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Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0100-204X

Abstract

AZEVEDO, Rafael Alves de et al. Performance of calves fed silage transition milk. Pesq. agropec. bras. [online]. 2013, vol.48, n.5, pp.545-552. ISSN 0100-204X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-204X2013000500011.

The objective of this work was to evaluate the performance of Holstein calves fed with milk or transition milk silage diluted on water or mixed with whole milk, as well as to determine the economic viability of the diets. Eighteen calves, with an average initial body weight of 36.50±4.03 kg, were individually housed in stalls. The animals were fed four liters of the liquid diet a day, during 54 days. Consumption data, daily weight gain, growth measurements, and feed conversion were analyzed in split plots. Final body weight, total weight gain, and occurrence of diarrhea were analyzed in a completely randomized design. Transition milk silage did not affect concentrate intake, total dry matter intake and the occurrence of diarrhea. Animal performance was reduced when silage was diluted on water, resulting in lower final weight and lower total weight gain. Animals treated with transition milk silage mixed with whole milk had a similar performance to the ones treated with whole milk, which allows a lower cost per kilogram of total weight gain, and shows to be a viable option for the feeding of milking calves.

Keywords : bovine; colostrum; concentrate; weaning of calves; silage.

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