A good management of dairy farms must include an efficient replacement calves nutritional plan, in order to improve their physiological development and productivity and enhance herd profitability. The present survey involved 120 dairy operations located in Parma province where data regarding colostral phase management, liquid feeding program, health status of calves and reproductive performances of farm heifers have been collected. Moreover, a total of 78 calves coming from 6 farms (2 small, 2 middle and 2 large) was monitored with the aim to evaluate growth performances during the first 90 days of life. A poor colostral phase management, generally characterized by lack of colostrum quality test and colostrum bank was observed. This probably led to failure of passive transfer, with high incidence of diseases. Milk replacer seems to be the main liquid feed for calves in small (61%), middle (69%) and large operations (55%). However, it’s use appears to be related with high incidence of diarrhea episodes in calves which affects more than 50% of animals in small (56%), middle (51%) and large (57%) dairy farms. Respiratory diseases are more frequent in large farms calves, than in small ones (21% vs 7%) in analogy with mortality (16% vs 8%). Weaning age resulted of about 3 months in small and middle farms, while appeared within 2 and 3 months in large farms. Age at first calving is about 28 months leading to a reduction in replacement efficiency. Estimated average growth rate of observed calves, resulted of 0.570 Kg/d in the first 90 days of life, potentially can support first calving at the age of 24 months allowing for optimization and strong economization of replacement process.

Calves nutritional management and growth in dairy farms located in Parma province / RIGHI F; CAMPI M; BORNATICI E; ROMANELLI S; RENZI M.; QUARANTELLI A. - In: ANNALI DELLA FACOLTÀ DI MEDICINA VETERINARIA. UNIVERSITÀ DI PARMA. - ISSN 0393-4802. - XXVII(2007), pp. 235-244.

Calves nutritional management and growth in dairy farms located in Parma province

RIGHI, Federico;RENZI, Marco;QUARANTELLI, Afro
2007

Abstract

A good management of dairy farms must include an efficient replacement calves nutritional plan, in order to improve their physiological development and productivity and enhance herd profitability. The present survey involved 120 dairy operations located in Parma province where data regarding colostral phase management, liquid feeding program, health status of calves and reproductive performances of farm heifers have been collected. Moreover, a total of 78 calves coming from 6 farms (2 small, 2 middle and 2 large) was monitored with the aim to evaluate growth performances during the first 90 days of life. A poor colostral phase management, generally characterized by lack of colostrum quality test and colostrum bank was observed. This probably led to failure of passive transfer, with high incidence of diseases. Milk replacer seems to be the main liquid feed for calves in small (61%), middle (69%) and large operations (55%). However, it’s use appears to be related with high incidence of diarrhea episodes in calves which affects more than 50% of animals in small (56%), middle (51%) and large (57%) dairy farms. Respiratory diseases are more frequent in large farms calves, than in small ones (21% vs 7%) in analogy with mortality (16% vs 8%). Weaning age resulted of about 3 months in small and middle farms, while appeared within 2 and 3 months in large farms. Age at first calving is about 28 months leading to a reduction in replacement efficiency. Estimated average growth rate of observed calves, resulted of 0.570 Kg/d in the first 90 days of life, potentially can support first calving at the age of 24 months allowing for optimization and strong economization of replacement process.
Calves nutritional management and growth in dairy farms located in Parma province / RIGHI F; CAMPI M; BORNATICI E; ROMANELLI S; RENZI M.; QUARANTELLI A. - In: ANNALI DELLA FACOLTÀ DI MEDICINA VETERINARIA. UNIVERSITÀ DI PARMA. - ISSN 0393-4802. - XXVII(2007), pp. 235-244.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11381/2295708
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