A COMPARISON OF COLOSTRUM AND MILK FEEDING SYSTEMS FROM BIRTH TO WEANING IN DAIRY CALVES

Open Access
Author:
Saldana Arauz, Diego Jose
Graduate Program:
Animal Science
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 22, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Arlyn J. Heinrichs, Thesis Advisor
  • Chad D. Dechow, Committee Member
  • Lisa A. Holden, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • colostrum
  • immunoglobulin G
  • yeast culture
  • feeding frequency
  • pasteurized waste milk
  • dairy calf
Abstract:
Experiments were conducted to determine the effect of different heating times with three levels of colostrum IgG content on passive transfer from a single feeding of colostrum and to compare the effects of feeding a combination of yeast-derived products to preweaned dairy calves. Calves were fed pasteurized milk, and we observed outcomes of intake, body weight gain, and structural growth under a once- or twice-a-day milk feeding system. In the first experiment, colostrum was collected from The Pennsylvania State University dairy herd and divided by quality (high, medium, or low) based on colostrometer measurements. Colostrum within each quality was pooled to create three unique batches. Each batch was further divided in thirds as follows: frozen to be fed without heat treatment, heated at 60˚C for 30 min, or heated at 60˚C for 60 min. Colostrum samples from each treatment were collected and analyzed for standard plate count, gram-negative non coliforms, coliforms, and total IgG concentration. Serum samples were collected from 108 Holstein calves before feeding colostrum and 24 h after birth to reflect colostrum feeding effects. These blood samples were analyzed for total protein, total IgG, and hematocrit. Colostrum quality (high, medium, or low), heat treatment (unheated, 60˚C for 30 min or, 60˚C for 60 min), and their interaction were analyzed as fixed effects, with calf sex included as a random block effect. Colostrum IgG was different between quality groups (92.5, 59.4, and 48.1 mg/mL of IgG; P < 0.01). Heating colostrum reduced IgG concentration compared to the control by 9% when heated for 30 min and by 12% when heated for 60 min. Colostrum heated for 60 min had a lower standard plate count than colostrum heated for 30 min or not heated (1.8, 2.0, and 3.6 log cfu/mL; P < 0.01). Serum IgG concentration at 24 h increased as colostrum quality increased (18, 22.2, and 24.8 mg/mL; P = 0.02) and tended to increase as heat treatment time increased (19.7, 20.3, and 25 mg/mL of IgG; P = 0.06). Apparent efficiency of absorption was greater in calves that received medium quality colostrum compared to calves fed high quality colostrum (38.1 and 25%; P < 0.01). These results suggest there may be an upper limit to the amount of IgG absorption in a given time period and that medium or high quality colostrum yields similar blood IgG absorption given the same volume of intake. In the second experiment, 48 Holstein heifer calves from The Pennsylvania State University dairy herd were fed 3.8 L of colostrum in one feeding and randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments (once-a-day milk feeding with or without yeast and twice-a-day milk feeding with or without yeast). Weekly growth measurements and blood samples were taken 3 h after the morning milk feeding for all animals. Growth measurement included body weight, hip width, and withers height. Calf starter refusal was recorded weekly, and a sample was taken to determine dry matter intake. Daily health scores were recorded for each calf using a standard scoring system. Intake, growth measurements, haptoglobin, and health scores data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis and the mixed procedure of SAS and calf was included as a random variable. Pre-weaning ADG was 553.4 and 512.1 g for calves fed milk once and twice a day, respectively, and there was no difference between treatments (P = 0.11). Pre-weaning calf starter intake was 242.3 and 198.7 g/d for calves fed milk once and twice a day, respectively, and there were no treatment differences (P = 0.35). Withers height and hip width were the same in calves fed milk either once or twice a day (P = 0.32 and 0.95, respectively). Haptoglobin concentration as a measure of stress had least square means of 4 and 9.5 ± 3.5µg/mL for calves fed milk once or twice a day, respectively, and there was no difference among treatments (P = 0.27). Scours score and total daily score were the same for calves fed milk once or twice a day (P = 0.36 and 0.47, respectively.). These results suggest that feeding milk once a day can be successfully applied to a calf feeding system. Finally, yeast supplemented calves showed a tendency for increased withers height and hip width (P = 0.06 and 0.08, respectively.) and had lower health scores compared to calves without supplementation (P < 0.05).