Dairy calves grow faster on essential oil weaning ration

FEEDING CALVES an essential oil as part of early weaning rations results in higher liveweight gains and reduced incidence of scours, according to a recent trial.

 A study on a Staffs dairy farm found that calves fed an 18% concentrate containing the essential oil product OreGin gained 11% more liveweight from birth to 12 weeks old.

 “From weaning to 12 weeks old this increase was more marked, with OreGin-fed calves gaining 20% more liveweight than their control group counterparts,” says Simon Marsh, of Harper Adams University College, who ran the trial.

 Total feed intake of calves fed treated feed was 4% higher and this, together with the reduced incidence of scours, resulted in an average extra 5.2kg gain in liveweight.

 “This improved performance and reduction in scours is worth about 10 a calf. When the cost of OreGin and the additional feed is taken into account, this gives a net gain of 9.22 a calf,” he says.

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