Research trials on the growth rates of calves were performed by Nutrition and Lactation Physiologist Dr Jean Margerison, and others, of Massey University’s Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Palmerston North, New Zealand in 2006 and 2007.

The 2006 study was presented at the 2007 American Dairy Science Conference in San Antonio, Texas and published in the Journal of Animal Science. For information download the conference abstract from the publications page or contact Bell-Booth.

2007 Research Study

38 Friesian calves of similar birth weight were housed in individual pens and offered an identical diet. All calves received 50g of X-Factor mixed with their daily milk ration from Day 1 – 18. From Day 19 until weaning half the calves received 200g of QoC per day with their 4L milk ration. Weights were measured weekly, as was time to reach a weaning weight of 92kg. All animals had unlimited access to straw and meal and feed intake levels were measured.

QOC resulted in 10% higher daily live weight gains
The average growth rate with QoC was 714g per day over the milk feeding period. This is an additional 63g (10%) more than the calves not offered QoC which had a daily gain of 651g per day on average.

The graph below shows accelerated growth pattern from the inclusion of QoC.

They weaned 8 days earlier
Calves on the QoC programme reached the target weaning weight of 90kg in 75 days on average. Calves on an identical diet, minus QoC, took 8 days longer to reach the target weaning weight.

  Milk only Milk plus 200g QoC
Milk feeding period (days) 82.9 74.5*
Average daily weight gains (g) 651 714*

*difference is statistically significant

Less feed required with QoC
The calves on QoC reached the target weaning weight earlier and as a result they consumed 16% less hard feed (straw and meal) and 31 litres less milk than the control calves. This amounts to half a bag of calf pellets and approx $20 of milk staying in the vat (for a payout of $7.50 per kg milk solids).

  Milk only Milk plus 200g QoC
Total milk used (L) 333.0 302.1
Pellet intake over the milk period (kg) 68.3 56.9*

*difference is statistically significant

Bigger framed calves
The QoC Nutrition Programme resulted in significantly greater hip width. For calves on the programme the average daily hip width gain was 0.09cm compared with 0.05cm for the untreated calves.

This study was presented at the 2011 American Dairy Science Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, along with outcomes from a study on the animals as heifers in 2010. More recently the outcomes were published in the Journal of Dairy Science in 2013.

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