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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2004;17(3): 325-329.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2004.325    Published online January 1, 2004.
Growth and Nutrient Utilization in Buffalo Calves Fed Ammoniated Wheat Straw Supplemented with Sodium Sulphate
P. V. Nair, A. K. Verma, R. S. Dass, U. R. Mehra
Ten male buffalo calves (aged 6-8 months, average body wt. 88.5 0.5 kg) were divided into two groups of five animals in each. All the animals were fed on urea-ammoniated wheat straw (4% urea, 50% moisture) along with concentrate mixture (50:50 on DM basis). In addition animals in group II were given sodium sulphate to see the effect of sulphur on the utilization of nitrogen added through urea-ammoniation. This feeding practice continued for a period of 120 d, during which fortnightly body weights were taken to assess their growth rate. A metabolism trial was conducted after 90 days of feeding to know the digestibility of nutrients and their balance. Results revealed no significant difference in the intake of DM and other nutrients in two groups. The digestibility of DM, OM, EE, NDF, ADF and cellulose was alike in animals fed ammoniated straw and ammoniated straw+sodium sulphate supplemented group, whereas the digestibilities of CP and hemicellulose was significantly (p<0.01) more in group I and II respectively. There was no significant difference in intake of nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus in 2 groups. Similarly, the balance of these 3 nutrients was positive and statistically alike in two groups. Intake and excretion of sulphur through faeces and urine was significantly (p<0.01) more in group II than in group I. Inspite of higher excretion of sulphur through faeces and urine in group II, the sulphur balance was significantly (p<0.05) more in group II than in group I, probably due to significantly (p<0.01) higher intake of sulphur in this group. There was no significant difference in total body weight gain or average daily gain between two groups, indicating that addition of sodium sulphate did not have any positive effect on these parameters. Similarly the intake of DM, DCP and TDN were also alike in two groups. The DCP and TDN values of the two diets were 8.0, 60.4 and 6.8, 56.6% respectively. Feeding cost/unit gain was alike in both the groups.
Keywords: Buffalo Calves; Growth; Urea Ammoniated Wheat Straw; Sodium Sulphate

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