Effects of feeding prepubertal heifers a high-energy diet for three, six, or twelve weeks on feed intake, body growth, and fat deposition

Journal of Dairy Science
L E Davis RinckerM J Vandehaar


The objective was to determine the effects of feeding prepubertal dairy heifers a high-energy diet for a duration of 0, 3, 6, or 12 wk on feed intake, growth, and fat deposition. We also used feed composition, daily intake, and body growth data to evaluate the nutritional model of the 2001 National Research Council (NRC) Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle. Holstein heifers (age = 11 wk; body weight = 107 +/- 1 kg) were assigned to 1 of 4 treatments (n = 16/treatment) designated H0, H3, H6, and H12 and fed a low-energy diet for 12, 9, 6, or 0 wk, followed by a high-energy diet for 0, 3, 6, or 12 wk, respectively. Four heifers were killed initially (11 wk of age) and 64 heifers were killed at the end of the treatment period (23 wk of age). The low-energy diet was formulated to achieve 0.6 kg of average daily gain and contained 16% crude protein, and 45% neutral detergent fiber. The high-energy diet was formulated to achieve an average daily gain of 1.2 kg and contained 18% crude protein and 23% neutral detergent fiber. Actual daily gains averaged over the 12-wk treatment period were 0.64, 0.65, 0.83, and 1.09 kg for the H0, H3, H6, and H12 groups, respectively. Body weight, withers height, hip width, carcass weight, liver weig...Continue Reading


Dec 1, 1992·Journal of Animal Science·K K SchilloS M Hileman
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