Forty Holstein × Zebu calves from the 15th to the 60th day of age, were divided in eight treatments (T): whole milk (1); whole milk with soybean oil (2); whole milk with zeranol (3); whole milk with soybean oil and zeranol (4); fermented colostrum (5); fermented colostrum with soybean oil (6); fermented colostrums with zeranol (7); and fermented colostrum with soybean oil and zeranol (8) to measure feed intake, growth and feed conversion. Animals were fed daily on 1.5kg of concentrate containing 23% crude protein, ad libitum tifton hay (Cynodon dactylon) and three liters of milk or fermented colostrum. Calves fed on fermented colostrum showed higher body weight and weight gain than those receiving milk and similar performance to those treated with zeranol. Animals fed on fermented colostrum had higher dry matter intake in comparison with animals fed on milk. Both groups of animals showed similar growth. No differences for non-integrant carcass compounds where found, however, calves fed on milk and receiving zeranol showed higher industrial meat yield. Diet based on soybean oil increased the proportion of internal fat. Fermented colostrum showed to be an alternative feed for growing male dairy calves and the effect of zeranol on weight gain depends on the diet.
calve; feeding; colostrum; zeranol; carcass