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Ramachandran et al., 2008. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 20 (11): 176

Document reference 
Ramachandran, M. ; Singhal, K. K., 2008. Cottonseed hulls based complete diets for crossbred calves. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 20 (11): 176

To compare the feeding value of wheat straw (WS) and cottonseed hulls (CSH) based complete diets in mash and flaked forms, 15 crossbred male calves were divided into 3 groups of 5 each and fed on complete diets (CP 12%, TDN 55%) consisting roughage and concentrate mixture in the ratio of 60: 40. Group I was fed on WS based diet in mash form (WS-M) while groups II and III were fed on CSH based complete diet in flaked (CSH-F) and mash form (CSH-M), ad lib, respectively. Additionally, similar quantity of non-leguminous green fodder was offered to all the groups throughout the experimental period of 120 days. Daily DM intake (kg/100 kg BW) was higher (P<0.05) in CSH-F (3.55 kg) and CSH-M (3.55 kg) than in WS-M (2.78 kg). Average daily body weight gain was also higher (P<0.05) in CSH-F (586 g) and CSH-M (533 g) than in WS-M (245 g), resulting in higher (P<0.05) feed conversion efficiency in CSH-F (8.49) and CSH-M (9.29) than in WS-M (15.6), however, variations between the CSH-F and CSH-M for DMI and body weight gain were non-significant. CP digestibility was higher (P<0.05) in WS-M (69.3%) than in CSH-F (54.2%) and CSH-M (56.3%) and the variation between later groups was not significant. Digestibility of cell wall constituents except cellulose did not vary significantly among the groups, however, values were higher (P>0.05) in CSH-M than in CSH-F. Intake of digestible OM, CP and NDF was higher (P<0.05) in CSH-F and CSH-F than in WS-M. DCP content of WS-M (8.75%) was higher (P<0.05) than CSH-F and CSH-M (6.94 and 7.39%, respectively), however, TDN content of all the diets was similar (about 55%). DCP intake was 21.3 and 28.3 per cent higher in CSH-F and CSH-M than WS-M and TDN intake was 55.8 and 70.2 per cent higher in CSH-F and CSH-M than WS-M. All the groups were in positive balances of N, Ca and P, however, balance of N was higher (P<0.05) in CSH-F (40.2 g/day) and CSH-M (42.5 g/day) than in WS-M (26.0 g/day). It can be concluded that feeding of cottonseed hulls (60%) based complete diets (CP 12%, TDN 55%) in crossbred calves improved (P<0.05) growth rate and nutrient utilization than WS based complete diet. Flaking of CSH based complete diet improved the bulk density (about 85%), feed intake and growth performance over respective mash diet but improvement was not significant. Keeping in view the easy handling of feed in flaked form, flaking process of CSH based complete diet is recommended.

Citation key 
Ramachandran et al., 2008