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Indian Journal of Animal Nutrition
Year : 2006, Volume : 23, Issue : 1
First page : ( 5) Last page : ( 9)
Print ISSN : 0970-3209. Online ISSN : 2231-6744.

Effect of feeding total mixed rations on the performance of buffalo calves

Thakur S. S., Tomar S. K., Malik Raman

Dairy Cattle Nutrition Division, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal-132001, India

Received:  7  June,  2005.


Male Murrah buffalo calves (18; 8–9 m old of 122.23±10.26 kg BW) were divided into 3 equal groups and fed total mixed rations (TMR) containing concentrate: green maize fodder: wheat straw in 50:25:25 proportions on DM basis for 120 days. Concentrate of TMR1 comprised of traditional feed ingredients whereas that of TMR2 and TMR3 contained concentrates in which maize and barley grains were replaced with wheat, groundnut cake with mustard cake and urea, mineral mixture reduced by 0.5% and common salt increased by 0.5%. There was no effect on DM and CP intake, whereas TDN and DCP intakes were higher (P<0.05) in calves fed TMR3 and TMR2than those fed TMR1. The digestibility nutrients of was similar except that of CP which was higher (P<0.01) in calves fed TMR3 than those fed TMR1 and TMR2. Similarly digestibility of CF and EE was higher (P<0.05) in calves fed TMR2 and TMR3 than those fed TMR1. For rumen fermentation study, rumen fistulated male buffaloe calves (9; 2.0–3.0 yr old of 238.36±13.97kg BW) were divided into three equal groups and fed the same three rations as was done and in the growth trial. The type of TMR did not have any significant effect on rumen metabolites or microbial counts. The N, Ca and P retention was statistically similar in all the groups. The average daily grain was significantly (P<0.01) higher in calves fed TMR3 as compared to those fed TMR1 and TMR2. Feed cost (Rs/kg BW gain) was significantly (P<0.01) lower in calves fed TMK2 and TMR3 than that of TMR1. It was concluded that the feeding of TMR based on locally available cheap feed ingredients improved the growth rate and reduced the cost of feeding in buffalo calves.



TMR, Rumen fermentation, Growth, Nutrient utilization, Buffalo calves.


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