Whey permeate-derived milk acidifier for dairy calves

Unigunde Antone (Coresponding Author), Indra Eihvalde, Laima Liepa, Aija Ilgaza, Maksims Zolovs, Janis Liepins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A milk acidifier obtained from whey permeate fermenting it with dairy propionic acid bacteria was tested in this study to evaluate the effects of milk acidification on the health and growth performance of pre-weaned dairy calves. The study consisted of 30 neonatal Holstein female calves, allocated to three treatments fed unacidified (Control group) or acidified (EG-1 and EG-2 groups) pasteurised milk during the 7-75 day age. Control and EG-1 were fed milk by divided method three times daily till one month of age, then twice daily until weaning; EG-2 was basically fed by the undivided method - one week three times daily (7-14 day age), then once daily. Results demonstrate that animal general health status and faecal scores (FS) were good and the tested acidifier can be used for pre-weaned calf milk acidification. Biochemical and haematological indices of blood at the 30 and 60 day age were within normal reference values with both - divided and undivided - milk feeding methods. Mean live weight (LW; 106.6 ± 9.40 kg on average) and live weight gain (LWG; 911.33 ± 109.04 g day -1 on average) at weaning did not differ between treatments (P > 0.05). Lower intake of starter feed associated with a larger amount of milk consumed was observed in EG-2 animals (P < 0.05). s the results observed regarding growth performance and health indices of all dietary treatment groups of calves were similar, we could anticipate that the acidification benefits would be greater when providing unpasteurised milk, or during the hottest weather when the risks of milk spoilage are greater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475–493
Number of pages19
JournalAgronomy Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • blood
  • growth performance
  • heifer calves
  • propionic acid bacteria

Field of Science*

  • 4.3 Veterinary science

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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