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Evaluation of lifeline protect at arrival and NutraPro formulated into a traditional milk program under California feeding and housing conditions during winter and summer seasons
The objective of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of a functional protein (FP) program in dairy calves raised in a California rearing program. Experiment 1 was conducted from January – March. Upon arrival the dairy origin, body weight and serum total protein level were recorded for each calf. Calves were then randomly assigned to either 1 of 2 feeding groups (n=27/group) based on initial data.. The FP program fed to calves consisted of Lifeline Protect (colostrum supplement) and 5% NutraPro (spray-dried plasma). Milk fed to calves was fortified to 14% solids using whole milk and a calf milk replacer. In addition to milk, calves were given a calf starter and water ad libitum. Weekly body weights (BW), daily milk and grain intake, health and fecal scores were all recorded. FP calves were heavier compared to control calves at d 14 and d 56. By d 56 FP calves reduced average attitude score, average fecal score and number of medical treatments. Experiment 2 was conducted from June – August, with similar methods and materials. Differences were BW wasn’t taken weekly and calves were randomized to 1 of 3 feeding groups (n=30/group). Calves were fed a FP program of either porcine (NP) or bovine plasma (NB). No significant differences were noted for performance, morbidity, and mortality of calves between NP and NB. No differences were observed in calf survival between all treatments. On d 56, calf BW was numerically heavier for NB and NP compared to control. Attitude and fecal scores throughout the 56 d were reduced in calves fed NB or NP compared to control calves.