Three studies were conducted to evaluate the performance of calves fed milk replacer containing liquid egg as an alternative protein and to determine the optimal levels of liquid egg to include milk replacers.
Calves on trials 1 and 2 were assigned to a diet of all milk protein milk replacer (MILK) or a milk replacer containing 5% of the diet from liquid egg (5%EGG) on arrival. Calves on trial 3 were assigned to one of 4 diets: an all milk protein milk replacer (MILK), a diet containing 5, 10 or 15% of the diet from liquid egg (5%EGG, 10%EGG, 15%EGG).
Holstein bull calves purchased at an area sale barn were used in all three trials.
Trial 1: n = 44 calves
Trial 2: n = 38 calves
Trial 3: n = 120 calves
All milk replacers were formulated to contain protein and fat levels at 20% of DM and were fed 454 g/d reconstituted to 12% DM. Diets containing egg protein utilized breaker eggs that were pasteurized during production of the milk replacer.
A high quality, commercial calf starter was available free choice beginning at d 7 for Exp 1 and 2 and at d 1 for Exp 3. Calves were weaned at a minimum of 42 d with weaning dependent on the calf eating a minimum of 454 g of calf starter for 3 consecutive days.
Summary of results
Experiment 1: calves fed 5%EGG had significantly greater average weekly weight gains and ADG (P<0.05) than calves fed MILK. No differences in average daily feed intake (ADFI) were observed between groups.
Experiment 2: there were no significant differences in weekly weight gains, average daily gain (ADG), ADFI or feed efficiency between calves fed MILK or 5%EGG.
Experiment 3: there were no significant differences in weekly weight gain, ADG, or ADFI for calves fed MILK, 5%EGG, or 10%EGG. Calves fed 15%EGG however, had significantly lower weekly weights, ADG, total gains, and increase weaning age.
Conclusion: These results indicate that at low levels egg can be used as an effective alternative protein source to replace a portion of milk protein in a commercial calf milk replacer.
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