A milk replacer containing 40% non-milk constituents (V) was compared with a proprietary milk replacer (M) in two calf-rearing systems (H and R) using calves at pasture. Forty-eight, four week old Friesian calves were allocated to one of four treatments (in two replicates) and offered reconstituted milk replacers (140 g/l) : MH and VH, 81 daily for 3 weeks plus ad lib meal for two weeks; MR and VR, 41 daily for 5 weeks. Replacer M gave significantly (P<0.01) greater liveweight gains over the first 3 weeks for calves in treatment H but not in R. Treatment H calves showed a temporary growth check following weaning and again following the termination of meal feeding. Treatment R calves showed a progressive increase in daily rates of gain during the experiment. By 5-6 months of age the mean body weights of calves in all four groups were similar indicating that there were no adverse carry-over effects of replacer V, or the system of feeding. Significant savings in the cost of calf rearing are therefore possible.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 51, , 291-294, 1991
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