High-roughage system for raising calves based on the early development of rumen function. XL Performance of calves fed alfalfa, beet pulp, or soy-bran flakes as the roughage in complete pelleted relations

Addankl, S.J.W.H.bbs; Conrad, H.R.

Journal of Dairy Science 49(8): 976-981


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0302
Accession: 024785652

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The performance of 6 month old calves fed 3 complete, high-roughage (67%) pelleted rations to 16 wk of age was compared. In these pelleted rations either alfalfa (OA), beet pulp (OB), or soybran flakes (OS) were used as the basic roughage. After 16 wk to 26 wk the ration consisted of 6 parts loose alfalfa hay and 1 part grain mix. Growth, feed consumption, digestibility, and efficiency of feed utilization were used as criteria in measuring calf performance. Body weight at 16 and 26 wk and body weight gain from 8 to 16 wk and at 16 and 26 wk in the OS pellet group were significantly greater than the OA pellet group. These differences in body weight were not reflected as significant differences in withers height. None of the differences in pellet consumption were statistically significant. Digestibility of dry matter, cellulose, crude fiber, calcium, phosphorus, and TDN were all significantly greater in the OB and OS pellet groups compared to the OA pellet group. No significant differences were observed in the efficiency of feed utilization among the 3 pellet groups as measured by TDN intake/pound.