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Effect of early weaning concentrate pellet size on the performance of artificially reared dairy-bred bull calves.

Experiment to compare the effect of feeding either a 3mm or 6mm early weaning concentrate on the performance of artificially reared dairy-bred bull calves.

Year of Publication2011

In pursuit of early dry feed intakes with artificially reared calves it has been traditional in the UK to manufacture a pelleted calf starter feed using a small extrusion die (2.5-3.5 mm). This is significantly smaller than the pellet size used for adult ruminants (6-8mm). There are economic consequences for both the farmer and the feed producer. For the farmer, achieving a higher concentrate intake could enhance rumen maturity and minimises growth retardation at and around weaning. For the feed manufacturer the time lost in the feed mill due to extrusion press die changes increases production costs. The objective of this experiment was to compare the effect of feeding either a 3mm or 6mm early weaning concentrate on the performance of artificially reared dairy-bred bull calves to 12 weeks.

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Supporting the development of the national rural economy.

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