Aim: The objective of the present study is to know the effect of feeding
processed sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolour (L) moench) crushed residue (SSCR)
based complete ration on growth, feeding behavior and cost of gain in Murrah
buffalo calves in order to compare the feeding value of SSCR with sorghum straw
(SS) and also find out the efficient way of utilization of SSCR in the diets of
growing buffalo calves.
Materials and Methods: Experimental complete
rations were formulated with SSCR and concentrate in 50:50 ratio and processed
in to SSCR chopped and concentrate (SSCRC), mash (SSCRM) and expander extruder
pellets (SSCRP). The control ration was SS based complete feed processed in to
mash (SSM). 24 Murrah buffalo calves (Average 137 kg body weight and aged 1 year
2 months) were randomly distributed into 4 experimental groups of 6 animals each
in a completely randomized design and the experimental rations were offered to 4
groups randomly for a period of 150 days. A 7 day digestion trial was conducted
at the end of 150 day growth trial to find out the nutrient digestibility of
experimental rations. Eating and ruminating activities were noted every 5
minutes, and each activity was assumed to persist for the entire 5 minutes.
Sorting behavior in the calves was observed physically at the time of feeding.
The cost of the rations was calculated on the basis of processing cost and the
prevailing market prices of the feed ingredients.
Results: The DM intake
(g/d), digestibilities of DM, organic matter, crude protein and nitrogen free
extract and nitrogen (N) balance were higher (P<0.05) in buffalo calves fed
SSCRP ration but, comparable among SSCRC, SSCRM and SSM rations. Higher (P<0.01)
average daily gain (g), lower feed conversion ratio (FCR) was observed in calves
fed SSCRP ration, while comparable among SSCRC, SSCRM and SSM rations. Eating,
rumination and total chewing time (minutes/d, minutes/kg DMI and minutes/kg NDFI)
and number of chews for eating, rumination and total chewing (per d, per kg DMI
and per kg NDFI) were higher (P<0.01) in calves fed SSCRC ration and lower
(P<0.01) in SSCRP ration and comparable among SSCRM and SSM rations. Sorting and
selection of ration against large fibrous particles in favour of concentrate
portion of the ration was observed in SSCRC ration and was not observed in SSCRP,
SSCRM and SSM rations. lower (P<0.05) cost (INR) per kg gain was observed in
buffalo calves fed SSCRP ration than those fed SSCRC, SSCRM and SSM rations.
Conclusion: The present study indicated that SSCR may be used as roughage
source in place of SS in complete feeds for economic feeding of buffalo calves.
Further, expander-extruder processing of the complete ration improved feed
intake, growth rate, feed efficiency and decreased sorting behavior and cost of
feeding compared to mash and chopped forms of the ration.
buffalo calves, complete rations, cost economics, feeding behavior, growth,
sweet sorghum crushed residue