Abstract #154

# 154
Effect of feed type and presentation on feeding behavior, intake, and growth of dairy calves fed a high level of milk.
Morgan A. Overvest*1, Renee Bergeron2, Derek B. Haley3, Trevor J. DeVries1, 1Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada, 2Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Campus d’Alfred, Alfred, ON, Canada, 3Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada.

The objective of this study was to assess the effect of different feed types and method of feed presentation in the first 12 wk of life on the feeding behavior, intake and growth of calves fed a high milk level. Forty-eight neonatal Holstein calves (~24 h old) were individually housed and randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments: silage-based total mixed ration (TMR), concentrate (CON), and chopped hay and concentrate presented in 2 manners: mixed (MIX) or separate (SEP). All calves were offered 12L/d of acidified milk replacer until d 38 at which time step-down weaning by 1 L/d began. At d 50 calves no longer received milk and all calves on SEP and CON treatments were offered the MIX diet until the end of the trial while TMR and MIX calves did not change feeds. Feed intakes were recorded daily and calves were weighed 2x/wk. For the last 2 d during wk 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 video recordings were analyzed for time spent feeding. Data were summarized by week and analyzed in a repeated measures general linear mixed model. In the preweaning stage (d 1–37) ADG was similar for all calves (1.1 kg/d; SE = 0.05; P = 0.16). TMR calves had lower ADG than calves on the other 3 treatments during both the weaning (d 38–49; 0.2 vs. 0.7 kg/d; SE = 0.06; P < 0.01) and post-weaning (d 50–84; 0.5 vs 1.2 kg/d; SE = 0.09; P < 0.01) stages. This result is related to the lower DMI of calves fed TMR in comparison to MIX, SEP and CON calves in the weaning (0.2 vs. 0.5 kg/d; SE = 0.07; P < 0.01) and post-weaning (1.8 vs. 2.8 kg/d; SE = 0.17; P < 0.01) stages. It should be noted that, given DM content of the feeds (TMR = 52%, all other diets = 89%), the as-fed intake of the calves was actually similar (P ≥ 0.40) across treatments in all 3 stages. Interestingly, TMR calves spent more time feeding during the postweaning stage than MIX, SEP and CON calves (308 vs 194 min/d; SE = 16.0; P < 0.001). It appears that during weaning and post-weaning, calves fed TMR were attempting to maximize their nutrient intake, but were unable to match that of those in other treatments due to the high moisture content of their feed, and thus were unable to perform at a similar level.

Key Words: dairy calf, weaning, feeding behavior