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Prospects of raising Sahiwal cow calves for veal production under tropical environment

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The objective of present study was to evaluate the growth potential of Sahiwal calves for veal production on whole milk or whole milk and milk replacer combined in a ratio of 50:50 (MMR). For this purpose, 48 Sahiwal calves (both male and female) were assigned to four dietary treatments having 12 animals/treatment. Calves in the treatments A and B were offered whole milk at 15 or 20 % of their body weight (BW), respectively, up to day 84 adjusted on weekly basis. The calves in treatments C and D received the same amount of milk as in treatments A and B until day 21, respectively, after which 50 % of the milk offered was replaced with a blend of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) flour and vegetable (corn) oil mixed in water (MR) until day 84. The constituted MR had 3.1, 2.8, and 14.3 %, CP, EE, and DM, respectively. The growth and intake data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis, with MIXED Procedures of SAS in a 2 × 2 factorial design. The two factors were feeding level and feeding source. Calves offered whole milk grew faster (P < 0.05) and had greater weaning weights (P < 0.05) than those offered MMR (606.4 ± 18.1 vs 331.3 ± 18.1 g/day and 70.4 ± 1.5 vs 47.8 ± 1.5 kg, respectively). Greatest daily BW gain (656 ± 26 g/day) and weaning weight (74.6 ± 2.1 kg) were observed in calves given treatment B while the lowest production cost/kg of BW gain (≈US$3.6 ± 0.2) was observed in calves given treatment A. The daily BW gain of calves fed milk ad libitum was 716 ± 40 and 836 ± 40 g/day, during 5–8 and 9–12 weeks, respectively. The number of days calves exhibited scours was higher in calves offered MMR than those offered whole milk. Replacement of 50 % milk with a blend of chickpea flour and vegetable oil, as an alternative to milk replacer, did not support growth equivalent to whole milk and was not effective in reducing feeding cost during the weaning period. Sahiwal calves may have promise for being raised for veal production under tropical environments.

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The authors greatly acknowledge the cooperation and support of the Livestock and Dairy Development Department, Punjab for providing calves and research facilities for conducting this study at their experiment station. Thanks to Professor Janice Bowman, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA for correcting language of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Shaukat Ali Bhatti.

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Bhatti, S.A., Nazir, K., Basra, M.J. et al. Prospects of raising Sahiwal cow calves for veal production under tropical environment. Trop Anim Health Prod 45, 923–930 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-012-0307-x

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  • Calf nutrition
  • Sahiwal calves
  • Veal
  • Milk replacer