The effect of vanilla flavoured calf starter on performance of Holstein calves
M.H. Fathi, A. Riasi, and A. Allahresani
( Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences, 18:412-419 )
Twenty one male Holstein calves were used to evaluate the effects of vanilla flavour added to starter on preweaning and postweaning calf performance. Following 3 d of colostrum and transition milk feeding, calves were assigned in a completely randomized design to two treatments including: 1. unflavoured starter and 2. flavoured starter. Calves were fed whole milk at 10% of the initial body weight daily and had free access to starter and water. The weaning criterion was defined as the calf age at a daily intake of 0.80 kg of starter for 2 days, consecutively. Calves fed flavoured starter weighed more at weaning and at the end of experiment and the preweaning average daily gains increased significantly compared with calves fed unflavoured starter. The starter consumption during the preweaning but not postweaning period was significantly higher in calves fed flavoured starter. The calves fed flavoured starter met weaning criteria at a younger age, so that they had 2 to 3 days shorter preweaning period (P<0.03). These findings demonstrate that supplementing starter with vanilla as a flavour agent is advantageous to calf performance.
Key words: calf, weaning age, growth rate, flavour, vanilla