Dairy Research Facility Dairy Research Facility

Dairy Research Facility

Trouw Nutrition’s Kempenshof Dairy Research Facility is located in Boxmeer, the Netherlands. Kempenshof is a commercial dairy farm equipped with the latest scientific and experimental technology to enable us to execute scientifically sound trails to precisely measure feed and water intake and closely monitor animal health and performance.

About the farm

Trouw Nutrition has been a registered partner of the Van Kempen family, that owns the Kempenshof farm, for more than 25 years. The farm has space for 135 dairy cows and 75 calves and is surrounded by 30 hectares of grass and 12 hectares of maize. At Kempenshof, we follow the development of calves from birth until their final lactation to provide evidence to support our LifeStart philosophy. According to LifeStart, we believe that the first two to three months of a calf’s life have a major impact on the productivity and longevity of the animal throughout its lifetime as a dairy cow, and therefore, it is important to carefully monitor young animals on the farm.

Equipped with the latest technology

Calves at Kempenshof are housed in individual igloos and a group housing unit, both of which make it possible to closely monitor individual health and performance and if needed, adjusted accordingly. The main barn has room for 135 dairy cows, with forage and compound feeders to individually measure feed intake. There is a 6x2 milking parlour, that enables us to perform automatic body condition scoring and individual weighing. The farm also has a large calving pen, with 24/7 video surveillance that enables us to closely follow the birth process. The metabolism unit is essential for research purposes and in-depth monitoring of the cows’ metabolism, with the aim to improve animal health and performance. Individual cows can be studied intensively for a longer period, which is quite unique and valuable for research on dairy cows. There is also a small laboratory on location for sample preparation and storage.

Dairy Research Facility

Related stories

Effect of immunized egg proteins on the performance and neonatal diarrhoea incidence in newborn calves

Ruminants
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of feeding immunized egg proteins (IEP) on the health and performance of newborn dairy calves. Sixty‐four Holstein calves, both male and female, were divided over two treatments. Calves either received IEP or a placebo (PCB) in their colostrum and calf milk replacer (CMR) for the first 14 days of their life. Until day 49, CMR was offered at 15% of birth weight (BW), at 10% on days 49–57 and at 5% on days 57–63. In addition, calves received starter concentrate, chopped straw and water from 3 days old until 70 days old at the end of study. Individual CMR and concentrate intake were measured daily whilst BW was recorded weekly. Visual faecal scoring and health observations were conducted daily. Faecal samples were collected weekly up to 4 weeks and during the first 4 days of scouring to screen for presence of Cryptosporidium parvum, rotavirus, coronavirus, E. coli and Salmonella. Results indicated that feeding IEP increased BW (p < .05) at 42 and 56 days old, and BW also tended (p = .06) to be higher after weaning at 63–70 days old compared to the PCB group. When analysed using a repeated measures model, compared to feeding PCB, feeding IEP increased total concentrate consumption (p = .001) by 3.6kg/calf. Over the entire study, daily water intake was higher (p = .002) for the IEP group when compared with the PCB group. In the IEP group, 12 calves were scored as scouring whereas there were 14 calves in the PCB group. There were no significant differences between treatments in faecal pathogen load of neither healthy nor scouring calves. In conclusion, supplementing IEP during the first 14 days of calf life improved the performance of newborn calves. Further work is warranted to understand the mode of action of IEP in calves.
by S. J. A. van Kuijk on 18.01.2021
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Evaluation of predicted ration nutritional values by NRC (2001) and INRA (2018) feed evaluation systems, and implications for the prediction of milk response

Ruminants
Net energy and protein systems (hereafter called feed evaluation systems) offer the possibility to formulate rations by matching feed values (e.g., net energy and metabolizable protein) with animal requirements. The accuracy and precision of this approach relies heavily on the quantification of various animal digestive and metabolic responses to dietary changes. Therefore, the aims of the current study were, first, to evaluate the predicted responses to dietary changes of total-tract digestibility (including organic matter, crude protein, and neutral detergent fiber) and nitrogen (N) flows at the duodenum (including microbial N and undigested feed N together with endogenous N) against measurements from published studies by 2 different feed evaluation systems. These feed evaluation systems were the recently updated Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA, 2018) and the older, yet widely used, National Research Council (NRC, 2001) system. The second objective was to estimate the accuracy and precision of predicting milk yield responses based on values of net energy (NEL) and metabolizable protein (MP) supply predicted by the 2 feed evaluation systems. For this, published studies, with experimentally induced changes in either NEL or MP content, were used to calibrate the relationship of NEL and MP supply, with milk component yields. Based on the slope, root mean square prediction error, and concordance correlation coefficient (CCC), the results obtained show that total nonammonia nitrogen flow at the duodenum was predicted with similar accuracy and precision, but considerably better prediction was achieved when the INRA model was used to predict organic matter and neutral detergent fiber digestibility responses. The average NEL and MP content predicted by both models was similar, but NEL and MP content of individual diets differed substantially between both models as indicated by determination coefficients of 0.45 (NEL content) and 0.50 (MP content). Despite these differences, this work shows that when response equations are calibrated with NEL and MP values either from the INRA model or from the NRC model, the accuracy and precision (slope, root mean square prediction error, and CCC) of the predicted milk component yields responses is similar between the models. The lowest accuracy and precision were observed for milk fat yield response, with CCC values in the range of 0.37 to 0.40, compared with milk lactose and protein yields responses for which CCC values were in the range of 0.75 to 0.81.
by J. B. Daniel on 06.10.2020
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Technical note: Is fecal consistency scoring an accurate measure of fecal dry matter in dairy calves?

Ruminants
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the accuracy of fecal consistency scoring as a measure of fecal dry matter (DM) in dairy calves. This study was conducted at a commercial grain-fed veal facility in southwestern Ontario. A total of 160 calves arrived at the facility in 2 groups of 80 calves each. Calves were fed milk replacer twice daily at 0700 and 1700 h and had ad libitum access from arrival onward to water through nipple drinkers and starter through a shared trough. Fecal consistency scores were evaluated once daily in the first 28 d after arrival before milk feeding. The fecal consistency scoring was conducted using a 4-level scoring scale: 0 = normal (firm but not hard); 1 = soft (does not hold form, piles but spreads slightly); 2 = runny (spreads readily); and 3 = watery (liquid consistency, splatters). Fecal samples were collected from all calves via rectal palpation on d 1, 7, 14, and 21 at 0900 h for determination of fecal DM. Mixed repeated measures linear regression models were built to assess the accuracy of fecal consistency scoring in predicting fecal DM. Over 4 selected time points (d 1, 7, 14, and 21) the 160 calves were observed, 382 (61.6%) had a fecal consistency score of 0, 121 (19.5%) had a score of 1, 85 (13.7%) had a score of 2, and 32 (5.2%) had a score of 3. A fecal score of 0 had a fecal DM of 25.1 ± 8.4%, whereas a fecal score of 1 had a DM of 21.8 ± 8.2%. With respect to calves that had a fecal score of 2 or 3, their fecal DM was 16.0 ± 11.1% and 10.7 ± 6.9%, respectively. In evaluating the pairwise comparisons generated in the repeated measures model that controlled for day of sampling, a fecal score of 0 had a 3.2%, 8.1%, and 12.0% higher fecal DM, respectively, when compared with those that had a fecal score of 1, 2, and 3. In addition, calves with a fecal score of 1 had a 5.0% and 8.8% higher fecal DM than calves with a fecal score of 2 and 3, respectively. Finally, calves with a fecal score of 2 had a 3.8% higher fecal DM than those with a fecal score of 3. This study confirms that using observational fecal consistency scoring can accurately predict diarrhea or a decline in fecal DM.
by D. L. Renaud on 17.09.2020
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