Early weaning of buffalo calves. I. Concentrations of bacteria and protozoa in the rumen fluid

Singh, N.; Pant, H.C.; Roy, A.

Indian Veterinary Journal 47(8): 660-667


ISSN/ISBN: 0019-6479
PMID: 5529005
Accession: 014426988

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Twelve buffalo calves removed from their dams at birth were fed on colostrum for 3 days and whole milk from pails to 45 days, then milk was reduced and none was given after 60 days. They had access to a calf starting feed and green feed from 4 days of age. A similar group were suckled for 180 days with access to a concentrate at 90 days and green feed throughout. The calves weaned early were given 25 ml rumen fluid from an adult buffalo at 10 days then every 2 weeks to 90 days of age. By 15 days calves weaned early had 0.87 x 104 protozoa per ml rumen fluid, gradually increasing to 53.60x 104 at 180 days. Bacteria were 10.74 x 109 per ml at 14 days, increased to 34.67 x 109 at 70 days and then declined to 15.75 x 109. In suckled calves protozoa did not appear until 5 or 6 weeks of age, 0.84 x 104, and at 180 days there were 30.58 X 107 per ml. At 14 days bacteria were 9.69 X 109 per ml, they did not show the same increase as in weaned calves and final count was 16.26 x 109 per ml rumen fluid. Groups did not differ in weight gain.