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J Anim Sci. 1992 Aug;70(8):2527-32.

Alteration of energy metabolism of calves fed below maintenance during 6 to 14 days of age.

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Department of Animal Husbandry, Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


A study was conducted with seven groups of five to six Holstein-Friesian male calves to evaluate the effect of feeding level during 6 to 14 d of age on energy metabolism of unadapted young calves. Calves were transported at 2 to 3 d of age to their new environment. At 6 d of age measurements of heat production (HP) and ME intake started and continued over a period of 8 d. Calves were fed below (four groups) or near (three groups) the maintenance requirement (19 or 30 g of milk replacer In contrast to ME intake, HP decreased throughout the experimental period. This decrease was larger at the low than at the high feeding level (3.1 vs .9; P less than .001). The relationship between HP and ME intake was estimated as HP = 91 + .318 x ME intake ( The decrease in HP, together with the constant ME intake with time, resulted in a time-dependent relationship between HP and ME intake. Estimated basal metabolic rate and efficiency of ME utilization below maintenance decreased with time, whereas the maintenance requirement remained virtually unchanged (134 The influence of feeding level on energy metabolism in young calves increased with time. For at least 12 d after transportation the energy metabolism of young calves had not reached steady-state levels.

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