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Objective

To estimate the marginal contribution of pasteurization of waste milk and colostrum to gross margin per calf at weaning and to estimate the minimum number of cattle on a dairy farm for pasteurization to be profitable.

Design

Randomized, controlled, clinical trial.

Animals

300 Holstein calves.

Procedure

The performance of calves fed pasteurized colostrum and waste milk was compared with the performance of calves fed nonpasteurized colostrum and waste milk. Costs, revenues, and gross margins for the 2 groups were compared.

Results

Calves fed pasteurized colostrum and waste milk were worth an extra $8.13 in gross margin/calf, compared with calves fed nonpasteurized colostrum and waste milk. The minimum number of cattle for which feeding pasteurized colostrum and waste milk was calculated to be economically feasible was 315 calves/d (1,260-cow dairy farm).

Clinical Implications

An economic benefit was associated with feeding pasteurized colostrum and waste milk. Additional benefits that may accrue include higher mean weight gain and lower mortality rate of calves as well as calves that have fewer days in which they are affected with diarrhea and pneumonia (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:751–756)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association