EFFECT OF FEEDING RATIONS WITH DIFFERENT LEVELS OF RUMEN DEGRADABLE PROTEIN ON GROWTH AND DIGESTIBILITY OF NUTRIENTS IN CROSSBRED CALVES
K. T. Sampath and E. Sivaraman
An experiment was conducted to find out the effect of varying levels (44.50, 60.50 and 71.50 per cent) of rumen degradable protein (RDP) in the rations of calves on dry matter intake, digestibility of nutrients and growth rate for a period of six months using 18 crossbred female calves (four to six months age) divided into three groups of six each. The three levels of degradable protein in the rations were found to have no significant effect on the dry matter intake and digestibility of nutrients. However, the average daily gain in the body weight of the calves which received 44.50 per cent RDP in the ration was significantly higher as compared with those of calves in other two groups. No significant difference in average daily gain of calves which received rations containing 60.50 and 71.50 per cent RDP could be seen. It was concluded that a higher level of undegradable proteins in the ration of growing calves bring about a better growth rate and that a RDP level of 45 per cent in the ration is optimal for satisfactory growth in calves.