Short Communication

Solid feed provision reduces fecal clostridial excretion in veal calves

  • B. Valgaeren
  • H. Hanssens
  • S. Roelandt
  • E. Goossens
  • S. Verherstraeten
  • L. Gille
  • L. Van Driessche
  • F. Haesebrouck
  • R. Ducatelle
  • F. Van Immerseel
  • P. Deprez
  • B. Pardon


Enterotoxemia is characterized by a highly fatal hemorrhagic enteritis in cattle, caused by Clostridium perfringens. Production systems with intensive feeding, such as the veal industry, are predisposed. The primary objective of this study was to determine the effect of solid feed provision on fecal C. perfringens excretion in veal calves. Ten Holstein Friesian bull veal calves were randomly assigned to one of two test diets. Group 1 received solemnly milk replacer twice daily, while group 2 received milk replacer and a maximum of 300g solid feed/day, consisting of a mixture of 30% barley, 30% corn, 30% hulled wheat and 10% chopped straw. The number of C. perfringens per g feces or fecal clostridial counts (FCC) were determined for all calves. Mean FCC were significantly lower in the calves fed milk replacer and solid feed, than in the calves fed solemnly milk replacer. Although the correlation between FCC and enterotoxemia risk remains to be determined, the provision of solid feed to veal calves reduced clostridial excretion, which might contribute to the prevention of this disease.

How to Cite:

Valgaeren, B., Hanssens, H., Roelandt, S., Goossens, E., Verherstraeten, S., Gille, L., Van Driessche, L., Haesebrouck, F., Ducatelle, R., Van Immerseel, F., Deprez, P. & Pardon, B., (2016) “Solid feed provision reduces fecal clostridial excretion in veal calves”, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 85(6), 365-367. doi:

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Published on
27 Dec 2016
Peer Reviewed