Abstract #228

# 228
Processed water and its effect on daily intake and growth in dairy calves.
Patrick J. Neff*1, Matt C. Claeys1, Tamilee D. Nennich1,2, 1Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 2Famo Feeds, Freeport, MN.

There are potentially bacteria and minerals in well water that could reduce the growth and health of preweaned calves. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of providing dairy calves processed drinking water on calf growth, starter intake, and water intake, as well as determine the efficacy of a novel water processing system on water mineral levels. Sixteen Holstein heifers (49.9 ± 7.7 kg of BW) were assigned to 1 of 2 drinking water treatments in a randomized complete block design and blocked by birth date. Treatments were either conventional well water (CONV) or processed water using a novel processing system (PRO). Water was sampled 1×/mo for analysis of minerals. Calves were fed 1.9 L of a 22:20 milk replacer with 0.70 kg/d of powder being fed 2×/d and a 20% CP texturized calf starter. Body weights, hip width (HW), hip height (HH), and heart girth (HG) were measured every 2 wk. Calves began treatments at 2 wk, were weaned at 8 wk, and ended the study at 10 wk of age. Starter and water intake were determined daily. Data were analyzed as repeated measures using PROC MIXED in SAS with calf as the experimental unit. Water mineral content was similar between treatments with sulfates averaging 45.3 ppm in CONV and 35.0 ppm in PRO, chlorides averaging 14.0 and 11.7 ppm in CONV and PRO, respectively, total dissolved solids of 330.3 ppm in CONV and 259.3 ppm in PRO, and sodium levels of 6.3 for CONV and 5.0 ppm for PRO, respectively. In this study, growth results were similar for calves regardless of treatment. The average BW for calves over the study was 155.2 kg for CONV and 156.8 kg for PRO (P = 0.63) and ADG was 0.79 and 0.83 kg/d for CONV and PRO (P = 0.43), respectively. Starter intake for CONV averaged 1.2 kg/d and 1.3 kg/d for PRO (P = 0.74) with feed efficiencies averaging 1.01 kg starter intake/kg gain overall (P = 0.86). Average water intakes were 2.0 and 2.2 kg/d for CONV and PRO (P = 0.50), respectively. The HH averaged 89.9 cm (P = 0.80), HW averaged 20.9 cm (P = 0.43), and HGC averaged 96.5 cm (P = 0.67). In this study, both treatments showed similar results for water mineral levels, water intake, starter intake, and growth.

Key Words: dairy calves, water, growth