Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Dairy Science

First Advisor

David P. Casper


corn hybrids, calf starter, corn, growth performance, milk replacer, starch


New corn hybrids have been developed by Masters Choice (MC) that vary in energy density and starch digestibility. These MC hybrids have lower starch densities due to an altered starch structure, which allows for greater ruminal and intestinal starch digestion. The altered starch structure of these new hybrids results in reduced feed manufacturing costs (i.e., grinding). Thirty (30) 1 to 3 d old (40.6 ± 1.72 kg) Holstein heifer calves were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 calf starters to measure growth performance of Holstein heifer calves through 8 weeks of age. Treatments were: 1) Hard starch (HS) corn calf starter: containing 40% DM basis conventional ground shelled corn and 2) Soft starch (SS) corn calf starter: containing 40% DM basis MC corn. Experimental calf starters were formulated to contain 24% CP (DM basis) and were fed for ad libitum consumption as a pellet starting on day 1. The study was conducted from April 22 through August 1, 2013. Body weights and body measurements were collected weekly. All calves were fed a 28% (CP): 18% fat accelerated milk replacer (all milk) 2X/d at the rate of 0.68 kg/d from 0 to 14 d, 0.85 kg/d from 15 to 42 d and fed 1X/d at 0.425 kg/d from d 42 to 49. Data were analyzed using mixed procedure of SAS version 9.4. Body weight gains (26.16 kg and 28.77 kg) were similar between treatments. No differences were detected (P > 0.10) in frame parameters as measured by change in body length (8.05 and 7.8 cm), heart girth (12.1 and 12.92 cm), hip height (10.91 and 11.11 cm) and wither height (10.87 and 10.93 cm). Calves fed SS corn calf starter were numerically higher in ADG compared to calves fed HS corn calf starter (0.46 Vs 0.51 kg/d, P = 0.15). Trend was observed in greater feed efficiency for calves fed soft starch corn CS compared to calves fed HS corn CS (0.55 Vs 0.51, P < 0.10). The use of new corn hybrids has the potential to improve nutrient digestion and animal performance.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Calves -- Feeding and feeds

Hybrid corn

Corn as feed

Holstein-Friesian cattle -- Infancy

Calves -- Growth



Includes bibliographical references (page 50-61)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright