Nutrient utilization of gram straw (Cicer arietinum) based complete feed blocks in camel calves
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Keywords:Animal nutrition, Camel calves, Complete feed block, Grain straw, Groundnut forage, Mineral absorption
In the first phase nutritional evaluation of gram straw (GS) as sole roughage diet in 4 camel calves (10-12 months.241-276 kg) was studied for 21 days. In second phase, 12 camel calves (approximately 10 months; 187-240 kg) were randomally distributed into 3 groups of 4 each and were given complete ration in loose form (CRI-L) consisting of gram straw, chaffed dry groundnut forage and concentrate in the ratio of 70: 15: 15, complete ration having simmilar composition that of CRI-L but in the form of feed blocks (CRI-FB) and complete ration consisting of gram straw, groundnut forgae and concentrate in the ratio of 60: 25: 15 in feed block form (CR2-FB) for 98 days. Signiticant (P<0.05) difference was observed for all proximate principles except CF and cell wall components among GS and CRI-L, CRl-FB, CR2-FB Nutrient intake of DCP, TDN and ME did not differ significantly among CRI -L, CRI -FB and CR2-FB but was significantly higher than GS. Nutrient intake in term of DCP g/kg Wâ°â·âµ was significantly highest (7.77) in CR2-FB and lowest (4.01) in GS while TDN was significantly highest (62.40) in CRI-L and lowest in GS (41.41). Thc apparent absorption (%) of Na, Cn and P differd nonsignificantly among the groups given complete rations but was signiticantly higher as compared to GS. The average daily gain and feed/body weight gain ratio did not differ significantly among CRI-L, CRI-FB and CR2-FB and ranged from 377.55 to 420.92 g/d and 13.51 to 14.30 respectively. It was inferred that camel calves given complete feed blocks had better nutrient utilization and growth, apart from additional advantages of easy handling, storage and transport or complete feed blocks.
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