Effects of dietary energy source in complete feed on digestion and live weight gain in buffalo and crossbred cattle calves

Punia, B.S.; Sharma, D.D.

Indian Journal of Animal Sciences 58(6): 715-720


ISSN/ISBN: 0367-8318
Accession: 005299564

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Twelve Murrah buffalo calves and 12 Brown Swiss .times. Sahiwal calves of 8-10 months of age and similar live weights were grouped and given ad lib. diets of lucerne hay supplemented with wheat straw (S-40), sugarcane molasses (M-20) or barley (B-40). The rations were made isonitrogenous (2.4% N) with urea. Dry-matter (DM) consumption (kg/day/100 kg live weight) on S-40, M-20 and B-40 diets was, respectively, 2.25, 2.57 and 2.48 for buffalo calves, and 2.59, 2.74 and 2.71 for crossbred calves. Apparent digestibility of crude fibre (CF) was more (P < 0.01) on S-40 than on M-20 and B-40 diets. Digestibility of nitrogen (N) was similar on various diets, and that of ether extract (EE) more (P < 0.01) on S-40 and M-20 diets. The digestibilities of DM and nitrogen-free extract (NFE) were in the order:B-40 > M-20 > S-40. Digestibilities of N, CF and EE were more (P < 0.05, P < 0.01 and P < 0.01 in order) in buffalo calves than in crossbred calves, but the differences for buffalo and crossbred calves in the digestibilities of NFE and DM were not significant. Average live-weight gains on the S-40, M-20 and B-40 diets were, respectively, 219, 275 and 437 (g/day) (P < 0.01) in buffalo calves, and 194, 288 and 465 (P < 0.01) in crossbred calves. The efficiency of feed utilization for maintenance and growth was higher (P < 0.01) on B-40 than on M-20 and S-40 diets. Differences between buffalo and crossbred calves in live-weight gains and the efficiency of feed utilization were not significant.