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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

Print version ISSN 1516-3598On-line version ISSN 1806-9290

Abstract

BITTAR, Carla Maris Machado; FERREIRA, Lucas Silveira; SANTOS, Flávio Augusto Portela  and  ZOPOLLATTO, Maity. Performance and ruminal development of dairy calves fed starter concentrate with different physical forms. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2009, vol.38, n.8, pp.1561-1567. ISSN 1516-3598.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982009000800021.

The physical form of concentrate on the performance and rumen development on dairy calves was evaluated in this experiment. Twenty-two Holstein male calves, with 42.3 kg initial body weight, were individually housed, fed 4 L/d of liquid diet and starter concentrate in two physical forms (pelleted or coarsely ground). Starter concentrate intake was monitored daily and calves were weighted weekly, always after the morning liquid diet feeding. After 10 weeks, four calves from each treatment were slaughtered and rumen samples were taken for pH, rumen short chain fatty acids (SCFA) and N-NH3 concentration. Morphometric measurement of the forestomach was also evaluated. There was no effect of the physical form on starter concentrate intake, body weight, and daily gain. The physical form of the concentrate also had no effects on pH, SCFA or N-NH3 rumen concentration, nor on the morphometric measurements of the forestomach, except for rumen capacity and abomasum weight, which were higher for animals fed pelleted starter concentrate. Coarsely ground starter concentrate may be an alternative to reduced production costs since the physical form of the concentrate had no effect on performance or in the development of forestomach of dairy calves.

Keywords : abomasum; coarsely ground concentrate; digestive tract; omasum; pelleted concentrate; reticulum-rumen.

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