Calves were fed milk replacer twice daily and had access to free choice water and starter.
|Milk Replacer Research Data|
By week 4, the difference in total daily energy consumption between the two groups had narrowed substantially, and by week 6, daily energy intakes were virtually the same. During weeks 7 and 8, the 25-15 calves consumed more energy than 28-20 calves.
These intake and growth results show that 28-20 calves lag behind as they approach weaning, and strongly suggest that calves could benefit from modifications to this milk replacer feeding approach. These calves certainly can't afford any intake lag due to starter quality and composition issues. Increasing the number of milk feedings per day might be one way to help improve starter intake -- perhaps for both groups, and adjustments to the 28-20 feeding rates may help reduce the growth lag and need for these calves to catch up. With total feed costs about 60% higher with this 28-20 program, the only time you'd expect
calf weights to be the same is on day 1.