Nutritional effects of including different levels and sources of protein in milk replacers for calves

A. M. Raven*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Two digestibility and nitrogen balance experiments were carried out with groups of young calves given high‐fat milk replacers reconstituted with water and fed in liquid form. In the first experiment six different milk replacers with crude protein contents ranging from 12.7 up to 27.6% in the dry matter were compared, the differences in protein content being brought about by adjustments to the level of separated milk protein used in the replacers. The apparent digestibility of organic matter was very high on all the treatments and unaffected by level of protein. Although the crude protein fraction showed an increase in apparent digestibility with increase in level of protein, its true digestibility was estimated to be virtually 100% on all the treatments. Retention of nitrogen expressed as a percentage of total intake remained fairly constant for diets containing from 18.8 to 27.6% of crude protein and the weight of nitrogen retained increased with each successive increase in level of dietary protein. In the second experiment the effects of replacing half of the milk protein in a control milk replacer by different forms of animal protein were studied. The true digestibilities of the total dietary protein on the treatment containing only separated milk protein and on the other treatments containing partial substitution by dried delactosed whey, dried blood, white fish meal and meat meal were found to be 94.1, 90.9, 85.4, 91.1 and 86.6%, respectively. Their biological values were 74.7, 70.3, 69.1, 66.0 and 65.5%, respectively. A sixth treatment in which the meat meal was provided with an enzyme supplement did not effect any significant change in either digestibility or biological value. Retentions of nitrogen expressed as percentages of intake were significantly lower on all the treatments containing partial replacement of separated milk protein by the other sources of protein than on the control treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-526
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number4
Publication statusPrint publication - Apr 1972


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