Dry matter and crude protein digestibility of locally prepared concentrates by calves at different ages
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Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3004, Morogoro, Tanzania
Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Research Centre Foulum, P. O. Box 50, DK-8830, Tjele, Denmark
Publication date: 2004-08-30
Corresponding author
H. L. N. Lyimo   

Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3004, Morogoro, Tanzania
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2004;13(Suppl. 1):147-150
Thirty crossbred calves were randomly allocated to six treatments in a 3 diet × 2 weaning age factorial arrangement to study the effects of weaning age and type of locally prepared pre-weaning concentrate on dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) digestibility at the age of 1, 2, 3 and 4 months. Diets were concentrate A, whole milk and hay (T1), concentrate B, whole milk and hay (T2) and whole milk and hay (T3), respectively. Weaning was either at 9 or 12 weeks age. The concentrates were isoenegetic and iso-proteinous (12.9 MJ ME/kg DM and 180 g CP/kg DM) but differed in the ingredients used to prepare them and were fed liberally until the consumption reached 1 kg. Milk was offered at the rate of 4l a day and reduced gradually to reach 2l at weaning. Hay and clean water were offered liberally from two weeks of age. Weaning at 9 or 12 weeks had small but insignificant effects on all of the studied parameters. Differences in dry matter digestibility (DMD) started at the second month of age, whereby T3 had significantly (P<0.01) lower DMD (73%) compared to T1 (78%) and T2 (76%). Digestible crude protein (DCP) was different only at the 2nd month whereby T3 had higher DCP (P<0.05) (85%) compared to T1 and T2 (71 and 69%). There was no significant difference between the supplemented groups in DMD or DCP. It was concluded that, concentrates prepared from local available feed resources could be effectively used and digested by calves from the second month of age.
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