Lactoferrin supplementation to dairy calves


Twenty-one Holstein calves (12 bulls, 9 heifers) were used to evaluate the effects of supplemental lactoferrin (0, 1, and 10 g/d) added to colostrum, milk, and milk replacer in a 56-d study. Calves fed lactoferrin (LF) weighed more during wk 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 than control calves. Calves fed LF had increased preweaning daily weight gains and heart girth gains compared with calves not fed lactoferrin. Calves fed 1 g/d LF had a greater preweaning average daily gain than calves fed 10 g/d of lactoferrin. Hematocrit and serum Fe were unaffected by treatments. Calves were weaned when they had consumed 0.7 kg of calf starter grain for 2 consecutive d and were at least 28 d of age. All calves were weaned by 35 d of age, regardless of starter intake. Calves fed LF consumed more calf starter grain during the preweaning period and met weaning criteria at a younger age. This study indicates that supplementing calf diets with LF is advantageous to calf performance.

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Journal of dairy science


American Dairy Science Association

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©American Dairy Science Association, 2002.