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Paper-Lecture7 - J Dairy Sci 87:25542562 American Dairy...

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J. Dairy Sci. 87:2554–2562 American Dairy Science Association, 2004. Effect of Various Levels of Forage and Form of Diet on Rumen Development and Growth in Calves J. A. Coverdale, 1 H. D. Tyler, 2 J. D. Quigley, III, 2 and J. A. Brumm 3 1 Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames 50011 2 American Protein Corporation, Ankeny, IA 50021 3 Northeast Iowa Community-Based Dairy Foundation, Calmar, IA 52132 ABSTRACT The effect of form of starter grain (coarse vs. ground) and inclusion of various levels of hay on body weight gain and rumen development was evaluated. Two ex- periments were conducted to determine the effect of form of diet and forage inclusion on intake, growth, feed efficiency, and weaning age in dairy calves. Diets consisted of commercial coarse starter (C), ground starter (G), coarse starter with 7.5% bromegrass hay of consistent particle size (8 to 19 mm) (H1), and coarse starter with 15% hay (H2). In experiment 1, intake was held constant across treatments until weaning, when feed was offered ad libitum. Calves receiving H1 and H2 were heavier and had greater body weight gain and greater feed efficiency than calves receiving C. There were no differences in intake. Total volatile fatty acid concentrations were higher, and the proportion of ace- tate was lower for calves fed G vs. C. In experiment 2, calves (n = 56) were offered diets on an ad libitum basis and weaned according to intake. There were no differences in body weight gain, average daily gain, feed efficiency, and age at weaning with respect to treat- ment. Starter and total dry matter intake tended to be greater in calves fed H1 and H2 vs. C. The addition of controlled particle size hay to diets of young calves appears to favorably alter rumen environment, re- sulting in increased intake and improved feed effi- ciency. Forage of a consistent particle size can be suc- cessfully utilized in starter rations of young calves. ( Key words: calf, forage, particle size, rumen devel- opment) Abbreviation key: ADG = average daily gain, C = commercial coarse starter, G = ground starter, G/F = gain to feed ratio, H1 = coarse starter with additional 7.5% bromegrass hay of consistent particle size, H2 = Received July 16, 2003. Accepted March 5, 2004. Corresponding author: J. A. Coverdale; e-mail: [email protected] 2554 coarse starter with additional 15% bromegrass hay of consistent particle size. INTRODUCTION The intake of solid feed is vital to the calf for making the transition from a preruminant animal to a function- ing ruminant. However, there is still much controversy concerning the composition of starter that should be fed to preruminant calves, especially regarding the level of forage those diets should contain. Forage consumption promotes muscular development of the rumen (Tamate et al., 1962; Hamada et al., 1976) and stimulates rumi- nation and flow of saliva into the rumen (Hodgson, 1971). However, forage digestion by microorganisms does not provide sufficient concentrations of rumen VFA, especially butyrate, required for optimal papillae development. Fermentation of concentrates provides
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