Response of Growing Dairy Calves to Starter Diets with Varying Energy and Protein Levels

Gleeza L. Manulat, Cesar C. Sevilla, Florinia E. Merca, Amado A. Angeles


This study was conducted to determine the optimum growth performance and nutrient digestibility of dairy calves fed starters containing high or low ener­gy and protein. Ten male and ten female growing Holstein-Friesian x Sahiwal calves (n=20) initially weighing 42.9±15.1 kg at 2±0.98 months were divided into four groups and blocked by weight. Starter feeds containing ME at 3.11 and 2.83 Mcal ME/kg and CP at 19 and 16% were used in a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement in 5 randomized complete blocks, where each block consisted of calves in the same weight range. Body weight (BW), BW gain, and feed conver­sion ratio (FCR) of calves were not affected by both levels of energy and pro­tein in starter diets. Calves fed low energy starter diets have better fecal scores (P<0.05). Energy levels mainly influenced energy and nutrient digestibility. Feeding calves high energy starter feeds could generate higher income which requires lesser cost to gain 1kg of live weight per kg BW. However, calves can still be fed cheaper concentrates containing 2.83 Mcal ME/kg and 16% CP without any adverse effect on growth performance.

Philipp J Vet Anim Sci 2018 44 (1): 32-41

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