Authors: ZEESHAN MUHAMMAD IQBAL, MUHAMMAD ABDULLAH, KHALID JAVED, MAKHDOOM ABDUL JABBAR, NISAR AHMAD, YASIR ALLAH DITTA, HAMID MUSTAFA, FAISAL SHAHZAD
Abstract: An experiment was conducted to optimize the effect of concentrate levels on growth performance in Nili-Ravi buffalo heifers. These animals (n = 30), aged 4-6 months, were divided into three treatment groups (A, B, C) and were offered concentrate at the rate of 0.5%, 1.0%, and 1.5% of body weight for an 8-month period, respectively. The statistical data showed a significant (P < 0.01) effect on dry matter intake among all treatment groups. However, dietary treatments showed a nonsignificant effect on body weight gain. Treatment A showed a better (P < 0.01) feed conversion ratio (10.01 - 0.55) compared to treatment B (11.75 - 0.79) and C (12.85 - 0.74). The average body condition score, body measurements, and blood profiles were not affected by varying levels of concentrate. However, total serum protein was found lower (P < 0.01) in treatment A compared with the other two treatment groups. The cost for production per kg gain was 80.8% higher in treatment C and 46.6% higher in treatment B compared to treatment A. It can be concluded that buffalo heifers can be reared cost-effectively on a minimum concentrate level (0.5% of body weight) along with ad libitum green fodder.
Keywords: Body measurements, buffalo heifer, concentrate, growth performance
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