Zeeshan Muhammad Iqbal (2002-VA-55)

Effect Of Pre-Weaning Diets And Varying Levels Of Concentrate During Post-Weaning Period On The Performacne Of Female Nili-Ravi Buffalo Calves Up To One Year Of Age - 2016. - 136p.;

Nili-Ravi buffalo is a well-known buffalo breed in subcontinent Indo-Pakistan region and famous for its high milk production ability. Currently, buffalo calves and growing heifers are fed on deprived quality and quantity roughages with poor nutritive values resulting in reduced growth rate, reproduction with delayed attainment of puberty and high mortality. These constraints can be overcome through nutritional management of buffaloes. There is a need for the development of standards for adequate, cost effective provision of colostrum, whole milk/milk replacer and calf starter ration to neonatal calves up to weaning, establishment of nutrient requirements for growing buffalo heifer with aim of more average daily gain to reduce age at puberty and nutrients requirements for lactating buffalo according to their status and stage of milk production.
The current study comprises of two experiments and was conducted at Livestock Experiment Station, Bhunikey, Pattoki, District Kasur, Punjab, Pakistan. The first experiment was performed with an aim to check the growth performance of female buffalo calves on whole milk & milk replacer and find out the cost effective and growth rate friendly alternate source of liquid diet. The duration of this experiment was 120 days. Thirty six female calves were selected and randomly divided into three (n=12) different treatments A (whole milk), B (50% whole milk & 50% milk replacer) and C (milk replacer). All the calves were given colostrum for first three days, then whole milk up to 15 days of age and transferred into three treatments. In addition to this all the calves were provided calf starter and fresh water ad-libitum. The calves were given
liquid diet @ 10% of their body weight for first two months and then gradually decline of 1% on weekly basis for the subsequent two months. Green fodder was started on three month of age. The average daily total dry matter intake was remained same for all the three treatments but the average daily gain was higher in treatment A (457.38±110.13a) compare to treatment C (362.22±107.83b) but it was same for treatment A&B and B&C, respectively. The mean FCR value was also better for treatment A (3.49±0.56b) compare to treatment C (4.30±1.24a) and it was same for treatment A&B and treatment B&C, respectively. The mean cost/kg gain was higher in treatment A (422.72±70.66a) compare to treatment C (352.97±97.49b) and it was same for treatment A&B and B&C, respectively. Animals had performed well on mix liquid (50 % whole milk: 50% milk replacer) diet and it was more cost effective than other two treatments.
The aim in second experiment was to set the standard and cost effective level of concentrate ration for growing female buffalo heifer calves. For second experiment thirty (30) calves were selected from first experiment and were randomly dived into three treatments A, B and C. Treatment A was fed on concentrate ration according to 0.5 % of their body weight, treatment B 1.0 % and treatment C 1.5 % of their body weight. In addition to this all the calves were given ad-libitum green fodder and fresh clean water. All the calves were fed on similar concentrate ration having CP: 17 % and ME: 2.6 Mcal/kg. The duration of this experiment was 8 months. There was significant difference (P<0.05) in mean dry matter intake, protein intake, energy intake and protein per kg gain across all the three treatments and were higher (P<0.05) for treatment C then treatment B and lower (P<0.05) in treatment A, respectively. The average daily gain was remained same (P>0.05) for all the three treatments (497.32±17.92, 503.63±19.09 and 532.77±20.67). The higher feed efficiency was observed in treatment A (0.135±.004a) while it was same for treatment B & C (0.113±.003b & 0.108±.004b), respectively. The average body
condition & score, body mass index and blood constituents (RBCs, WBCs, heamoglobin, packed cell volume, mean corpuscular volume, platelets count, lymphocytes, monocytes and granulocytes) were unaffected (P>0.05) by different concentrate levels. Concentrate levels had significantly affected some of serum components (total protein and urea) but some components (glucose & cholesterol) were unaffected by dietary treatments. The values of mean serum total protein and serum urea were found lower in treatment A (6.12±0.17b & 42.34±1.59b) compare to treatment B (6.65±0.23a & 50.08±2.05a) and C (6.79±0.23a & 51.41±2.29a), respectively. The higher values of serum total protein and cholesterol in treatment B & C may be attributed to higher concentrate level in these two treatments. Concentrate levels had significantly (P<0.05) affected some of the digestibility parameters (DM %, CP% and NDF%) while other parameters (organic matter, fat, ash, ADF and urine pH) were remained same (P>0.05) on varying concentrate level diet. The mean body measurements (height at wither, body length and heart girth) were also not affected (P>0.05) by dietary treatments. There was significant difference across all the three treatments in total average daily dry matter intake cost and cost per kg gain. These were lower in treatment A compared to other two treatments B & C. It was observed that mean dry matter, protein and energy intake was lower in treatment A (0.5% of body weight) and weight gain was remained same on all the three dietary treatments. The mean feed efficiency was greater and mean cost per/kg gain was lower in treatment A. So, treatment A was remained more cost effective than other two treatments.
Both experiments were planned by keeping in mind the problems of buffalo farmer. Rearing of calves with improved growth rate on least cost feeding regime is important in dairy farming. Milk replacer is an alternate source of whole milk. Most of the buffalo farmers don’t use milk replacer for rearing of calves because of slower growth rate. Mixing of milk replacer
with whole milk in 50:50 ratio make the consistency of liquid diet near to whole milk. Feeding of whole milk with milk replacer along with calf starter reduces the cost without affecting growth rate. At this stage farmers should keep in mid the cleaning of feeding pans to avoid the risk of diarrhea.
In post weaning period calves’ rumen is fully develop and is completely shifted to solid diet. During this transition phase farmers don’t follow the nutritional requirements of calves, which slow down the growth rate and ultimately increase the age at puberty. As buffalo are efficient converter of low quality diet. If farmers offer concentrate ratio (16-18% CP) to buffalo heifers at the rate of 0.5% of body weight along with ad-libitum green fodder, growth rate can be improved cost effectively.
5.1. Conclusion:
The findings of first experiment shows that 50% whole milk & 50% milk replacer @ of 10 of body weight along with adlibitum calf starter ration help in early rumen development, improved growth rate and better FCR on economical basis. So, it is recommended that whole milk and milk replacer in 50:50 ratio is growth rate friendly and cost effective for rearing of female buffalo calves up to weaning. The results of second experiment shows that growth rate, body measurements and body condition & score remained the same on all the three dietary concentrate levels but the feed efficiency was improved on lower concentrate level. So, it is recommended that it is cost effective to raise buffalo growing heifers on small amount of concentrate ration (0.5% of body weight) along with ad-libitum green fodder.

Livestock Management
Phd. Theses


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