Exploring a non-antibiotic alternative to improve calf health, growth, and welfare

Lead Applicant: Trevor DeVries

Research Priority: Animal Health & Welfare

Program Type: Tier 1

Funding Cycle: 2021/2022

Research Centre: NA

Research Summary: Calf morbidity and mortality rates remain a prominent challenge in the dairy and veal industry, and an estimated 25-50%+ of calves receive antibiotics during the pre-weaning period to improve survivability. Given the concerns over antibiotic resistance and calf welfare novel alternatives are needed. This project will investigate the effects of Echinacea purpurea, a non-antibiotic immune-stimulating feed additive, on the health and performance of Holstein calves. These benefits will not only allow Ontario producers to be more profitable but also decrease morbidity and mortality rates and increase consumer confidence.