Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9290
SILVA, Jackeline Thaís da; BITTAR, Carla Maris Machado and FERREIRA, Lucas Silveira. Evaluation of mannan-oligosaccharides offered in milk replacers or calf starters and their effect on performance and rumen development of dairy calves. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.3, pp. 746-752. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982012000300038.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the route of administration of mannan-oligosaccharides in the diet of dairy calves and their effects on performance and plasma parameters indicative of rumen development. Following birth, twenty-four male Holstein calves were used in a completely randomized design and assigned to the following treatments: Control; 4 g/d Bio-Mos® (Alltech Biotech.) added to starter concentrate; and 4 g/d Bio-Mos® mixed into milk replacer. Animals were housed in individual hutches with free access to water, and fed 4L/d of milk replacer until weaning at six weeks. Calves also received 23g/kg crude protein of starter concentrate ad libitum. Fecal scores were evaluated daily. Body weights, growth measurements and blood samples for glucose, urea-N and β-hidroxibutyrate analyses were taken weekly until 8 weeks of age. There were no significant effects of treatment or treatment × age interactions for mean starter concentrate intake, weight gain or body growth. However, there was a significant age effect for all parameters. Fecal scores were not affected by treatments. Also, plasma concentration of glucose, urea-N or β-hidroxibutyrate were not affected by treatment or the treatment × age interaction. However, urea-N and β-hidroxibutyrate concentrations significantly increased with age, suggesting adequate rumen development. Under the conditions of this study, there were no calf performance benefits when mannan-oligosaccharides were incorporated into milk replacer or calf starter concentrate.
Keywords : additives; blood parameters; early weaning; fecal score.