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Health risks associated with the use of automatic milk feeders in calves

Karlijn Janssens, Piet Deprez (UGent) , Bonnie Valgaeren (UGent) , Laura Van Driessche (UGent) , Linde Gille (UGent) , Filip Boyen (UGent) and Bart Pardon (UGent)
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Abstract
The objective of the present article was to summarize available evidence of the economic benefits and health risks associated with the use of automatic milk feeders (AMFs) in calves. Although AMFs are increasingly used in cattle production, clear evidence of their economic benefits (increased average daily gain, gradual weaning and reduced labor time) for the typical Belgian farm size and management is not available. Especially in smaller farms, where labor time is not a limiting factor, a careful economic consideration should be made. Regarding the association of AMFs with calf disease, studies have only been performed for bovine respiratory disease and confirmed an increased risk. However, since the use of AMFs is strongly related with several other risk factors (group housing at young age, large groups, age difference in a group, continuous system versus all-in/all-out), it is difficult to unequivocally identify the risk associated with AMFs alone. A group size of less than ten calves on a single drinking point, an all-in/alloutb grouping system and a minimum age at introduction to the automat of three weeks are recommended for farms with AMFs. To the authors’ knowledge, no scientific evidence supporting the presumed association of diarrhea and tongue ulcers with AMFs is available to date.
Keywords
CALF RESPIRATORY-DISEASE, SWEDISH DAIRY CALVES, INFECTIOUS-DISEASES, VEAL CALVES, DIARRHEA, HERDS, MORTALITY, BEHAVIOR, GROWTH, CATTLE

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Chicago
Janssens, Karlijn, Piet Deprez, Bonnie Valgaeren, Laura Van Driessche, Linde Gille, Filip Boyen, and Bart Pardon. 2016. “Health Risks Associated with the Use of Automatic Milk Feeders in Calves.” Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 85 (2): 71–85.
APA
Janssens, Karlijn, Deprez, P., Valgaeren, B., Van Driessche, L., Gille, L., Boyen, F., & Pardon, B. (2016). Health risks associated with the use of automatic milk feeders in calves. VLAAMS DIERGENEESKUNDIG TIJDSCHRIFT, 85(2), 71–85.
Vancouver
1.
Janssens K, Deprez P, Valgaeren B, Van Driessche L, Gille L, Boyen F, et al. Health risks associated with the use of automatic milk feeders in calves. VLAAMS DIERGENEESKUNDIG TIJDSCHRIFT. 2016;85(2):71–85.
MLA
Janssens, Karlijn et al. “Health Risks Associated with the Use of Automatic Milk Feeders in Calves.” VLAAMS DIERGENEESKUNDIG TIJDSCHRIFT 85.2 (2016): 71–85. Print.
@article{7277855,
  abstract     = {The objective of the present article was to summarize available evidence of the economic benefits and health risks associated with the use of automatic milk feeders (AMFs) in calves.
Although AMFs are increasingly used in cattle production, clear evidence of their economic benefits (increased average daily gain, gradual weaning and reduced labor time) for the typical Belgian farm size and management is not available. Especially in smaller farms, where labor
time is not a limiting factor, a careful economic consideration should be made. Regarding the association of AMFs with calf disease, studies have only been performed for bovine respiratory disease and confirmed an increased risk. However, since the use of AMFs is strongly related with
several other risk factors (group housing at young age, large groups, age difference in a group, continuous system versus all-in/all-out), it is difficult to unequivocally identify the risk associated with AMFs alone. A group size of less than ten calves on a single drinking point, an all-in/alloutb grouping system and a minimum age at introduction to the automat of three weeks are recommended for farms with AMFs. To the authors’ knowledge, no scientific evidence supporting the presumed association of diarrhea and tongue ulcers with AMFs is available to date.},
  author       = {Janssens, Karlijn and Deprez, Piet and Valgaeren, Bonnie and Van Driessche, Laura and Gille, Linde and Boyen, Filip and Pardon, Bart},
  issn         = {0303-9021},
  journal      = {VLAAMS DIERGENEESKUNDIG TIJDSCHRIFT},
  keywords     = {CALF RESPIRATORY-DISEASE,SWEDISH DAIRY CALVES,INFECTIOUS-DISEASES,VEAL CALVES,DIARRHEA,HERDS,MORTALITY,BEHAVIOR,GROWTH,CATTLE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {71--85},
  title        = {Health risks associated with the use of automatic milk feeders in calves},
  url          = {http://vdt.ugent.be/sites/default/files/pdf/201602.pdf},
  volume       = {85},
  year         = {2016},
}

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