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Nutrient intake, rumen fermentation and growth performance of dairy calves fed extruded full-fat soybean as a replacement for soybean meal

  • A. ZeidAli-Nejad (a1), G. R. Ghorbani (a1), S. Kargar (a2), A. Sadeghi-Sefidmazgi (a1), A. Pezeshki (a3) and M. H. Ghaffari (a4)...


The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of extruded full-fat soybean (ESB) as a replacement for soybean meal (SBM) on nutrient intake, rumen fermentation, and growth performance of dairy calves. A total of 45 male Holstein dairy calves (42.0±0.5 kg of BW) were randomly assigned to one of three experimental diets: (1) 0% ESB (Control): 35.3% SBM no ESB; (2) 25% ESB: 27.0% SBM+9.0% ESB; and (3) 50% ESB: 19.0% SBM+19.0% ESB. All calves were weaned on day 56 of age and remained in the study until day 70 of age. During the pre-weaning and overall periods, substituting of SBM with ESB had no effect on intake of starter feed, metabolizable energy (ME), CP and non-fiber carbohydrate (NFC). Compared with the control, 50% ESB resulted in a decrease in starter feed intake, and intakes of other nutrients including CP, NFC and ME during the post-weaning period. Substituting SBM with ESB decreased intake of C16 : 0 and increased intakes of n-9 C18 : 1, n-6 C18 : 2 and n-3 C18 : 3 during the pre-weaning, post-weaning and overall periods. Using ESB as a replacement for SBM did not affect average daily gain, feed efficiency, rectal temperature and fecal score over the trial periods. Compared with control, the rumen concentration of NH3-N decreased for 50% ESB on days 35 and 56 of age but not when compared with 25% ESB. Rumen pH, total volatile fatty acids concentrations, and the molar proportions of ruminal acetate, propionate and butyrate were not different among treatments. Body measurements were not affected by the treatments. In conclusion, substitution of SBM with ESB may improve nitrogen utilization efficiency in dairy calves but slightly reduce post-weaning starter intake with no negative outcomes on growth performance and rumen fermentation.


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These two authors contributed equally to this work.



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