Nurture Research Center

Brookville, OH, United States

Nurture Research Center

Brookville, OH, United States
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Suarez-Mena F.X.,Nurture Research Center | Hu W.,Nurture Research Center | Dennis T.S.,Nurture Research Center | Hill T.M.,Nurture Research Center | Schlotterbeck R.L.,Nurture Research Center
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2017

The objective of this research was to determine how blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and glucose are affected by age, time of day, stress, weaning, forced intake restriction, and voluntary starter intake in calves between 1 and 9 wk of age, and to evaluate if either is an acceptable proxy for starter intake. Holstein calves were fed a 27% crude protein, 17% fat milk replacer at 660 g of dry matter daily along with free-choice starter and water. Calves were weaned on d 42. Jugular blood was sampled at 0800, 1200, and 1600 h, and within 5 min of sampling BHB, and glucose concentrations were estimated using test strips (Nova Max Plus meter, Nova Biomedical Corporation, Waltham, MA). Age effects and time of day were estimated by sampling blood weekly (d 6, 13, 20, 27, 34, 41, and 48). To determine vaccination stress, a Pasteurella vaccine was administered after blood sampling at 0800 h on d 36. Effect of voluntary starter intake was tested by selecting calves for low and high intakes (d 35 to 39) and sampling on d 40, 41, 43, and 44. Starter intake restriction was tested by restricting intake in half of the calves and sampling on d 60 and 61. Data were analyzed with repeated measurements in a mixed model procedure with either within-calf effect (day or week) or within-calf effects (hour, and day or week) included in the model. Time of day did not affect blood BHB and glucose in the first 6 wk. Blood BHB was greater in wk 7 versus wk 1 to 6. Blood glucose was greater in the first 5 wk compared with wk 6 and 7. Blood BHB increased and glucose decreased with increasing starter intake. Blood BHB declined due to vaccination, but glucose was unaffected. Starter intake restriction reduced BHB for 3 d and glucose for 2 d after restriction. Both were affected by time of day. Around weaning (d 40 to 44), BHB and glucose increased with increasing starter intake. In this research, neither blood BHB nor glucose was a good proxy for starter intake. Blood BHB was positively and glucose negatively related to starter intake; however, relationships were weak, variable, and affected by time of day, stress, and intake restriction. Over 30% of calves tested ≤0.2 mmol/L BHB when consuming >1,250 g/d of starter, and test strip increments were 0.1 mmol/L, which represented >25% of the mean blood BHB concentration. In this study, neither blood BHB nor glucose was an acceptable proxy for estimating starter intake. © 2017 American Dairy Science Association.


Bateman H.G.,Nurture Research Center | Hill T.M.,Nurture Research Center | Aldrich J.M.,Nurture Research Center | Schlotterbeck R.L.,Nurture Research Center | Firkins J.L.,Ohio State University
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2012

A data set was constructed from individual calf means gathered in the Nurture Research Center (Lewisburg, OH) and used in a meta-analysis to parameterize an empirical model predicting growth measures for neonatal calves. The data set contained 993 observations from 20 research trials conducted in all seasons of multiple years. Growth measures gathered included average daily gain (ADG) preweaning, postweaning, and through 8 wk of age. Independent variables gathered included age at weaning; total starter intake (SI); total milk replacer intake (MRI); milk replacer CP (MRCP) and fat (MRfat) contents; number of days with abnormal fecal scores (AFS); average environmental temperature preweaning, postweaning, and through 8 wk of age; minimum and maximum temperature during the entire 8 wk; body weight at d 0; and initial serum protein concentration. Additionally, the interactions of SI, MRI, and MRCP and MRfat were considered for the model. Backward elimination multiple regressions were conducted using a mixed model with a random effect of trial. The final model for total ADG indicated that increasing SI or MRI improves calf growth. Also, increasing MRCP or MRfat increased growth. Increased sickness (as measured by increased AFS) or increased body weight at d 0 decreased ADG. Growth of neonatal dairy calves appears to be more controlled by nutrient intake and their interactions than by surrogates for health status of the calves (AFS and initial serum protein concentration) or environmental temperature. © 2012 American Dairy Science Association.


Hill T.M.,Nurture Research Center | Bateman H.G.,Nurture Research Center | Aldrich J.M.,Nurture Research Center | Quigley J.D.,Nurture Research Center | Schlotterbeck R.L.,Nurture Research Center
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2013

Due to renewed interest in feeding acidified milk replacer (MR) for ad libitum consumption within North America, two 112-d trials were conducted using Holstein calves obtained from one dairy farm at 2 to 3 d of age. In trial 1, a 27% crude protein (whey protein), 17% fat MR powder was reconstituted with water to 14% solids and fed at 0.66. kg of dry matter (DM) per day for 42 d (CON) or acidified to pH 4.2 using citric acid and offered 24. h/d for d 0 to 35, then switched to 0.66. kg of DM without acid per d for 7 d (A4). In trial 2, the same MR was fed as CON, ad libitum pH 5.2 MR offered from 0600 to 0800. h and 1600 to 1800. h for d 0 to 21 (R5), ad libitum pH 5.2 MR offered 24. h/d for d 0 to 35 (A5), and ad libitum pH 4.2 MR offered 24. h/d for d 0 to 35 (A4). After the ad libitum period, calves on R5, A5, and A4 were switched to CON until d 42. Growth measures were made until d 112 in each trial. Data from each trial were analyzed as a completely randomized design with repeated measurements over time using an autoregressive type 1 covariance structure when appropriate. In each trial, calves fed CON had lower average daily gain (ADG) from 0 to 42 d and greater ADG from 42 to 56 d than calves fed the other treatments. In both trials, ADG from 0 to 56 d and 56 to 112 d were not greater for A4 or A5 versus CON. From 56 to 112 d in trial 2, ADG was greater for R 0025 versus A5. Some calves completely rejected the MR at pH 4.2. Calves consumed more of the MR at pH 5.2 than 4.2. Calves fed A4 in trial 1 and treatments A5 and A4 in trial 2 consumed >95% of their MR between 0600 to 0800. h and 1600 to 1800. h. Time spent standing did not differ by treatment in trial 1 and increased from 312 to 332. min/d from d 6 to 56. Under the conditions of these trials, results to 112 d showed no advantage to feeding calves MR acidified to pH 4.2 or 5.2 ad libitum from 0 to 35 d with gradually weaning by 42 d compared with calves fed the control MR fed at 0.66. kg of DM/d. Additionally, when calves were fed MR ad libitum, they consumed >95% of the MR between 0600 to 0800. h and 1600 to 1800. h and standing behavior was not greatly affected. © 2013 American Dairy Science Association.


Hill T.M.,Nurture Research Center | Bateman H.G.,Nurture Research Center | Aldrich J.M.,Nurture Research Center | Schlotterbeck R.L.,Nurture Research Center
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2011

Housing, bedding, and summer cooling were management options evaluated. Holstein calves (42±2kg of body weight) initially 2 to 5 d of age were managed in southwest Ohio in poly hutches or wire mesh pens in a curtain-sided nursery with no supplemental heat. Calves were fed milk replacer (27% crude protein, 17% fat fed at 0.657kg of dry matter per calf daily), starter (20% crude protein dry matter, textured, fed free-choice), and water (free-choice). Measurements were for 56 d. In trial 1, 28 calves per treatment were bedded with straw and housed in either hutches or nursery pens. This trial was conducted from September to March; the average temperature was 8°C and ranged from -17 to 31°C. In trial 2a, 16 calves per treatment were managed in nursery pens bedded with straw, in nursery pens bedded with sand, or in hutches bedded with sand. This trial was conducted from May to September; the average temperature was 21°C and ranged from 7 to 33°C. In trial 2b, 26 calves per treatment were housed in nursery pens and bedded with straw. This trial was conducted from May to September; the average temperature was 22°C and ranged from 8 to 34°C. One treatment was cooled with fans between 0800 and 1700h and the other was not. Data were analyzed as repeated measures in a completely randomized block design by trial, with calf as the experimental unit. In trial 3, air in the nursery and calf hutches used above was sampled 35 d apart for calves aged 5 and 40 d. Air in individual hutches on 2 commercial farms was sampled for 5- and 40-d-old calves for 2 hutch types. Air in the multi-calf hutches was sampled for calves of 75 and 110 d of age. Bacterial concentrations of air samples were analyzed (log 10) as odds ratios by Proc Logistic in SAS software (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC); differences were declared at P<0.05. In trial 1, weight gain of calves in nursery pens was 6% greater and feed efficiency was 4% greater than that of calves in hutches. In trial 2a, weight gain and starter intake of calves in the nursery with straw bedding were greater and scouring was less than that in calves bedded with sand in the nursery or hutches. The relative humidity was greater in the hutches than in the nursery pens. In trial 2b, weight gain, feed efficiency, and hip width change were greater and breaths per minute were less for calves cooled with fans compared with calves that were not cooled. In trial 3, airborne bacteria concentrations were greater in the hutches than in the nursery pens. Straw bedding (vs. sand), nursery pens (vs. hutches), and summer daytime cooling with fans improved calf weight gain. © 2011 American Dairy Science Association.


Suarez-Mena F.X.,Pennsylvania State University | Hill T.M.,Nurture Research Center | Heinrichs A.J.,Pennsylvania State University | Bateman H.G.,Nurture Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2011

A series of 5 trials was conducted to determine the effect of distillers dried grains with solubles (DG) in calf diets. Trial 1 compared 0 or 49% DG in 18% crude protein (CP) starters (as-fed basis) fed to calves initially 2 to 3 d old for 56 d. Digestibility was estimated during d 52 to 56 using chromic oxide. Trial 2 compared 0 or 39% DG in 16% CP growers fed to calves from 8 to 12 wk of age from 28 d. Trial 3 compared 0, 10, or 20% DG in 18% CP starters fed to calves initially 2 to 3 d old for 56 d. Trial 4 compared 0 or 20% DG in 16% CP growers fed to calves from 8 to 12 wk of age from 28 d. As DG increased in all diets, acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber, and fat increased and calculated metabolizable energy was similar but not equalized. In trials 1 and 3, calves (n = 48/trial) housed in individual pens were fed 26% CP, 17% fat milk replacer powder and weaned at 28 d. Trials 2 and 4 used calves (n = 48/trial) housed in group pens (6 calves/pen) that had been weaned for 28 d before the trials' start. Trial 5 (n = 18 calves) had the same starter treatments as trial 3 fed in combination with high or low milk replacer intake, with calves killed at 35 d to determine effects of DG and milk replacer intake on rumen development. In trial 1, average daily gain (ADG) was 6% greater and dry matter digestibility was 10% greater for calves fed 0% versus 49% DG. In trial 2, ADG (9%), feed efficiency (10%), and hip width change (19%) were greater for calves fed 0% versus 39% DG. Performance measures did not differ among starter treatments in Trials 3 and 5. In trial 4, ADG (4%), feed efficiency (5%), and hip width change (19%) were greater for calves fed 0% versus 20% DG. In trial 5, rumen development was not affected by DG inclusion, but was greater for calves fed milk replacer at 630 versus 940. g/d, which had greater starter intake. Overall, we conclude that high levels of distillers in calf starters and growers decrease growth of calves; however, starters with ≤20% DG allow for normal growth rates and rumen development. © 2011 American Dairy Science Association.


Hill T.M.,Nurture Research Center | Bateman H.G.,Nurture Research Center | Aldrich J.M.,Nurture Research Center | Schlotterbeck R.L.,Nurture Research Center
Professional Animal Scientist | Year: 2012

Starch concentration, fiber concentration and type, and diet form were evaluated using Holstein steer calves from 2 to 4 mo of age in four 56-d trials. In trial 1, 96 calves were fed a high-starch diet that had the same composition in meal, pelleted, and whole-grain textured forms that was blended with 5% chopped grass hay at the time of feeding. In trial 2, the same meal and textured diets were retested with 96 calves. Calves fed the meal form diet consumed less DM and had lower ADG than the calves fed the textured form diet in each trial (P < 0.05). In trial 3, 96 calves were fed either a high-starch, whole-grain textured or low-starch, high-fiber (wheat middlings, soyhulls, distillers grains) pelleted diet that was blended with either 4 or 12% chopped alfalfa-grass hay. Calves fed the high-starch, low-hay diet had greater (P < 0.05) ADG, intake, feed efficiency, and change in BCS than calves fed the other treatments. In trial 4, 48 calves were fed a high-starch, whole-grain textured or 0, 20, 40, and 60% of a low-starch, pelleted diet blended with the high-starch, textured diet for progressive 14-d intervals. There were no differences in calf performance. Coarse high-starch textured diets supported more intake and ADG than meal form diets. Fiber from fibrous concentrates and roughages reduced calf performance and need to be introduced slowly in moderate amounts to calves under 4 mo of age. © 2012 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists.


Hill T.M.,Nurture Research Center | VandeHaar M.J.,Michigan State University | Sordillo L.M.,Michigan State University | Catherman D.R.,Strauss Feeds | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2011

The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of supplementing milk replacer (MR) with NeoTec4 (Provimi North America, Brookville, OH), a commercially available blend of butyric acid, coconut oil, and flax oil, on calf growth, efficiency, and indices of immune function. In trial 1a, 48 male Holstein calves were fed either a control MR that contained only animal fat or the same MR with NeoTec4 (treatment) along with free-choice starter. The MR (28.7% crude protein, 15.6% fat) was fed at an average of 1 kg of dry matter (DM)/d. In trial 1b, weaned calves from trial 1a were all fed dry starter for 28 d without NeoTec4 (phase 1), and then half the calves were fed NeoTec4 for 28 d (phase 2). In trial 2, 40 male Holstein calves were fed a control MR with lard, coconut oil, and soy lecithin or the same MR supplemented with NeoTec4 (treatment). The MR (22.8% crude protein, 18.9% fat) was fed at an average of 1 kg of DM/d; no starter was fed. In trial 1a, NeoTec4 improved average daily gain, feed intake, and feed efficiency, reduced the number of days that calves experienced scours, and reduced the medical treatments for clostridium sickness. In trials 1a and 2, NeoTec4 altered the inflammatory response to vaccination with Pasteurella at 5 wk of age and to challenge with Salmonella toxin at less than 2 wk of age (fed NeoTec4 for 6 d), as observed by reduced hyperthermia and hypophagia, and altered the tumor necrosis factor-α response. In addition, NeoTec4 enhanced the response in IL-4 and globular protein estimates postchallenge and enhanced titers for bovine viral diarrhea and respiratory parainfluenza-3. Postchallenge serum concentrations of albumin were lower and urea nitrogen concentrations were greater in control calves than in calves fed NeoTec4. In trial 1b, performance did not differ during the first 28 d when no calves received NeoTec4, but calves receiving NeoTec4 in the second 28 d had greater average daily gain and feed efficiency. We conclude that supplementation of MR with NeoTec4 alters some immune and inflammatory responses, including increasing titers to bovine viral diarrhea and respiratory parainfluenza-3 vaccinations, reduces scours, reduces medical treatments for clostridium sickness, and improves growth rates and feed efficiency. © 2011 American Dairy Science Association.


PubMed | Nurture Research Center and Ohio State University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of dairy science | Year: 2015

Monitoring in vivo growth of mammary parenchyma (PAR) has historically been difficult, necessitating slaughter studies to measure PAR quantity. Advances in ultrasound (US) technology warrant revisiting its use as a noninvasive tool to monitor PAR growth in vivo. The level of nutrient intake during the first 2mo of life may affect measures of mammary growth and composition. Objectives were to examine the utility of US as an in vivo tool to quantify PAR cross-sectional area in Holstein heifers reared on 1 of 3 diets from birth to 2mo of age, assessing potential dietary effects; assess the relationships between weekly US measurements, teat length, manual palpation of PAR scores, and PAR mass at 2mo of age; and examine mammary composition in experimental animals. Holstein heifers (n=24; 411kg of initial body weight) from a single farm were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 milk replacers that differed in source and amount of fat. Milk replacer was fed at 660g of dry matter/d until weaning at 42 d. Heifers had ad libitum access to a common calf starter (20% crude protein) and water for the duration of the 56-d trial. Teat length and palpation scores were obtained weekly. A real-time B-mode US with a 7.5-MHz convex probe was used to examine 2-dimensional PAR area in all 4 glands of heifers once weekly from 2 to 3 d of age to harvest at 56 d. The left front and left rear glands were also examined by US 24h postharvest to validate final US measurements, and then bisected to produce a sagittal plane view of PAR for comparison with US images. Mass and composition of mammary gland tissue were determined at 8 wk using standard methodology. Over the course of this 8-wk trial, average teat length increased from 11 to 17mm. The PAR area started small (6.63.2mm(2) per gland) and increased to 42.12.5mm(2) per gland by the end of the trial. As anticipated, based on measurements obtained at slaughter, US measurements were more related to amount of PAR (r=0.74) than either teat length (r=0.34) or palpation scoring (r=0.63). Importantly, US is quantitative, whereas palpation scoring is subjective. Diet did not affect mass or composition of PAR in young heifers; total udder PAR mass averaged 1.400.80g. In conclusion, we showed that in heifers younger than 2mo of age, obtaining weekly PAR measurements via ultrasound is an effective quantitative tool for measuring changes in PAR area in vivo. Future studies may incorporate and expand upon the methods developed here to determine what quantitative evaluation of PAR in young heifers can reveal about milk production capacity.


Holstein calves, 2 to 5 d of age initially (42.8 2.1 kg of body weight) from a single dairy farm, were transported 3.5h to southwest Ohio. Calves were housed in 1.2 2.4m individual pens with wire mesh sides within a curtain sidewall barn with no added heat. Pens were bedded with long straw and fed 0.68 kg (as-fed) of milk replacer powder reconstituted to a 14% dry matter daily in 2 equal meals at 0615 and 1600 h. Starter and water were offered ad libitum. Calves were weaned at 42 d with measurements made until d 56. Ten calves per period in 4 periods of the year (spring/summer, SS; summer, S; fall, F; winter, W) were used to measure standing and lying behavior using an electronic data logger attached to the medial side of the right rear leg of calves. In period SS, loggers were attached from d 2 to 6, 10 to 17, 25 to 32, and 33 to 56. In periods S, F, and W, the logger was attached from d 4 to 56. Standing time was estimated from 5-min interval recordings. Data from the first 2 d after attachment were not used. Standing time did not differ among periods and averaged 303 52.8 min/d. These measurements were low, and approximately 2h/d less than other measurements found in the literature. Standing time differed among sections of the day and was greatest during a.m. and p.m. feeding, intermediate during midday and evening, and least at night. No interaction of period of year by time of day was noted. Standing time increased by 0.52 0.063 min/d with increasing age of calf (approximately 26 min per 7 wk). Variances of standing time within period of year due to calf and variances across periods were compared and did not differ. In summary, calves averaged approximately 300 min/d standing, and time standing increased by approximately 0.5 min/d with age and did not differ with period of year.


PubMed | Nurture Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of dairy science | Year: 2016

Two 56-d trials with weaned Holstein dairy calves (initially 72 1.8 kg of body weight, 58 to 60 d of age) fed 95% concentrate and 5% chopped grass hay diets were conducted. Each trial used 96 calves (4 calves/pen). During 15 of the last 21 d of the first trial and 10 of 14 d of the second and third week of the second trial, fecal samples were taken to estimate digestibility using acid-insoluble ash as an internal marker. Digestibility estimates along with 56-d average daily gain (ADG), hip width change, body condition score, and fecal score were analyzed with pen as the experimental unit. In trial 1, a textured diet (19% crude protein) with high starch [52% starch, 13% neutral detergent fiber (NDF)] based on whole corn and oats or a pelleted low-starch (20% starch, 35% NDF), high-digestible fiber diet were used. Within starch level, diets were formulated from supplemental soybean meal or soybean meal with blood meal and Alimet (Novus International Inc., St. Charles, MO) to provide 2 metabolizable protein levels (1 and 1.07% metabolizable lysine plus methionine). The 4 treatments were analyzed as a completely randomized design with a 2 by 2 factorial arrangement (6 pens/diet). In trial 2, all pelleted diets (19% crude protein) were fed. Diets were based on soybean hulls, wheat middlings, or corn, which contained increasing concentrations of starch (13, 27, and 42% starch and 42, 23, and 16% NDF, respectively; 8 pens/diet). Contrast statements were constructed to separate differences in the means (soybean hulls plus wheat middlings vs. corn; soybean hulls vs. wheat middlings). In trial 1, intake of organic matter (OM) did not differ. Digestibility of OM was greater in calves fed high- versus low starch-diets. Digestibility of NDF and starch were less in calves fed the high- versus low-starch diets. Calf ADG and hip width change were greater for high- versus low-starch diets. Source of protein did not influence digestibility or ADG. In trial 2, intake of OM was not different. Digestibility of OM was greater in calves fed corn versus other diets. Digestibility of NDF was greater for calves fed soybean hulls versus wheat middlings. Starch digestibility was not different among treatments. Calf ADG and hip width change were greater in calves fed corn versus other diets. High-starch diets were more digestible and supported more growth in 2- to 4-mo-old dairy calves than replacing starch with digestible fiber. Manipulating metabolizable protein compared with a control diet that was predominately corn and soybean meal did not alter growth or digestibility.

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