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Rearing of dairy cattle. 4. Effect of concentrate supplementation on the live-weight gain and feed intake of calves offered roughages ad libitum

  • J. D. Leaver (a1)

Summary

The effects of three levels of concentrate supplementation on the live-weight gain and intake of roughages of 12-week-old British Friesian female calves were examined. Each supplement was offered for 12 weeks to two replicates of five calves which were group fed. The following six roughages were studied; high quality hay, dried grass wafers, grass silage, barley straw, poor quality hay and maize silage. The digestibility of the roughages was measured with sheep by total collection of faeces.

Increasing the level of concentrate supplementation gave linear increases in live-weight gains of calves with all roughages, the greatest response occurring with roughages of low digestibility. The intake of roughage was depressed by increasing the level of concentrate supplementation, the greatest depressions occurring with roughages of high digestibility. Live-weight gains and roughage intakes were higher with dried grass wafers and lower with maize silage than would be expected from their respective digestibility coefficients.

Multiple regression equations were calculated to relate live-weight gains or roughage intakes to concentrate intake and roughage digestibility. These equations predict from the digestibility of a roughage, the amount of concentrates required daily to produce a given live-weight gain, and the amount of roughage which is eaten under these circumstances.

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Rearing of dairy cattle. 4. Effect of concentrate supplementation on the live-weight gain and feed intake of calves offered roughages ad libitum

  • J. D. Leaver (a1)

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