Abstract #160

# 160
Commercial dairy farm evaluation of milk replacers with different protein sources and concentrations.
K. A. Froehlich*1, U. Salga Vegas1, C. Soderholm2, D. P. Casper1, 1South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, 2Milk Specialties Global, Eden Prairie, MN.

High protein (accelerated) milk replacers (MR) have increased skeletal frame growth and average daily gain (ADG) in dairy calves. However, high protein MR often cost more money than dairy producers are willing to spend for the improved performance. Our objectives were to determine the growth performance of calves fed a 24/20 (protein/fat) MR made from alternative protein sources that equal the cost of a 20/20 all milk protein MR. Eighty-eight Holstein calves raised on a South Dakota (SD) commercial dairy operation were blocked by birth date and randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatments consisting of a control 20:20 all milk protein MR (C20), 24:18 all milk protein MR (C24), and a 24:18 alternative protein MR (A24) where the CP sources were based on 11% milk, 5% wheat, and 8% plasma. Colostrum was fed the first 3 d of life and then MR was fed at a rate of 0.68 kg/calf/d at twice daily for 35 d via bottle. Feedings were reduce to once daily at 36 d to facilitate weaning at 42 d. All MR had neomycin and oxytetracycline added at 1,330 g/ton each and supplemented with SAF Mannan. Calves were housed in individual poly-dome hutches bedded with straw with ad libitum access to a 20% CP calf starter (CS) and water. Calves fed all 3 MR were similar (P > 0.10) in ADG (0.59, 0.63, 0.63 kg/d for C20, C24, and A24, respectively). Gains in body weight, hip width, wither height, and body length during the 56 d study were similar (P > 0.10) among calves fed all MR. Calves fed C24 MR had greater (P < 0.05) gains in hip height than calves fed C MR (6.2, 10.6 and 8.5 cm) with calves fed A24 being intermediate. Calves fed A24 MR tended (P < 0.08) to have greater gains in heart girth (15.8, 16.8 and 18.0 cm) than calves fed C20 with calves fed C24 being intermediate. Feeding a MR having more protein can support greater frame growth. The use of wheat and plasma protein to replace portions of all milk protein in MR can result in better frame growth when calves are raised on a commercial dairy. Thus, feeding a 24/18 MR can be cost neutral to the feeding of a 20/20 MR, but potentially support improved frame growth.

Key Words: calf, wheat protein, plasma protein