2024 : 7 : 15
Mehdi Hossein Yazdi

Mehdi Hossein Yazdi

Academic rank: Assistant Professor
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3763-6507
Education: PhD.
ScopusId: 55332944500
Faculty: Agriculture and Environment
Address: Arak University


Effects of step-down weaning implementation time on growth performance and blood metabolites of dairy calves
liquid feed, step-up/step-down, weaning, dairy calf
Journal Journal of Dairy Science
Researchers Mehdi Mirzaei ، Hassan Khanaki ، Mehdi Kazemi bonchenari ، mohammad ajmalkhan ، Amirhossein Khaltabadi Farahani ، Mehdi Hossein Yazdi ، Morteza Hosseini Ghaffari


The current study evaluated the effects of step-down weaning implementation time on starter feed intake, growth performance, blood metabolites, and ruminal pH in dairy calves. A total of 48 Holstein dairy calves (24 male and 24 female; 3 ± 1 d old; 41.2 ± 1.8 kg of body weight) were assigned (n = 12 per treatment; 6 male and 6 female) to 4 experimental treatments in a completely randomized block design. All calves were fed 6 L/d of milk from d 3 to 10 of age, and the treatments consisted of the following: calves were offered 8 L/d of milk from d 11 to 28 of age and then 4 L/d from d 29 to 63 (Step-28; total milk offered = 326 L); calves were offered 8 L/d of milk from d 11 to 42 of age and then 4 L/d from d 43 to 63 (Step-42; total milk offered = 382 L); calves were offered 8 L/d of milk from d 11 to 56 of age and 4 L/d from d 57 to 63 (Step-56; total milk intake = 438 L); and calves were fed 8 L/d of milk from d 11 to 63 of age and abruptly weaned (control; total milk offered = 466 L). All calves were housed individually in pens and had ad libitum access to water and solid feed throughout the experiment. All calves were completely milk weaned on d 64, and their performance was measured until d 80 of age. During the experiment, the starter intake (kg/d and % of body weight) was greater in calves in the Step-28 group compared with those in the other groups. However, the total metabolizable energy intake was greater in the Step-56 calves compared with the other calves. Overall, the average daily gain (ADG), feed efficiency (ADG/dry matter intake), and ADG/total metabolizable energy intake were similar across the treatments. Circulating glucose, β-hydroxybutyrate, blood urea nitrogen, albumin, total protein, alanine aminotransferase, and aspartate aminotransferase, as well as ruminal pH, were not affected by the treatments. The implementation of step-down weaning in early life (4–6 wk of age) could stimulate solid feed intake compared with weaning at a later age with n