On September 1, a conference on the Nutrition, Health and Welfare of Calves was organized by the Animal Nutrition Group. This conference was organized on the occasion of the completion of the project “Novel roughage-based feeding strategies to improve welfare of veal calves”, and the departure of Dr Joost van den Borne from the Animal Nutrition Group.
Calf research conducted within three research projects was presented. This work was sponsored by NWO, STW, the Product Board Animal Feed, and the EU, largely within the last 4 years.
Harma Berends, who successfully defended her PhD thesis on September 2, presented some of her work on feeding strategies combining milk replacer and solid feed in calves. Dr Eddie Bokkers from the Animal Production Systems Group presented his views on the role of solid feeds in the welfare of calves. Dr Norbert Stockhofe from the Central Veterinary Institute, addressed the complexity of abomasal and intestinal health in calves, after which Dr Kees van Reenen, Livestock Research presented the implementation of on-farm welfare monitoring in veal farms. Dr Joost van den Borne (formerly) from the Animal Nutrition Group presented some of his work on glucose and fat metabolism in veal calves. The general overview on raising dairy replacement calves was addressed by Prof. Alex Bach from IRTA, Spain.
The number of participants (138) greatly exceeded expectations and underlines the importance of calf research. It also illustrates that basic knowledge, whether developed for veal or for replacement calves, can be used for development of nutritional concepts in both types of calves.