory defects
  • Large Offspring Syndrome (LOS)
  • Size unrelated to physiological maturity
  • Metabolic defects
  • Decreased immune competence
  • Defects not genetically transferrable
  • The role of embryo effects as a cause of dystocia
    in normal populations not known

Breed effects
  • Holsteins have highest dystocia incidence of any
    dairy breed and highest ratio of calf weightdam
    weight (over 10 in many cases)
  • Jerseys relatively unaffected by calving
    difficulty except in cases of twinning and
    malpresentation (ratio of calf weightdam weight
  • Other dairy breeds appear to be intermediate

Sire effects
  • Holstein sire x Jersey dam decreases incidence of
    dystocia compared to Holstein x Holstein but
    dystocia still increased relative to incidence in
    purebred Jerseys
  • Uterine (maternal) control of fetal growth
    important but can be overridden by sire effects
  • Use of calving ease sires greatly decreases
    calving difficulty in first calf heifers
    primarily by decreasing size of the fetus

Effects of fetus
  • Calf weight - dystocia rate increases 5 for each
    5 pounds increase in calf birth weight
  • Sex of calf - males have increased risk
  • Inbreeding decreases calf birth weight but
    increases incidence of dystocia
  • Malpresentation - increases with parity
  • Multiple births - increase risk of dystocia with

Effects of dam
  • Body weight or condition score - minimal effect
    except at extremes
  • Increasing energy intake of dam in late gestation
    does not increase dystocia unless BCS of dam
  • Intrapelvic fat increases and effective pelvic
    area decreases
  • Decreasing energy intake decreases birth weight
    and increases incidence of dystocia
  • Fetopelvic incompatibility often identified as
    most important factor
  • Parity - dystocia most frequent in first calf
  • Age at first calving - young heifers (lt 22
    months) have increased difficulty

Genetic effects
  • Tendency for small calves to become small cows
    and large calves to become large cows
  • Daughters of cows with calving problems also had
    above average calving difficulty
  • Daughters of calving ease sires, although smaller
    at the time of calving, had a lower risk of
    dystocia than their larger herdmates

Effects of environment
  • Season effects - higher in fall and winter months
    but highly variable
  • May be related to heat stress effects (placental
  • Stillbirth rates of calves highest in winter and

Management factors
  • Aggressive assistance - premature assistance
    associated with increased difficulty
  • Inattention - Lack of timely assistance also
    associated with increased difficulty
  • Calving site - temperament of cow and(or)
    stressful environment

Umbilical cord rupture
  • Premature rupture of umbilical cord in calves
    decreases placental blood transfer (1 pint)
  • Most drastic effects on systems that received
    least amount of blood perfusion in the fetus
  • Brain, lungs, gut, liver, kidneys
  • Slow to stand, loss of suckling reflex
  • Rectal temperature drops, respiration irregular
  • Lung function compromised at least until weaning
  • Same behavioral responses that are normally
    associated with dystocia

  • Liberal use of calving ease sires - especially on
  • Allow time for cow to adapt to calving
  • Amount of time needed depends on temperament and
    experience of the dam
  • Observe all calvings possible and check position
    of calf early in calving process
  • Assist only when signs of maternal
  • or fetal distress apparent

Experience is crucial in determining timing of
assistance and type of assistance (???)
  • Important to differentiate between experience vs.

Signs of distress
  • Uterine inertia (undistracted cow!!)
  • Responsiveness of cow
  • Color of calf tongue
  • Observe both the change in color and timing of
  • Responsiveness of fetus (tongue or eye reflex)
  • Appearance of meconium, blood, or placental pieces

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Force of Assistance
  • Pulling force should not exceed 150 pounds for
    Holstein and 75 pounds for Jersey
  • Assist in dilation prior to pulling (5 minutes)
  • Use appropriate lubricant (not soap and water)
  • watch your time and assess the calf condition
  • One person pulls with 100-150 pounds of force
  • Two people pull with 300 pounds of force
  • 600 pounds of force will fracture femur
  • Calf jack can generate 1500-2000 pounds of force
  • Apply delivery force during contractions,
    restraining force between contractions
  • Pull calf straight out until head delivered
  • Deliver shoulders and body at 30 to 400 angle
  • Stop assistance after last rib and allow dam to
    expel fetus

Excessive assistance
  • Assistance prior to full cervical dilation or the
    use of excessive force is associated with a high
    incidence of rib fractures (40) and a lower
    incidence of front leg and vertebral fractures

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Self-fulfilling prophecies
  • Large hooves indicate large calf
  • Earlier intervention suggested based on this
  • Overly aggressive assistance (prior to full
    cervical dilation) will result in injuries and
    weak calf syndrome
  • In the field, this is often interpreted as a need
    for more aggressive intervention in the future
  • Patience and restraint often alleviate the need
    for intervention
  • The cervix has incredible potential for dilation
  • 126 pound calf from an 1150 pound heifer
  • Twin Guernseys simultaneous delivery

Newborn calf care
  • Clear amnion from nose area
  • If not breathing
  • Do not hang calf upside down
  • Does not clear fluids from trachea
  • Does compress digestive organs against diaphragm
  • Stimulate first gasp if necessary
  • Use gasp reflexes (stimulate nostril, rub chest,
    cold water in face)
  • Respiratory stimulants as last resort
  • Initial stimulation of respiration, eventually
    depress respiratory center

Calf care, continued
  • Remove calf from dam
  • Move to warm (60-75 F) environment until calf is
    completely dry - then move to calf housing
  • Hot environment interferes with respiration
  • Even a warm environment will cause brown fat
    stores to regress within a few days
  • Dry briskly and completely with towel
  • Clip and dip navel (iodine, chlorhexadine)
  • Feed adequate high-quality colostrum

Newborn calf care
  • Clear membranes from face of calf
  • Stimulate first gasp if necessary
  • Remove calf from dam
  • Move to warm (not hot) environment until calf is
    completely dry - then move to calf housing
  • Dry briskly and completely with towel
  • Dip navel
  • Feed adequate high-quality colostrum

Calf survival rates by level of serum IgG
Source USDA NAHMS Report, National Animal Health
Monitoring System, 1993
Calf Serum IgG vs Calf Health Costs Southern
Research Outreach Center Waseca (Outside
hutches - 1993 vs 1994 birth to 49 days of
age) 1993 - Serum IgG 4.2 mg/ml 2.5
days/calf treated for scours
7.17/calf treatment costs 1994 - Serum
IgG 10.9 mg/ml 1.4 days/calf treated for
scours 2.75/calf treatment costs For every 100
calves you raise per year, you can save 432/year
PLUS other potential benefits and savings
Low (0-9.9 mg/ml) vs High IgG (at least 10
mg/ml) (Fowler, 1999) Benefit of High IgG
2.2 lbs more weight gain. ( 1.53) 12
lbs less feed/calf ...( 5.70) 12.1
less mortality .( 12.10) Lower health
treatment costs ...( 3.74) Potential benefit
Clinic thresholdAmount of organisms needed to
cause recognizable sickness
IgG Production by the Calf (Active Immunity)
  • IgG, IgM, and IgA concentrations begin to
    increase within a few days after birth in
    colostrum deprived calves
  • Not enough of a response to be effective in
    preventing disease
  • Poor response to vaccinations for first few
  • Also need to consider that maternal antibodies
    (from colostrum) will inhibit response to
    calfhood vaccines

Colostrum-fed calves show poor response to
vaccines until about 4 months of age
PASSIVE Immunity vs. ACTIVE Immunity(Great
Colostrum Management)
TOTAL IgG stays adequate throughout rearing
period hold off vaccinating until 4 months of
PASSIVE Immunity vs. ACTIVE Immunity(Average
Colostrum Management)
Total IgG leaves animal at risk throughout most
of the pre-weaning period vaccinations still
not effective prior to weaning
PASSIVE Immunity vs. ACTIVE Immunity(Poor
Colostrum Management)
Total IgG leaves animal at HIGH risk throughout
most of the pre-weaning period you should
vaccinate these calves earlier!!
  • Increase antibody levels against a specific
  • Cant vaccinate against scours you must
    identify the problem pathogen to know which
    vaccine to use
  • Questions to consider
  • Is the vaccine effective? not all of them are!!
  • What is the cost of the vaccine? more expensive
    than the disease?
  • What is the risk of the disease? 5 of calves
    or 50 of calves?
  • What is the cost of the disease? more expensive
    than the vaccine?

Vaccines dont protect against overwhelming
pathogen loads!!
Vaccinate the calf or vaccinate the cow?
depends on colostrum management!!
Failure of Passive Transfer (FPT)
  • Low IgG levels greatly increase risk for death
    and disease
  • 40 of calves classified as FPT (lt10 g IgG/L)
  • Colostrum-deprived calves 50-74 times more likely
    to die before 3 weeks of age
  • FPT calves are twice as likely to get sick as
    non-FPT calves
  • NAHMS estimates suggest 22 of all calf deaths
    could be prevented by better colostrum management

Colostrum Sources
  • Identify cows that will be best colostrum sources
    and those that are questionable
  • Older cows provide better colostrum
  • Typically, more antibodies produced against more
  • Heifers colostrum should be checked
  • Colostrum quality lower with high colostrum
    production (18-pound rule)
  • Johnes suspect animals colostrum should be
  • Hard to pasteurize effectively (reduce Ig along
    with organism)
  • Colostrum from BLV-positive animals should be
    frozen or pasteurized
  • Vaccinations can be used to increase levels of
    specific antibodies

Fig 35-1. Cows with Johne's disease can
potentially shed the pathogen into colostrum and
milk. (Courtesy of Mark Kirkpatrick)
Colostrum Sources During Farm Expansion
  • Expansion creates passive immunity issues
  • colostral quality typically lower in heifers
  • mixed source heifers provide variety of pathogens
    to their new environment
  • colostral antibodies no longer farm-specific
  • potential for dam-calf disease transmission
  • Can vaccinate to protect against specific
    pathogens of concern
  • Must vaccinate early enough to allow antibodies
    to be secreted into mammary gland

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Colostrum Harvesting and Storage
  • Cows teats should be thoroughly cleaned and
  • First time in 30-60 days
  • Equipment should be well-cleaned and sanitized
  • Minimize pathogen load in colostrum at first
  • Colostrum should be rapidly fed or cooled
  • Bacterial loads double in 20 minutes
  • Within 6 hours, bacterial loads are over 10
    million cells per ml of colostrum

Fig 45-15. On farm pasteurizers drastically
decrease pathogen loads in colostrum and
therefore enhance performance of calves (Courtesy
of Mark Kirkpatrick)
Colostrum Freezing and Thawing
  • Can refrigerate for about 1 week
  • Can freeze for years
  • Freezer cannot be frost-free
  • Can only freeze for weeks in frost-free freezer
  • Freeze in ½ gallon or 1 gallon zip-lock bags
  • Double-bag to prevent leaks
  • Lay flat in freezer to help thawing process
  • Label with dam ID, date, and quality
  • Thaw in warm water (120 degrees F)
  • Thaw in microwave on defrost (never on high)
  • Pour out thawed colostrum frequently!

  • A specific gravity measuring device that can be
    used to estimate Ig content of colostrum
  • Available from vet supply houses, Nasco for about

Colostrometer measurements
  • High quality colostrum (gt 50 g/L) is GOOD
  • Moderate quality (20 to 50 g/L) is FAIR
  • Colostrum lt 20 g/L is POOR
  • Do measurement at room temp!
  • Quality appears to increase in cooled colostrum
  • Affected by fat content (issue with Jerseys)

On-farm Monitoring of Colostrum Quality
  • Visual assessment
  • Clean, thick, and yellowish
  • Colostrometer
  • Specific gravity correlated with Ig content
  • Cow-side Ig tests
  • Measure antibodies directly

Colostrum Feeding Recommendations
  • ALWAYS test quality (gt50 g/L)
  • For calves over 100 pounds
  • four quarts at birth, two quarts at 12 hours
  • For calves between 50 and 100 pounds
  • three quarts at birth, two quarts at 12 hours
  • For calves under 50 pounds
  • two quarts at birth, two quarts at 12 hours

Colostrum Feeding Recommendations
  • In order to make sure the calves ingest enough
    colostrum, they must be hand-fed
  • Nipple feeders or esophageal feeders
  • Total amounts of immunoglobulins absorbed depend
    on several factors
  • Amount of ingested colostrum
  • Concentration of colostrum
  • Time elapsed between birth and first feeding

Efficiency of Ig absorption
How is colostrum fed?
Fig 45-11. Feeding colostrum via nipple bottle,
although time consuming, also helps train calves
to nurse from a bottle (Courtesy of Howard Tyler)
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Fig 45-13. Feeding positions where the head is
extended on the neck helps ensure complete
closure of the esophageal groove (Courtesy of
Iowa State University)
Fig 45-12. Calves that won't voluntarily consume
colostrum are force fed with an esophageal feeder
(Courtesy of Emily Barrick)
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On-Farm Monitoring of Passive Immunity in Calves
  • Zinc sulfate turbidity
  • Not typically used on farms
  • Qualitative, not quantitative
  • Refractometry
  • Measures plasma proteins
  • Loosely correlated with IgG levels
  • Can be misleading in some cases (especially in
    older calves)
  • Only test calves over 1 day and less than 3 days
  • Dehydrated calves are abnormally high (over 8
    g/dl in some cases)
  • More accurate at diagnosing failure than success
  • gt5.5 g/dl is good, lt5.0 g/dl is bad
  • Calf-side IgG tests

What Can You Do When Colostrum is Poor Quality or
in Short Supply?
  • Colostrum supplement lt 100 g IgG/dose
  • Colostrum replacer gt 100 g IgG/dose addition
  • AEA affected by IgG source
  • Serum gt colostrum gt milk-derived IgG

Issues With Colostrum Supplements
  • Whey-, colostrum, or plasma-derived
    immunoglobulin sources
  • Mass of Ig varies between products
  • efficiency of absorption also varies
  • Antibodies not farm-specific for pathogens
  • Missing other nutrients, growth factors, etc.
  • use as adjunct to good colostrum program

What Can You Do After 24 Hours of Age for FPT
  • Injectable immunoglobulins
  • Utilized after intestinal closure
  • Routes include SQ, IP, and IV
  • IV infused IgG half-life 18-23 d
  • 68 transferred to GI tract
  • Clinically ill animals require more IgG than
    healthy animals

Reactions to IVIG
  • Unfortunately, adverse reactions to IVIG are an
  • In humans, adverse reactions occur in 5 of
  • 25-50 reaction rate in foals
  • Often rate and concentration dependent
  • Clinical signs
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Weakness, collapse, death
  • Banamine will prevent most problems

Good Colostrum Management
  • Colostrum as a band-aid
  • Masks other problems
  • Allows more mistakes
  • Nutritional
  • Environmental
  • Management
  • Problems are still there and affect productivity
    and profitability just easier to overlook

Specific Risks of Poor Colostrum Management
  • Four-fold more scours cases
  • More shedding of cryptosporidia, coronavirus, and
    rotavirus in feces
  • Three-fold more all other illnesses
  • Greatly increased risk of pneumonia
  • Decreased growth rate 1st 6 months (50 pounds on
    same feed)
  • Decreased milk production in first lactation
  • 20 greater culling rate during first lactation

Sick Calves
  • A higher percentage of calves show signs of
    clinical disease than at any other time in the
    life cycle
  • Many factors affect the risk of disease during
    this period
  • The basic premise of disease prevention is still
    the same as at any other stage of life

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Most common site for calves to pick up pathogens
calving site!! - they often dont show
signs of infection until later depends
on incubation period of the pathogen
Costs of Calf Morbidity
  • Pneumonia reduces pre-weaning growth by 8
  • Diarrhea reduces pre-weaning growth rates by 18
  • Effects are additive (29 total reduction)
  • Calf morbidity incidence increases age at first
    calving, reduces milk yield in first lactation
    and increases risk of culling in first lactation

Pathogen Issues
  • Most diarrhea in calves is not bacterial
  • Antibiotics should not always be first option
  • Most diarrhea cases become a pathogen mixture
    over time
  • Diagnose and treat promptly
  • Fecal samples obtained EARLY in disease outbreak
  • Dehydration is common among all diarrhea
    pathogens and contributes greatly to the risk of

Dehydration Issues
  • More dehydration leads to
  • Sicker calves
  • More acidosis (more concentrated blood)
  • Longer time to recovery
  • Weaker immune system
  • Maintaining hydration
  • Reduces treatments
  • Helps keep calves on feed
  • Saves calves

Fig 45-23. Calves with severe diarrhea will
rapidly dehydrate, often requiring oral
rehydration therapy to restore fluid and
electrolyte balance (Courtesy of Iowa State
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Considerations with Intubation
  • No rumen by-pass
  • Direct effect on rumen environment
  • Electrolytes
  • Amount of glucose is a concern
  • Rapid fermentation, high acid production
  • Milk
  • Amount of lactose is a concern
  • Ferments to lactic acid
  • pH drops from 6.5 to 4.5 within hours
  • Poorly absorbed, slow rumen recovery

Electrolyte Composition
Oral Rehydration Strategies
  • Even healthy calves will dehydrate in hot weather
  • Keep feeding milk
  • Calves need the protein and energy
  • Feed electrolytes at least 15 minutes after milk
  • Less important if bicarbonate is not in
    electrolyte solution
  • Sodium citrate instead of sodium bicarbonate
  • Electrolytes should have no more than 20-25 grams
    of glucose if milk is being fed as well

The depressed calf you find in the morning, and
WAIT to treat ---
--- may not need treatment by the evening
Fluids, Nutrition, Comfort
  • Start oral electrolyte fluids EARLY even before
    scours is observed
  • Non-toxic, no withdrawal period, very low risk of
  • Maintain energy protein to calf with milk
    feedings oral electrolytes
  • Be patient persistent the intestinal lining
    takes time to heal keep the fluids coming!
  • Keep calf warm and dry requires MUCH more
    bedding than healthy calf
  • Strip old bedding to remove pathogen load

Biosecurity Goals for Your Farm
  • Minimize disease transmission
  • Minimize treatments
  • Minimize pathogen load
  • Maximize immune function

Specific Risks From First Day of Life
  • Calves surviving a stressful birth
  • 6-10 stillbirth rate (can be reduced by good
  • 40 of calves that are stressed at birth die by 3
    weeks of age
  • 3-fold more likely to become sick (scours,
  • Decreased growth rate and feed efficiency
  • Calves receiving inadequate colostrum
  • Four-fold more scours cases
  • More shedding of cryptosporidia, coronavirus, and
    rotavirus in feces
  • Three-fold more all other illnesses
  • Greatly increased risk of pneumonia
  • Decreased growth rate 1st 6 months (50 pounds on
    same feed)
  • Decreased milk production in first lactation
  • 20 greater culling rate during first lactation

Practical calf feeding programs
Meeting Nutrient Requirements
  • A nutritionists nightmare
  • Entire pre-weaning period is transition period
  • proportions of nutrients provided by liquid vs.
    solid feeds in constant flux
  • physical capacity of digestive system increases
  • potential for dry matter intake also increases
  • fermentative capacity increases
  • absorptive capacity increases
  • therefore, digestibility of solid feeds also

Energy Intake
  • One pound of milk replacer (4 quarts/day)
  • 2020 milk replacer 2000 kcal/day
  • (0.85/day)
  • Holstein milk (2530) 2,600 kcal/day
  • Jersey milk (3035) 3,000 kcal/day
  • One pound starter
  • Provides 1300-1500 kcal/lb
  • (0.18/lb)

Increasing Energy Intake Through Milk Replacer
  • 2024 adds 150 kcal/day (0.90/day)
  • 4 ounce fat supplement adds 750 kcal/day
  • Increase DM by 25 increases 525 kcal/day
  • 3 feedings increases 1000 kcal/day (1.27/day)
  • Increasing energy does not efficiently increase
    lean tissue gain

Factors Affecting Energy Requirements
  • Approximately 20 kcal/pound of body weight in a
    thermoneutral environment for maintenance for
  • Requirements increase 1 for every degree below
    500 F
  • High surface areabody mass ratio
  • Require 450 kcal more at 200 F (2800 kcal/day
  • Difference between small and large calves
  • Requirements increase with increasing lean tissue
  • Protein synthesis is energetically expensive
  • requires about 5 ATP per one peptide bond

Temperature at Which Calves Started Shivering
Factors Affecting Protein Requirements
  • Rate of gain determines amount of protein
  • If facilities, genetics, and calf
    source/management permit rapid gain, then high
    levels of protein and energy required in diet
  • If facilities, genetics or calf source/management
    LIMIT rate of gain, then protein and energy must
    be reduced accordingly
  • The size of the animal affects the protein
    requirements at any given level of intake
  • Less energy needed from maintenance in lighter
    animals, so more energy available for growth
  • Therefore, more protein required to support lean
  • Frequency of feeding affects digestive efficiency
  • Natural suckling frequency allows greater intake
    than most hand-feeding systems can achieve
  • Required proteinenergy ratio changes accordingly

Imbalanced ProteinEnergy Ratios
  • If energy diverted to immune function (poor
    facilities), then it is NOT available for growth
  • Excess protein must be de-aminated and ammonia
    detoxified and excreted
  • Energy required (3 ATP per molecule of urea) and
    therefore even LESS energy available for growth
    and immunity
  • Overfeeding protein (in this case by underfeeding
    energy) impairs growth and may impair immunity

Accelerated Growth Programs in Dairy Calves
  • Programs mimic natural milk composition and
    calf intake levels
  • Suckling calves consume 20 BW in whole milk per
  • 8-10 suckling bouts per day vs. twice daily
  • Free choice water at all times
  • Relatively high nitrogen excretion in urine
  • Challenging requirement in hot and cold
  • Can lead to higher death losses if not met
  • Excellent colostrum management
  • Poor passive immunity reduces
  • growth response, reduces needs for protein
  • Excellent sanitation
  • High protein intakes in a poor environment may
    alter immune response
  • Higher death loss in challenging environment
  • Low potential for growth leads to problem with
    excess protein

Is Mortality Rate an Issue?
  • First study
  • 120 calves from sale barns shipped to an
    extremely challenging environment
  • Half on conventional program (2220 with starter)
  • Half on accelerated program (2820 with starter)
  • Morbidity 53 higher in accelerated group
  • 14 accelerated calves died vs. 3 conventional
  • Growth rate 1.3 lbs./day vs. 1 lb/day

Is Mortality Rate an Issue? (Part 2)
  • Second study
  • Forty three calves on home facility, excellent
    colostrum management, but marginal facility
  • Old tie stall barn, marginal ventilation, poor
    drainage, but less than 1 mortality rate over
    previous 18 months
  • 15 accelerated calves, 14 early-weaning
    calves, and 14 modified accelerated
  • 6 accelerated calves died, 1 each on other
    treatments died
  • Growth rates 1.45 lbs/day vs. 1.15 lbs./day for
    accelerated and conventional, respectively

Is Mortality Rate an Issue? (Part 3)
  • Average age at death for accelerated calves on
    both studies was during second week of life
  • This corresponds to increase in feeding rate
  • This also corresponds to age at highest risk of
  • Is timing of changes in feeding rates a issue?
  • Nutritional stress at same time as pathogen

(No Transcript)
Is Mortality Rate an Issue? (Summary)
  • Under excellent management conditions, there is
    no evidence that calves on accelerated programs
    are at more risk or less risk for dying
  • Under marginal conditions, calves on accelerated
    programs may be at somewhat of a higher risk
  • Under highly challenging conditions,
  • calves on accelerated programs are
  • at higher risk of dying than calves fed
  • conventionally
  • This begs the question do calves on
  • a higher plan of nutrition have a stronger
  • immune system or a weaker immune system?

Does Higher Plane of Nutrition Higher
Functioning Immune System?
Does Higher Plane of Nutrition Higher
Functioning Immune System?
Does Higher Plane of Nutrition Higher
Functioning Immune System?
Does Higher Plane of Nutrition Higher
Functioning Immune System?
Comparison of Economic Efficiencies
Comparison of Economic Efficiencies
Other Economic Considerations
  • Labor costs
  • drop over 50 after weaning in conventional
  • greater labor costs associated with accelerated
  • early weaning (30 d) cuts
  • total labor costs associated
  • with rearing to 56 d by about 40
  • Housing costs
  • Reduce number of hutches or
  • stalls required by 45

Other Long-Term Considerations
  • Early feeding programs can have long-term
  • Colostrum ingestion affects feed efficiency, rate
    of gain, and lactation potential
  • Milk vs. milk replacer also affects long-term
    performance in similar ways
  • Nutrient intake, growth factors, immune factors
  • Different rates of milk replacer feeding also
    have long-term effects
  • Underfeeding and overfeeding are both detrimental
    to the profitability of a dairy farm

Other Long-Term Considerations
  • The added weight gain through 8 weeks for calves
    on accelerated programs appears to be maintained
    throughout the growing period
  • If breeding on weight rather than age, then this
    should allow earlier calving and save 50 in
    feed costs
  • Helps offset additional costs in pre-weaning
  • Potential for improved lactational performance?

So What IS the Ideal Liquid Feeding Program?
  • Clearly, the ideal feeding program would be
    individualized for each animal, or at least for
    each management scheme
  • Varying proteinfat by age, by growth goals and
    maybe by management intensity
  • - Varying frequency of feeding with age
  • Varying intake by age and management intensity
  • Clearly, this is not practical in most situations
  • Understand the biology and the economics behind
    the different programs, assess your animals
    (source, passive immunity, housing, etc.), and
    create your own program
  • Sometimes it is better to listen to what the
    animals tell you rather than listen to what the
    experts tell you

Dr. Tylers Liquid Feeding Recommendations
  • Feeding up to 2 BW of a 2515 to 2820 milk
    replacer through 10-14 days (voluntary intake
    only force-feed up to 1)
  • Reducing intake of MR to 1 to encourage starter
  • timing dependent on health status
  • abrupt vs. gradual change?
  • economics of feeding programs
  • best guess program from one
  • persons perspective

Recent Liquid Feed Research
  • Alternative protein sources
  • Plasma, red cells, egg proteins, etc.
  • Antibiotic alternatives and functional proteins
  • Antibodies from plasma or eggs, lactoferrin,
    probiotics, fructooligosaccharides or mannan
    oligosaccharides, beta-glucans or other immune
    stimulants, garlic derivatives, botanicals, etc.
  • Group feeding vs. individual feeding
  • Once a day vs. ad lib feeding

Challenges with Liquid Feeding Strategies
  • High energy intake from liquid feed delays
    initiation of starter intake and suppresses
    appetite for starter
  • high fat inclusions during cold weather
  • higher solids in the same volume
  • of milk replacer
  • higher volume intakes
  • Must balance accelerated growth with accelerated
    rumen development

Factors Required for Rumen Development
  • Establishment of bacteria
  • Water-based environment
  • Muscular development
  • Absorptive ability of tissue (rumen papillae)
  • Substrate availability

Rumens of 4-Week-Old Calves
Milk and Hay
Milk, Grain, and Hay
Rumens of 6-Week-Old Calves
Milk and Grain
Milk, Grain, Hay
Effect of Starter Diet
  • Forages
  • scratch factor
  • papillae function
  • rumen buffering
  • muscular development
  • calves WILL find a source of roughage
  • Concentrates
  • provide proprionate and butyrate
  • energy for calf
  • rumen papillae growth and development

What is the right balance?
Importance of Texture
Commercial textured starter
CP - 23.58 ADF - 6.39
CP - 25.44 ADF - 6.44
Role of Forage
Coarse 7.5 Hay
Hay of consistent particle size
CP - 23.08 ADF - 6.47
Coarse 15 Hay
Hay of consistent particle size
CP - 22.60 ADF - 7.43
Calf Starter Basics
  • Textured calf starter
  • Increased intake
  • Increased weight gain
  • Increased feed efficiency
  • Calf starter with 7.5 chopped hay
  • Increased body weight
  • Increased feed intake (especially
  • Increased feed efficiency
  • Alters rumen VFA production
  • increased acetatepropionate
  • Creates a more stable rumen environment
  • 4 lbs chopped hay per 50 lb bag of starter

Recent Dry Feed Research
  • Increased protein content (above 18)
  • Altered rumen degradability
  • Based on book values, not measured degradability
    in pre-weaned calves
  • Cheaper protein sources
  • Strategies to encourage intake
  • Molasses level
  • Flavoring agents
  • Bucket size and shape
  • Color?? Height??

Water, Water and More Water!!!
  • Water availability may limit starter intake
  • free water necessary for development of rumen
    fermentative capacity
  • water in milk replacer bypasses rumen
  • Hot weather greatly increases
  • water consumption
  • Cold weather increases difficulty in providing
    water free choice
  • rotate the use of multiple buckets per calf
  • Provide 3x daily in extreme conditions

Weaning Strategies
  • Level of calf starter intake correlates with
    maturity of rumen fermentative function as well
    as physical development of rumen
  • Weaning should be intake-based
  • Weaning reduces labor costs by 50 and costs of
    gain by 3 to 5-fold
  • earlier weaning of healthy calves is most

Costs after Weaning (NCSU calculations)
  • Cost per pound of gain drops from 2.46 down to
  • Total cost per day drops 50, from 3.51 down to

Dr. Tylers Weaning Recommendations
  • Calves gt100 pounds at birth
  • consume 1.25 pounds of starter daily for 3
    consecutive days
  • Calves 50 - 100 pounds at birth
  • consume 1 pounds of starter daily for 3
    consecutive days
  • Calves lt50 pounds at birth
  • consume 0.75 pounds of starter daily for 3
    consecutive days
  • Adjust for health and environmental factors

Alternative Strategy for Cost Savings (Faust,
  • Assumptions
  • 100-cow herd
  • 400 day calving interval
  • 91 calves born each year 45 heifers born
  • Annual removal rate for milking cows is 30
    needs 30 replacements per year
  • Average age at first calving 26.5 months
    feeding 99 heifers on farm at any one time
  • SCENARIO Raise only best 35 heifers (sell
    remaining 10 at 1 week of age)
  • Forage 31,080 lb 1,398.60
    132,000 lb. 5,940.00 156,625 lb.
  • Shelled corn 170 bu. 680.00 210
    bu. 840.00 210 bu. 840.00
  • Soybean meal 1,500 lb. 202.50 1,700
    lb. 2.29.501, 700 lb. 229.50
  • Dical 300 lb. 49.5 0
    600 lb. 99.00 687.5 lb.
  • TM salt 240 lb. 25.25
    490 lb. 51.55 533.75 lb.
  • Milk replacer 400 lb. 336.00 400
    lb. 446.00 400 lb. 336.00
  • Total feed cost savings 2,691.85
    7,496.05 8,443.21
  • Livestock costs
  • Bedding 6,500 lb. 195.00
    10,000 lb. 300.0010, 750 lb. 322.50
  • Veterinarian medicine 157.40
    237.40 252.40

On Raising Calves
  • The first four weeks of its life the calf must
    receive the whole of its mothers milk, because
    in this period the nutrition contained in the
    milk in so small volume can be replaced by no
    other equally nutritious and as easily digestible
    means of food.
  • After four weeks the milk may be replaced by that
    means of fodder which nutritious substance next
    to it in equal weight of dry volume, in the
    greatest possible amount.

USDA, 1847
Summary of Calf Nutrition
  • Consider the nutritional needs of the calf, the
    metabolic needs of the rumen, and the optimal
    conditions for rumen microbial growth when
    creating your calf nutrition program
  • Provide an environment
  • that permits maximal
  • response to your nutrition
  • program

Other Health Issues to Consider!!!
Benefits of Pasteurization
  • Compared to unpasteurized milk
  • Reduced bacterial loads
  • Improved weight gain
  • Fewer days with diarrhea and pneumonia
  • Reduced calf rearing costs by 8.13
  • Does not include additional costs associated with
  • UC-Davis estimated that over 300 calves daily
    would be needed to economically justify a

Monitor growth
  • Record birth weight
  • Record weaning weight or when they move to new

  • This drug is unusual in that the law expressly
    forbids any extra-label use under any
    circumstances by anyone
  • Species Approved Cattle only (not for use in
    cattle intended for dairy production or in calves
    to be processed for veal)
  • Disease Only for treatment of bovine respiratory
    disease associated with Pasteurella haemolytica,
    P. multocida, Haemophilus somnus
  • Dosage Only the approved dosage rates on the
  • Frequency of Treatment Only those listed on the
  • Route of Administration Subcutaneous injections
  • Withdrawal Time Animals must not be slaughtered
    within 28 days of the last treatment
  • Warning Do not use in cattle intended for dairy
    production or in calves to be processed for veal
  • Cannot be given intramuscularly, or intravenously
  • Cannot be used at different dosage rates or
    frequency from those listed on the label
  • Cannot be used to treat calf scours or other
    diseases not listed on the label

  • Meat witholding time established by FDA during
    summer, 2006 at 4 days (for animals treated
    intravenously with recommended dosage)
  • Withholding not established for IM or SQ use, but
    would be longer than 4 days!
  • Banamine has been the number one source of
    violative residues in meat since that time

Managing Risk
  • Calves can be raised successfully in many
    facilities and using many management schemes
  • Maternity pens vs. bedded pack vs. pasture-based
    calving systems
  • Colostrum vs. colostrum replacers vs. colostrum
  • Indoor vs. outdoor housing
  • Milk replacer vs. milk
  • Pasteurized waste milk vs. unpasteurized milk
  • Type and amount of bedding
  • Some facilities or management practices carry
    greater risk - must balance costs and benefits
    and then manage the risks associated with those
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