Impact of entry age and veterinary care on health and performance of veal calves

Bähler, Corinne; Tschuor, A; Schüpbach, Gertraud (2016). Impact of entry age and veterinary care on health and performance of veal calves. Schweizer Archiv für Tierheilkunde, 158(7), pp. 513-520. Huber 10.17236/sat00074

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INTRODUCTION: The objective of this field study was to investigate the impact of the entry age and of veterinary care on blood values, performance and carcass quality of veal calves in Switzerland. From July 2012 until May 2013 a total of 316 young calves (aged ø 10.8 days), 425 market calves (aged ø 39.5 days), and 65 old calves (aged ø 61.5 days) were observed during the production cycle. As control calves 9'019 veal calves fattened at the same time as the market calves were available. At time of entry the average hemoglobin value of 88.2 g/l in market calves was significantly (p < 0.001) lower than in young (96.2 g/l), old (95.0 g/l) and control calves (95.0 g/l). At time of slaughter the hemoglobin of control calves was 101.2 g/l and significantly (p < 0.001) lower than in young (129.6 g/l) and market calves (131.6 g/l). The average daily weight gain reached 1.21 kg in young calves, 1.28 kg in market calves, 1.29 kg in old calves and 1.30 kg in control calves. The premature slaughter rate was 3.4% in control calves, 8.1% young (p < 0.001), 3.4% in commercial and 0% in old calves (p = 0.17). The percentage of the favorite carcass quality was 53.8% in control calves and differed significantly (p < 0.001) from young (43.5%) and market calves (42.8%), but not from old calves (50.8%, p = 0.9). The carcass color with the average photometric L-value of 41.5 in young and 41.6 in market calves differed significantly (p < 0.001) from old (44.4) and control calves (45.4). The intensive veterinary care and the different entry ages had no positive effect on performance and carcass quality. The iron supply resulted in increased hemoglobin values and in reddish carcass color in more than 50% of the investigated calves.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Bähler, Corinne and Schüpbach, Gertraud

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0036-7281

Publisher:

Huber

Language:

English

Submitter:

Susanne Agnes Lerch

Date Deposited:

21 Jul 2017 08:44

Last Modified:

21 Jul 2017 08:44

Publisher DOI:

10.17236/sat00074

PubMed ID:

27504885

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/96054

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