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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.19.0412    [Accepted] Published online October 22, 2019.
Effect of acidified milk feeding on the intake, average daily gain and fecal microbiological diversity of Holsten dairy calves
Yong Chen1, Yan Gao1, Shuxin Yin1, Shuai Zhang1, Lu Wang1, Yong-li Qu1,*
College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Heilongjiang Bayi Agricultural University, Daqing 163319, China
Correspondence:  Yong-li Qu, Tel: +8613936961030, Fax: +8604596819190, Email: ylqu007@126.com
Received: 17 May 2019   • Revised: 12 July 2019   • Accepted: 20 October 2019
To evaluate the effect of feeding acidified milk on the growth and fecal microbial diversity of dairy calves.
Twenty healthy 3-day-old female Holstein calves with similar body weights were selected and randomly divided into two groups. One group was fed pasteurized milk (PM, Control), while the other was fed acidified milk (AM) ad libitum until weaned (day 60). The experiment lasted until day 180.
There was no difference in the nutritional components between pasteurized milk and acidified milk. The numbers of Escherichia coli and total bacteria in AM were lower than in PM. At 31-40 and 41-50 days of age, the milk intake of calves fed AM was higher than that of calves fed PM (P < 0.05), and the solid feed intake of calves fed AM was higher than that of calves fed PM at 61-90 days (P < 0.05). The average daily gain of calves fed AM was also higher than that of calves fed PM at 31-60, 61-180 and 7-180 days (P < 0.05). The calves fed AM tended to have a lower diarrhea rate than those fed PM (P = 0.059). Bacteroides had the highest abundance in the feces of calves fed AM on day 50, while Ruminococcaceae_UCG_005 had the highest abundance in the feces of calves fed AM on day 90 and calves fed PM on days 50 and 90. At the taxonomic level, the LDA scores of 27 microorganisms in the feces of calves fed AM and PM on days 50 and 90 were higher than 4.0.
Feeding AM increased calf average daily gain and affected fecal bacterial diversity.
Keywords: Calf; Acidified Milk; Feed Intake; Average Daily Gain; Fecal Microbial Diversity

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