The effect of betaine and rumen undegradable choline on growth rate and feed efficiency in calves
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Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw Agricultural University, Nowoursynowska 166, 02-787 Warszawa, Poland
Publication date: 1998-08-22
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 1998;7(Suppl. 1):229-233
The experiment was performed on 30 Black-and-White Lowland calves of 87.0–90.3 kg body weight. The animals were divided into three groups fed meadow hay and a control granulated concentrate – C, supplemented with 2.5% betaine – B (Betafin – Finnsugar Bioproducts, Helsinki, Finland) or with 2.25% choline chloride – CH (Prince Agri Products, Inc., Quincy, Il, USA), which was equivalent to about 0.5% of the rumen undegradable choline. The daily body gain of animals fed the C diet and the B diet was the same, 0.849 ± 0.029 kg, but in calves of the CH group was 0.898 ± 0.029 kg. The concentrate efficiency ratio was 3.06 ± 0.097, 3.13 ± 0.097 and 2.91 ± 0.097 kg in the C, B and CH group, respectively. The relative growth rate was higher (P ≤ 0.10) in the CH group, reaching 131.7 ± 1.40, 169.1 ± 2.71 and 210.6 ± 4.84% of the initial weight in the 5th, 10th and 15th weeks, respectively. The results achieved suggest that 0.5% rumen undegradable choline has a positive effect on production performance of half year old calves. In contrast, 2.5% betaine supplementation had no effect on production performance even though it was administered at 5-times higher levels than the rumen undrgradable choline.
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