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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2004;17(5): 621-628.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2004.621    Published online January 1, 2004.
Catalytic Supplementation of Urea-molasses on Nutritional Performance of Male Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) Calves
A. Sahoo, A. V. Elangovan, U. R. Mehra, U. B. Singh
Twenty male buffalo calves of 6-9 months of age (average body weight, 97 kg) were randomly allocated into two main groups of four (control) and sixteen (supplemented) calves. The supplemented group was further divided in to four equal sub-groups, with the two groups supplemented with a liquid preparation of urea-molasses, UML1, containing fish meal and UML2, containing formaldehyde treated deoiled mustard cake (FDMC) and the other two, with a semi-solid preparation, UMC1 with FDMC and deoiled rice bran (DORB) contributing similar level of CP as in UML2 and UMC2 with double the level of FDMC to that in UMC1. The control group was fed with DORB along with ad libitum wheat straw at 40:60 ratios. The rest of the groups were fed on the above diet supplemented with 500 g (as fed basis) of urea-molasses preparations. The experimental feeding was carried out for 24 weeks including a metabolism trial towards the end of experimental feeding. Daily feed intake and fortnightly change in live weight were also recorded during the study. Catalytic supplementation of 500 g urea-molasses induced 8-25% higher voluntary feed intake of wheat straw, resulting in 15-25% higher DM and OM intake. The digestibility of DM, OM, total carbohydrate, NDF, ADF, hemicellulose and cellulose in all the dietary groups were comparable. The CP digestibility of calves in supplemented groups were higher (p<0.05) than the control group. The balance of nutrients, viz. N, Ca and P, was also higher in the supplemented groups. Significantly higher intake of digestible CP coupled with other digestible nutrients attributed to higher TDN (1.67-1.78 vs. 1.37 kg) and ME (5.94-6.31 vs. 4.87 Mcal) intake in urea-molasses supplemented groups which resulted in higher live weight gain compared to that in control group (p<0.01). Between the supplements, UML2 and UMC2 faired non-significantly, indicating formalin treated mustard cake as a suitable replacement to fishmeal in the supplement. The overall ranking based on intake and digestibility of nutrients, live weight gain, economic evaluation and input-output relationship revealed that the rations with UML2 and UMC1 to be of greater value compared to other types. From the study it can be concluded that young ruminants can be reared successfully on a basal diet of deoiled rice bran and wheat straw supplemented with cheaper urea-molasses-mineral mix.
Keywords: Urea-molasses; Nutrition; Performance; Buffalo Calves

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