Effect of Lactic Acid Producing Bacteria on the Performance of Male Crossbred Calves Fed Roughage Based Diet

  • Ramaswami, N. (Centre of Advanced Studies in Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Chaudhary, L.C. (Centre of Advanced Studies in Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Agarwal, N. (Centre of Advanced Studies in Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Kamra, D.N. (Centre of Advanced Studies in Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute)
  • Received : 2004.10.23
  • Accepted : 2005.02.17
  • Published : 2005.08.01


To study the effect of feeding lactic acid producing bacteria on the performance of cattle calves, twenty four, day old male crossbred cattle calves (Bos indicus${\times}$Bos taurus), were distributed into two groups of 12 animals each. The animals were fed on calf starter containing wheat bran and green berseem ad libitum and milk as per requirement upto 8 weeks of age. The diet of calves of Group 2 was supplemented with 500 ml culture of Lactobacillus acidophilus-15. Total duration of the experiment was 31 weeks. There was no significant difference in intake and digestibility of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF) and crude protein (CP) between the groups. The rumen pH, protozoa numbers, concentration of volatile fatty acids (VFA), ammonia nitrogen ($NH_3-N$), trichloroacetic acid precipitable nitrogen (TCA-ppt N) and activity of microbial enzymes (carboxymethylcellulase, xylanase, amylase and protease) were not affected due to probiotic supplementation. Average live weight gain of the calves was improved (about 10%) and feed:gain ratio was reduced (about 5%) in the animals given Lactobacillus culture. The data indicated that crossbred calves could be reared on a diet devoid of cereal grain and addition of Lactobacillus culture in the diet resulted in an added advantage in growth performance of the animals.


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