Tom Lingham, a BSc (Honours) Agriculture student at Harper Adams University College, has been awarded the 2010 Wynnstay Beef Award for trial work which showed that dairy-bred bull calves gained an extra 6.7kg in live weight from birth to 12 weeks old when fed a 6mm early weaning concentrate pellet compared to a 3mm pellet.
Tom Lingham receives the Wynnstay Beef Award from Steve Brown at his graduation ceremony from Harper Adams University College.
Tom, who is from a beef and arable farm in Kent, received the award from Wynnstay’s Steve Brown at this year’s Harper Adams graduation ceremony for his final year honours research project which investigated the effect of feed pellet size on the performance of artificially reared dairy-bred bull calves to 12 weeks.
Two groups of 40 calves were individually housed and fed Wynngold Bloom milk replacer mixed at 125g/litre, fed twice daily at two litres per feed. On day eight the calves’ milk intake was increased to five litres per day and Wynnstay Start ‘n’ Wean pellets were introduced, either as a 3mm or 6mm pellet. The calves were gradually weaned at 42 days.
Tom carried out the project in partial fulfilment of the requirements for his BSc (Honours) degree in Agriculture for which he was awarded a 2:1 grade. The study was supervised by Simon Marsh, Senior Lecturer and Beef Specialist at Harper Adams.
The results of the project showed that whilst no significant differences were recorded in terms of coat bloom score, faecal scores, wither height or girth measurements, concentrate intakes from start to weaning and onto 12 weeks of age were significantly higher for calves fed the 6mm pellet, with these calves consuming an extra 21.9kg of concentrated feed per animal.
Calves fed the 6mm pellet also recorded a significantly higher daily live weight gain from weaning to 12 weeks old and gained an extra 6.7kg in live weight from start to 12 weeks. At this age the calves weighed an average of 117.4kg, exceeding the EBLEX target for calf rearing.
“The increased feed intake is thought to have had a beneficial effect on rumen development, indicated by a higher last rib girth measurement in the calves fed the 6mm pellet,” Simon Marsh explains. “Increased concentrate intake should also minimise any growth check at weaning and could facilitate earlier weaning,” he adds. Feed costs per kg of live weight gain were also reduced for the calves receiving the 6mm pellet.
Steve Brown, Ruminant Feeds Product Manager for Wynnstay who presented the award stated, “Tom is a fitting recipient of the Wynnstay Beef Award. The results of his project have highlighted some interesting conclusions which the feed industry can take forward and use to help other calf rearers achieve improved results. We congratulate him on winning the award and wish him every success in his post-graduate career.”
New Beef Line-Up Puts Cogent at the Forefront of the UK Beef Industry
Simmental Bulls Reach 2,800gns at Dungannon
National Beef Calf Supply Stabilises