Effect of supplemental Lactobacillus acidophilus on the growth and performance of dairy calves
Kraft, Michelle Jeanette
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Eighty Holstein calves were used in a 56 day trial to determine the effect of including Lactobacillus acidophilus, LA 51, in milk replacer at increasing concentrations (control, 5 x 104, 5 x 106, and 5 x 108 cfu LA 51) on their overall health and growth rate. Intake of milk replacer and calf starter was similar for all treatments, but the control and 5 x 108 LA 51 groups tended to have higher starter intake than the other two treatments, both before and after weaning. Total body weight and average daily gain were higher (P<0.08) for the control and 5 x 108 LA 51 than the other two treatments. Excluding the control, a positive linear relationship was observed for all variables with increasing LA 51 at the end of six weeks. No differences were observed for incidence of scours or respiratory illness among the treatments. Results of this trial demonstrate that supplementation of 5 x 108 LA 51 has the potential to support higher rates of gain, which persist after weaning and supplementation ceases.