Nutrient Utilization and Compensatory Growth in Crossbred (Bos indicus×Bos taurus) Calves

  • Santra, A. (Department of Animal Production Systems, Agricultural University) ;
  • Pathak, N.N. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute)
  • Received : 1998.11.17
  • Accepted : 1999.02.20
  • Published : 1999.12.01


A feeding trial was carried out over 238 days to determine the effect of compensatory growth in crossbred calves having 166 kg body weight. Fifteen crossbred calves were divided into two groups of five calves (G1 group) and ten calves (G2 group) as per randomized block design. Growth study was conducted on the feeding of wheat straw based diet containing 60 and 30 percent concentrate supplying equal amount of protein in group G1 and G2 respectively for 119 days (phase - I). At the end of phase-I, calves of G2 group were subdivided in to two groups (G3 and G4). One sub group (G4) received 60% concentrate in their diet (during 120 to 238 days of experiment) while other subgroup G3 received 30% concentrate in their diet (phase-II). The calves of G1 group continued to receive the same diet as during phase-I experiment. Mean DM intake was significantly higher in calves fed high level of concentrate (in G1 and G4 groups), which resulted in significantly higher digestibility of all nutrients except NDF. Nitrogen balance was positive in all the groups and showed significant differences in phase-II (higher nitrogen retention in G4 group than G1 group). ME intake was significantly affected by the level of dietary concentrate, being higher in high concentrate fed group (G1 and G4 than G2 and G3 group). Higher daily body weight gain in the calves of G4 group during phase-II than in G1 and G3 groups was due to compensatory growth on shifting animals from low concentrate to high concentrate based ration. Average daily body weight gain was higher in phase-I than in the phase-II. Protein and energy intake per unit body weight gain were significantly lower in calves fed high concentrate diet.


Crossbred Calves;Compensatory Growth;Wheat Straw;Energy Balance

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