Feeding Systems for Group-Housed Dairy Calves- Dr. Mark Thomas


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Dr. Thomas presented this information on December 7th, 2012 for DAIReXNET's webinar on Feeding Systems for Group-Housed Dairy Calves

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  • Now I’d like to step back for a quick minute and quickly review our feeding sheets and the difference between the 2 groups. To orient you: Each line on this spreadsheet represents a calf in the study. Calf #1 is in the conventional nutrition group and will be fed at the same rate (0.13 Mcal/kg MBW) for the duration of the study. Calf #2 is in the high plane of nutrition group and will be fed at a rate of 0.23mcal/kg mbw for the first 7 days of the study before getting bumped up to 0.3Mcal/kg mbw for the last 2 weeks of the study.
  • Calves like to eat together.
  • Limiting intakes can be multi-factorial (clogged tubes, flies, stocking density, delivery
  • Feeding Systems for Group-Housed Dairy Calves- Dr. Mark Thomas

    1. 1. Grouped-Housed Feeding Systems How To Get It Right! DAIReXNET Webinar 12/7/2012 Mark Thomas, DVM, DABVP-Dairy Countryside Veterinary Clinic, LLP Dairy Health & Management Services, LLC 315-376-6563 mthomas@countryside-vet.net mthomas@dairyhealthmanagement.com
    2. 2. Outline• Benefits of optimal nutrition & growth• Practical systems for ad-lib feeding• Acidified, ad-lib feeding systems• Research summaries• Practical aspects of feeding acidified milk• Summary
    3. 3. Poll: How do you currently feed calves? • Twice daily • Three times daily • Automated feeder • Ad-lib acidified
    4. 4. Poll: What do you feed calves? • Pasteurized whole milk • Unpasteurized whole milk • Milk replacer
    5. 5. Poll: Do you weigh calves and track average daily gain? • Yes • No
    6. 6. High (HPN) vs. Conventional (CN) Plane of Nutrition HPN CN Nydam, 2011
    7. 7. Average Daily Gain 0.6 0.4ADG (kg/d) 0.2 P<0.001 0 -0.2 -0.4 HPN CN
    8. 8. Conclusions High plane of nutrition (HPN) reduces the effect of disease due to Cryptosporidium parvum in neonatal dairy calves. HPN improves ADG and feed efficiency.
    9. 9. What about future milk production?• Miner Institute, Chazy, NY• 1.25 v. 2.2 lb of MR powder per day• Cows which were fed 2.2lb/d as calves produced +1,543 lbs 1st lactation – JDS, 2005
    10. 10. Cornell T&R Herd- Mike VanAmburgh• 1998, started feeding for 2lb ADG• >1000 weaning weights• >725 1st lactations• Any relationship between calf performance and 1st lactation performance?
    11. 11. Cornell T&R Herd- Mike VanAmburgh• Range in ADG to weaning: 0.52 to 2.67 lb/d Milk yield increased by 900 lb (1st lactation) for every 1lb gain above 0.5lb/d
    12. 12. Summary of Data: Doubling birth weight w/ liquid feed by weaningStudy Response (kg)Bar-Peled et al., ’98 +452Foldager and Krohn, ’94 1,403Foldager et al., ’97 519Miner Inst., ’05 700MSU ’06 500Drackley et al., ’07 836U. Minn ’08 998Cornell U., ’09 792Average Response +840
    13. 13. Summary of Early Nutrition Effects• Nutrient intake early in life impacts lactation performance• All data is positive or neutral – no negative effects• Mechanisms are not completely understood• Bottom Line: There is future milk in early life colostrum and nutritional management!
    14. 14. Group Housing Facilities• New designs• Remodeled facilities• Outdoors
    15. 15. Group Housing Challenges• Ventilation• Bedding• Space availability• Feeding systems
    16. 16. Group Housing & FeedingHow do we deliver milk?• Gang feeders• Automated feeders• Ad-lib acidified
    17. 17. Gang Feeders• Inexpensive• Hygiene issues• Not ad-lib
    18. 18. Automatic Feeders• Computerized-data• Greater investment• Maintenance• Not always ad-lib
    19. 19. Acidified Ad-lib Systems• Basic or sophisticated.• Milk replacer• Whole milk (pasteurized or not)• Chemical pasteurization (acid)
    20. 20. CitricFormic Courtesy of Neil Anderson
    21. 21. Social aspects?
    22. 22. Group housing & feeding Source: N. Anderson
    23. 23. Group housing & ad-lib feeding
    24. 24. Group housing & ad-lib feeding A seasonal set-up for acidified whole milk
    25. 25. Group housing & ad-lib feeding Facility designed for grouped housing
    26. 26. High Line System
    27. 27. Midline System
    28. 28. Weaning System
    29. 29. Ad-lib & Group Housing Research Summaries Mark J. Thomas, DVM, DABVP-Dairy Countryside Veterinary Clinic, LLP Lowville, NY mthomascow@hughes.net Frans Vokey, MS, PASCornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County Daryl V. Nydam, DVM, PhDCornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
    30. 30. Overview• Late spring/summer 2011• Three collaborating dairy farms (Lewis & Jefferson Counties)• Objectives: 1. Group vs. individual housing with ad-lib feeding. 2. Citric vs. formic acid as a preservative for milk replacer.
    31. 31. Group vs. Individual• Pasteurized/formic acid acidified whole milk• Ad-lib feeding• Group housing (8 calves/pen, 3 nipples/pen)• Individual housing (clusters of 8- 4x8 pens with solid sides, 1 nipple/calf)• Alternating group and individual pen clusters within same barn.
    32. 32. Group vs. Individual Pens Group (n=40) Individual (n=32) p-valueADG (lbs.) @ 50 1.51a 1.32b 0.01daysSerum Total Protein 5.9a 5.8a 0.61Birth weight (lbs.) 88.3a 89.4a 0.66
    33. 33. Disease Events Event Group (n=40) Individual (n=32) Scours 0 0 Pneumonia 1 0 Other 0 0Total disease events 1 0
    34. 34. Conclusions• No apparent detrimental effects of group housing as compared to individual pens given similar nutrition.• Disease events (scours, pneumonia) were negligible throughout study (1 case of pneumonia).
    35. 35. Citric vs. Formic Acid• 24/17 Citric acid acidified (commercial) milk replacer vs. 24/17 milk replacer acidified (on-farm) with formic acid.• pH of 4.2 (Some issues with product pH for ~2 weeks)• Two facilities.• Identical feeding management within each farm.
    36. 36. pH is Important!• A two week period of high milk pH (~5) had significant effects on disease incidence and weight gain.• Important to consider this issue in regards to data analysis and conclusions.
    37. 37. Citric vs. Formic Acid Citric acid (n=38) Formic acid p-value (n=35)ADG (lbs.) @ 40 0.92a 1.14b 0.03daysSerum Total 5.54a 5.39a 0.29ProteinBirth weight (lbs.) 88a 95b 0.01
    38. 38. Disease Events Event Citric acid (n=43) Formic acid (n=36) Scours 3 (7%) 0 (0%) Pneumonia 7 (16.6%) 4 (11%) Other 4 (9.5%) 0 (0%) Death 5 (11.6%) 0 (0%)Total disease/death events 19 (39.6%) 5 (13.8%)
    39. 39. Conclusions• Statistically higher ADG in formic vs. citric groups.• Subjectively, no apparent negative effects of citric vs. formic acid for the acidification of milk replacer. (Currently in wide use)• Two week period of high pH and following disease make data analysis difficult for citric group.
    40. 40. How to acidify?Formic vs. Citric (others?)
    41. 41. Formic Acid 85%must be diluted before use Not approved in the USA
    42. 42. …dilute the acid • safe handling • ease of mixing1 L into 9 L = 10 L dilute acid Dr. Neil Anderson, OMAFRA December, 2011
    43. 43. …add dilute formic acid to milk ~30 ml (1 oz) of dilute acid to 1L whole milk or milk replacer Important Points:1. Aggressive agitation2. Temperature (<75oF)3. Rate of acid addition to milk (slow!)
    44. 44. pH Goal= 4.0-4.2
    45. 45. Aggressiveagitation
    46. 46. Feeding Temperature is very important!• At least 75 degrees F• Preference of 90+ degrees• How do we keep it warm?
    47. 47. What aboutintersuckling?
    48. 48. Keys to Success1. Stocking density- at least 30 sq ft (3 m2) lying area per calf. Dry, dry bedding.2. Excellent ventilation using positive pressure ventilation tubes. Most barns just don’t have it right! Be aggressive. Remember air exchanges/hour.3. True ad-lib (don’t limit intakes)4. Age range- try and fill a pen in 7-10 days.5. Cold milk (<75F) really discourages intakes. Cold milk (<75F) really discourages intakes. Offer milk at 85-90+ degrees F.
    49. 49. Keys to Success6. Proper pH is very important. Ideal range=4.0-4.2. Too low discourages intakes, too high allows for bacterial growth.7. Maintain consistent total solids. Monitor with Brix refractometer.8. Acidify cool milk (<75 degrees) to prevent curdling. Add diluted acid slowly while agitating.9. Concentrated acid is dangerous! Be careful.
    50. 50. Questions?