Next Article in Journal
Beyond Glucocorticoids: Integrating Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) into Animal Welfare Research
Next Article in Special Issue
The Impact of Producing Type and Dietary Crude Protein on Animal Performances and Microbiota Together with Greenhouse Gases Emissions in Growing Pigs
Previous Article in Journal
Metabolism, Ketosis Treatment and Milk Production after Using Glycerol in Dairy Cows: A Review
Open AccessArticle

Novel Encapsulated Calcium Butyrate Supplement Enhances On-Farm Dairy Calf Growth Performance and Body Conformation in a Pasture-Based Dairy Production System

1
College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
2
Kemin Industries (Asia) Pte Limited, 12 Senoko Drive, Singapore 758200, Singapore
3
School of Land and Food, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
4
Willowdene Dairy Farm, Hamilton, Tasmania 7140, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1380; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081380
Received: 10 July 2020 / Revised: 3 August 2020 / Accepted: 6 August 2020 / Published: 8 August 2020
The problem addressed in this study was that of enhancing healthy gut development in calves with the aim of promoting early weaning through faster growth using encapsulated calcium butyrate (ECAB, ButiPEARL™, Kemin Industries, Inc., Des Moines, IA, USA). Results showed that supplementation of neonatal calves with ECAB at 4 kg/ton of calf starter feed, under a pasture-based dairy production system, had a significant effect on calf growth and development, presumably through improved rumen and small intestine development, gut health, feed digestibility, and nutrient absorption. This first of its kind on-farm, pasture-based, dairy farmer-driven study makes a significant novel contribution to our understanding of the impact of supplementing neonatal heifer calves with ECAB on pre-weaning and post-weaning growth performance and body conformation traits in purebred Friesian and crossbred Friesian × Swedish Red and Friesian × Jersey. The practical implication is accelerated calf growth and improved lifetime performance.
The effect of supplementing neonatal heifer calves with varying levels of ECAB on pre-weaning growth performance was investigated. Post-weaning growth was also measured, to determine any carry-over effect of pre-weaning supplementation of ECAB. Forty-eight heifer calves (7 ± 0.4 days old, average liveweight of 39.3 ± 5.3 kg) were utilized in a complete randomised experimental design, comprising 16 calves per pen, randomly allocated to one of the following three treatments: (1) Basal commercial calf starter mix without ECAB (Control); (2) control plus 4 kg/ton of ECAB (Low); and (3) control plus 6 kg/ton of ECAB (High). Calves were group-fed ad libitum for 77 days (11 weeks, pre-weaning period) with free choice access to water and 5.5 L of milk per head per day through an automated feeder. Calves were weighed weekly during the pre-weaning period, after which all calves were then weaned onto the same ryegrass pasture as one group. At approximately 9 months of age, calves were weighed to estimate post-weaning body weight gain. During the pre-weaning period, average daily dry matter feed intake was similar for 4 kg/ton and 6 kg/ton calves (649 g versus 688 g, respectively) and both were greater than that of the control calves (382 g). Average daily gain (ADG) was significantly higher for 4 kg/ton calves compared to 6 kg/ton calves or control calves (0.83 ± 0.03 kg, 0.74 ± 0.03 kg and 0.71 ± 0.03 kg, respectively; p = 0.0001). Similarly, 4 kg/ton calves had significantly increased chest girth (95.9 ± 0.7 cm), withers height (88.9 ± 0.5 cm), body length (82.9 ± 0.6 cm), and body condition score (1.99 ± 0.12) compared to 6 kg/ton calves (93.4 ± 0.7 cm, 87.4 ± 0.7, 81.5 ± 0.6 cm, and 1.67 ± 0.10, respectively) or control calves (92.9 ± 0.7 cm, 88.2 ± 0.5 cm, 80.1 ± 0.6 cm, and 1.30 ± 0.08, respectively). There was significant treatment × week interaction for all pre-weaning growth parameters. Breed differences were detected but there was no treatment × breed interaction. Post-weaning, 4 kg/t calves and 6 kg/t calves had significantly higher ADG compared to control calves (0.80 ± 0.03 kg, 0.85 ± 0.03 kg versus 0.70 ± 0.03 kg, respectively; p = 0.0047). It is concluded that under the conditions of this study, supplementing heifer calves with ECAB during pre-weaning period resulted in improved growth performance and there appears to be a post-weaning carry-over effect. View Full-Text
Keywords: heifer calves; encapsulated calcium butyrate; growth performance; body conformation heifer calves; encapsulated calcium butyrate; growth performance; body conformation
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Malau-Aduli, A.E.O.; Balogun, R.O.; Otto, J.R.; Verma, S.; Wehella, M.; Jones, D. Novel Encapsulated Calcium Butyrate Supplement Enhances On-Farm Dairy Calf Growth Performance and Body Conformation in a Pasture-Based Dairy Production System. Animals 2020, 10, 1380. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081380

AMA Style

Malau-Aduli AEO, Balogun RO, Otto JR, Verma S, Wehella M, Jones D. Novel Encapsulated Calcium Butyrate Supplement Enhances On-Farm Dairy Calf Growth Performance and Body Conformation in a Pasture-Based Dairy Production System. Animals. 2020; 10(8):1380. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081380

Chicago/Turabian Style

Malau-Aduli, Aduli E.O.; Balogun, Razaq O.; Otto, John R.; Verma, Sumita; Wehella, Maduka; Jones, David. 2020. "Novel Encapsulated Calcium Butyrate Supplement Enhances On-Farm Dairy Calf Growth Performance and Body Conformation in a Pasture-Based Dairy Production System" Animals 10, no. 8: 1380. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081380

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop