Livestock Research for Rural Development 21 (8) 2009 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD News

Citation of this paper

Dietary energy levels response on nutrient utilization, nitrogen balance and growth in Bhadawari buffalo calves

S Singh, S S Kundu*, B P Kushwaha and S B Maity

Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh 28400, India
* National Dairy Rsearch Institute, Karnal, Haryana 132001, India
singh.sultan@rediffmail.com

Abstract

Fifteen female Bhadawari buffalo calves with mean body weight 76.17.6 kg and age 8.10.53 months, randomly distributed in 3 groups (EL, EL1 and EL2) of 5 in each were fed CP and ME as per NRC (2001) in EL, 20% less energy in EL1 and 20 % more energy in EL2 than EL through chaffed sorghum hay and iso-nitrogenous concentrate mixtures (18.5 % CP) of different energy density (2.2-3.04 M cal ME/kg DM) for more than 6 months to assess energy response on nutrients digestibility, N balance and growth performance .

 

DM intake (g/kg W0.75 and % body weight) and nutrients utilization were comparable among the dietary groups; however, N balance (g/d) was 4-5 units more in EL and EL2 than EL1. Energy intake was significantly (P<0.05) higher in EL and EL2 than EL1, while the DCP contents were comparable among groups. Calves in EL2 (374.3) had significantly (P<0.05) higher growth rate than EL1 (298.4). Feed conversion ratio (FCR) and crude protein conversion ration (CPCR) of EL2 diet for weight gain was higher (P>0.05) than diet EL1.

 

Results revealed no effect of energy level on feed intake and nutrients digestibility, however N balance and growth rate of buffalo calves decreased on reducing energy by 20%.  

Key words: energy density, feed efficiency, nutrient digestibility, weight gain


Introduction

The age of puberty is particularly influenced by the diet energy level that enhances growth and sexual maturity. Nutrient requirements for milch buffalo breeds have been worked out for different physiological functions (Ranjhan and Pathak 1979;  Baruah et al 1983). Nutritional studies with NRC (1976) requirements had been carried out with varying levels of energy and protein in buffalo calves (Baruah et al 1988, Udeybir et al 2001, Basra et al 2003, Paul and Patil 2007).  Bhadawari a small to medium size buffalo breed known for its high fat contents, can thrive on poor quality feeds and is resistance to heat and diseases than other buffalo milch breeds. No systematic effort has been made on the nutrient requirement of Bhadawari buffalo calves.  Nutrient needs of buffaloes in tropical regions differ from dairy cattle of temperate regions because of differences in breed size, production level, feeds, climate and digestive physiology. In the present study equations described to calculate energy and protein requirements of NRC (2001) for small breed cattle calves (90-100 kg body weight and 7-9 months age) gaining 0.4 kg /d were used to assess their validity in growing Bhadawari buffalo calves for 0.4kg/d weight gain.

 

Material and methods 

Animals and diets

 

Fifteen female Bhadawari buffalo calves selected from its herd maintained at IGFRI, Jhansi under Network Project on buffaloes, were randomly distributed into 3 groups (EL, EL1 and EL2) with 5 in each based on their mean body weight (76.17.62) and age (8.10.53 months). Animal’s were offered ad lib chaffed sorghum hay and iso-nitrogenous concentrate mixtures (CM) of different energy density (CM1: 2.56, CM2: 2.20 and CM3: 3.04 M cal) to meet their energy and protein requirements in EL (NRC, 2001), EL1 (20% less ME than EL) and EL2 (20% more ME than EL Table 1).


Table 1.  Percent ingredients composition of concentrate mixtures

Ingredient, %

CM1 (EL)

CM2 (EL1)

CM3 (EL2)

Wheat bran

37

7

-

Groundnut cake

28

8

-

Oat

32

-

-

Linseed seed cake

-

30

-

Pearl millet

-

49

-

Urea

-

3

-

Mustard seed cake

-

-

30

Sorghum grain

-

-

67

Mineral mixture

1

1

1

Common salt

2

2

2

ME, M cal*

2.56

2.20

3.04

CP, %

18.6

18.4

18.7

* Calculated values; CM: Concentrate mixture


The CP and ME requirement of calves were calculated (maintenance and growth) for 400 g daily growth rate using NRC (2001) equations. The CP content of the chaffed sorghum hay was 5.6 while that of concentrate mixtures varied from 18.4 to 18.70 % (Table 2).


Table 2.  Chemical composition (%DM basis) of sorghum hay and concentrates

Nutrients, %

Sorghum 

CM1

CM2

CM3

Dry matter

62.9

92.0

90.5

89.0

Organic matter

93.7

89.8

91.9

91.8

Crude protein

5.6

18.5

19.1

18.5

NDF

72.4

39.1

38.8

40.5

ADF

48.3

19.2

12.1

11.9

Cellulose

37.9

11.0

6.5

8.1

Hemicellulose

24.2

19.8

26.7

28.6

Lignin

8.7

4.4

3.2

3.1

EE

0.93

4.4

3.6

4.7


Concentrate mixtures were identical in NDF, however ADF and cellulose contents were relatively higher in concentrate mixture of EL (19.21 and 10.97) than EL1 (12.09 and 6.53) and EL2 (11.87 and 8.07 %).

 

Animals were offered concentrate mixture between 9-9:30 am followed by chaffed sorghum hay and watered twice at 11-11.30 am and again 3-3.30 pm. The feed intake was recorded weekly during the experimental period, while body weight was recorded monthly using electronic platform balance and amount of concentrate was increased as per the change in their body weight. Animals were maintained on these dietary treatments for more than 6 months (13th August, 2004 to 25th February, 2005) and growth rate was calculated for 184 days. 

 

Digestion-cum –metabolism trial

 

A digestion cum metabolism trial of 6 days duration was conducted after 90 days of feeding. Animals were trained for manual faeces and urine collection for 3-4 days prior to actual sampling of feces and urine.  Faeces and urine of individual animal was collected for 24 hours and pooled in plastic buckets and cans, respectively. Representative samples of faeces for DM (1/50 aliquot) and N (1/100 aliquot preserved in 20% H2 SO4) estimation were collected for individual animal during the trial. A fixed volume (5 ml) of urine was pooled in digestion flasks (having concentrated sulphuric acid) for individual animal during the collection period. Samples of feed offered (chaffed sorghum and concentrate mixtures) and residue were also collected daily and representative samples were kept for DM estimation. Dried samples of feces, feeds offered and left overs were ground through 2 mm sieve using electrically operated grinding mill. Ground samples were stored in plastic containers and used for further chemical and biochemical estimations.

 

Analytical techniques

 

DM, ash, EE, and CP of feeds offered, left overs and faeces samples were estimated as per AOAC (1990), while for cell wall constituents (NDF, ADF, Cellulose and lignin) estimation method of Van Soest et al (1991) was followed. DM digestibility values were used to estimate digestible energy (DE Kcal/ kg) using the regression equation reported by Fonnesbeck et al (1984). The DE values were converted to ME using the formula reported by Khalil et al (1986).The data on intake, nutrients digestibility, N balance, growth rate was analyzed for analysis of variance by GLM procedure of SPSS computer programme as per Snedecor and Cochran (1968).

 

Results and discussion  

Feed intake and nutrient digestibility

 

The DMI of animals in all the groups was similar both on % body weight and g/kg W 0.75 during the digestibility trial (Table 3).


Table 3.  DMI and nutrients digestibility in Bhadawari calves fed different energy diets

 Parameters

EL

EL1

EL2

Body weight

92.605.26

88.807.21

93.605.78

DMI, kg/d

 

 

 

Roughage

2.13 0.3

1.830.2

2.000.2

Concentrate

0.740.04

0.710.03

0.710.04

Total

2.860.3

2.530.2

2.710.2

% body weight

3.120.1

2.870.1

2.920.1

g/kg BW 0.75

96.12.2

87.82.5

90.43.5

CP intake, g    

259.011.1

239.19.2

245.79.3

ME intake, M cal

6.260.9b

5.100.9a

6.280.9b

Digestibility

 

 

 

Dry matter

56.22.0

56.01.8

56.31.0

Organic matter

59.12.0

58.21.7

58.11.1

Crude protein

55.72.6

55.61.2

54.61.6

NDF

52.62.4

53.91.6

55.90.6

ADF

45.32.6

46.32.5

49.30.7

Cellulose

59.62.5

60.51.3

62.90.8

Hemicellulose

64.32.4

65.31.2

65.80.8

a,b superscripts within a row differ significantly (P<0.05


Mahmoudzadeh et al (2007) observed no effect of protein level on feed intake but the energy levels significantly (P<0.05) affected the DMI in male buffalo calves. On the other hand Basra et al (2003) observed no difference in DMI of buffalo calves fed rations of different energy and protein concentrations. Besides the physical and chemical characteristics of the ration (Keshab et al 2002), the feed and DMI is mostly affected by the energy concentration in the diet (Nair et al 2004;  Puri et al 2004). The DMI of calves in present study was relatively higher than the earlier reports (Udeybir et al 2000; Singh et al 2003). This variation in DMI could be related to the age and size of animals as well as nutritional management and environmental conditions (Jasiorowski 1988; Thevamanoharan et al 2001; Ahmad et al 2002).  ME intake (M cal/d) was significantly (P<0.05) higher in EL and EL2 than EL1, while CP intake was comparable among the groups. Higher energy density and non- significantly (P>0.05) more DMI might have contributed to higher ME intake in these groups.

 

The DM, OM, CP and hemi cellulose digestibility was comparable amongst the groups (Table 3). However, NDF, ADF and cellulose digestibility was non-significantly higher in EL2 (55.9, 49.4 and 62.9) than EL (52.6, 45.3 and 59.6) and EL1 (53.9, 46.3 and 60.5%). Baruah et al (1988) also recorded no effect of energy levels on nutrients utilization in Murrah buffalo calves.

 

Nitrogen balance, growth rate and feed efficiency

 

Buffalo calves irrespective of dietary energy levels were in positive N balance, though the urinary-N loss was highest in EL1 (10.9 g/d, Table 4) than in other groups.


Table 4.  Growth rate (g/d) and feed efficiency of growing Bhadawari calves fed on different energy diets

Parameters

EL

EL1

EL2

SEM

Nitrogen balance

 

 

 

 

Intake

41.4

38.2

39.2

2.71

Feacal -N

18.5

16.9

17.8

1.52

Digestible-N

22.9

21.2

21.4

1.47

Urinary-N

8.4

10.9

6.0

0.83

N balance

14.4

10.3

15.4

1.16

% N absorption

34.8

27.0

39.2

2.14

Growth

 

 

 

 

Initial weight, kg

75.9

74.9

77.5

7.62

Final weight, kg

143.7

129.8

146.3

12.9

Growth rate, g/d

368.5ab

298.4a

374.3b

-

Feed efficiency

 

 

 

 

Feed conversion ratio

7.76

8.49

7.25

0.37

Crude protein conversion ratio

0.70

0.80

0.66

0.04

 FCR:; CPCR

a,b superscripts within a row differ significantly (P<0.05); SEM: standard error of means


This indicated the poor efficiency of protein utilization in calves fed on low energy diet. N % absorption was 8-12 units less in low energy diet (EL1) than standard (EL) and 20%more energy diet (EL2). Positive N balance in buffalo calves on different energy diets reported by   Baruah et al (1988) substantiates the present results. Monthly body weight gain was higher in December (Figure 1) in all the groups and continued up to February; however calves in group EL2 recorded higher weight gain than other groups throughout 184 days of study period.


 

Figure 1.  Monthly weight gain in Bhadawari calves on diets of different energy level


 The mean body weight gain (g/d) was significantly higher (P<0.05) in EL2 (374.3) than EL1 (298.4) but similar to control group EL (368.5 g/d Table 4). Baruah et al (1988) also observed that energy levels significantly affect the daily gain of buffalo calves. Highest growth rate at 20 % more energy diet in the present study corroborates with the results of Basra et al (2003) who recorded maximum weight gain in buffalo calves fed medium protein-high energy diet.

 

Dietary energy influenced the feed conversion ratio (FCR) as it varied 7.25-8.49 being lowest in group EL1. Similarly, the CP conversion ratio (CPCR) was lowest in group EL1. The feed conversion ratio for different energy and protein diets was reported in range of 6.9-7.6 with CPCR in range of 0.7-1.0; respectively by Mahmoudzadeh et al (2007) in male buffalo calves substantiate the present observations. Feed efficiency reported by Basra et al (2003) in Nili-Ravi buffalo calves also corroborates to present findings.

 

Conclusions 

 

Acknowledgements 

Authors are thankful to Director IGFRI, Jhansi for providing facilities to carry out the work.  Authors are equally thankful to PC (Network Project Buffaloes), CIRB Hisar for financial support to maintain the animals at the Institute. 

 

References 

Ahmad M, Javed K and Rehman A 2002 Environmental factors affecting some growth traits in Nili-Ravi buffalo calves. Proceedings of the 7th Word Congress Genetics Applied to Livestock production. Montpellier, France, pp: 0-4.

 

AOAC 1990 Official Methods of Analysis. 13th Edition. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington D C.

 

Baruah K K, Ranjhan S K and Pathak N N 1983 Nutrient requirement for growth of desi male buffalo calves. Proceedings: 5th World Congress on Animal Production. National Institute oAnimal Industry, Ibarki, Japan.

 

Baruah K K,f  Ranjhan S K and Pathak N N 1988 Feed intake, nutrients utilization and growth in male buffalo calves fed different levels of protein and energy. Buffalo Journal 22: 131-38

 

Basra M J, Khan M A, Nisa M, Riaz M, Tuqueer N A and Saeed M N 2003 Nili-Ravi buffalo 1. Energy and Protein requirements of 6-9 months old calves. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology 5: 377-379

 

Fonnesbeck P V, Clark D H, Garret W N and Speth C F 1984 Predicting energy utilization from alfalfa hay from the Western Region. In Proceedings: American. Society of Animal Science (Western Section) 35: 305-308

 

Jasiorowski H A 1988 Perspective and prospective of buffalo breeding for milk and meat production in the world. Proceedings of II World Buffalo Congress, New Delhi, India Volume II Part I pp: 285-294

 

Keshab B, Barman K and Mohini M 2002 Nutrient utilization for growth and cost of feeding in buffalo calves as influenced by rumensin supplementation. Buffalo Journal 18: 71-81

 

Khalil J K., Sawaya W N and Hyder S Z 1986 Nutrient composition of Atriplex leaves grown in Saudi Arabia. Journal of Range Management 39: 104-107

 

Mahmoudzadeh H, Fazaeli H, Kordnejad I  and Mirzaei H R 2007 Response of male buffalo calves to different levels of energy and protein in finishing diets. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 10: 1398-1405

 

Nair P V, Verma A K, Dass R S and Mehra U R 2004 Growth and nutrients utilization in buffalo calves fed ammoniated wheat straw supplemented with sodium sulphate. Asian Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 17: 325-329

 

NRC 1976 Nutrients Requirements of Beef Cattle. 5th edition National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., USA.  

 

NRC 2001 Nutrients Requirements of Dairy Cattle. 7th edition. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., USA.  

 

Paul S S and Patil N V 2007 Energy and protein requirements of growing Nili-Ravi heifers in tropical environment. Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture 87: 2286-2293

 

Puri J P, Grewal S S, Sindhu S and Rose M K 2004 Effect of feeding protected protein supplemented with urea treated straw on performance of buffalo calves. Indian Journal of Animal Science 74: 319-20

 

Ranjhan S K and Pathak N N 1979 Management and Feeding of Buffaloes. 1st Edition. Vikas Publication House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.

 

Singh R, Kishan S and Jai Kishan J 2003 Comparative efficiency of nutrients utilization in buffalo, Hariana and crossbred calves fed cereal free ration. Indian Journal Animal Nutrition 20: 6-10

 

Snedecor G W and Cochran W G 1968 Statistical Methods. 8th Edition. Iowa State University Press, Iowa, USA

 

Thevamanoharan K, Vandepite W, Mohiudddin G and Chantalakhana C 2001 Environmental factors affecting various growth traits of swamp buffalo calves. Pakistan Journal of Agriculture Science 38: 5-10

 

Udeybir and Mandal A B 2001 Energy and protein requirements for growing buffaloes. Buffalo Journal 17: 163-178

 

Udeybir, Mandal A B and Yadav P S 2000 Comparative dry matter intake and nutrients utilization efficiency in growing cattle and buffaloes-an analysis of observed results. Indian Journal of Animal Nutrition 17:56-63

 

Van Soest P J, Robertson J B and Lewis B A 1991 Method for dietary fibre, Neutral detergent fibre and non starch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. Journal of Dairy Science 74: 3583-3597 http://jds.fass.org/cgi/reprint/74/10/3583.pdf



Received 8 April 2009; Accepted 14 April 2009; Published 5 August 2009

Go to top