Influence of Ascophyllum nodosum algae extract on finishing growth performance and nutrient digestibility of buffalo calves in warm climates

Abstract

The present experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of using an extract of Ascophyllum nodosum algae (Tasco®, AN) on feed digestibility and finishing performance of buffalo calves. Twenty-four buffalo calves (263.4 ± 7.1 kg, 6 ± 1.2-month-old) were allocated to three treatments as a completely randomized design. The experimental treatments included (1) basal diet without supplement (control diet, AN0), (2) basal diet supplemented with 1% (AN1), and (3) basal diet supplemented with 2% (AN2). The gas production parameters and digestibility of feed as well as growth performance of buffalo calves were investigated. The gas production parameters of the experimental diets were not affected by treatments. The average feed intake on the whole period of experiment in the control and AN1 was maximum and minimum, respectively. The AN1 buffalo calves had the largest final weight, total weight gain throughout the entire period (day 0 to 75) and from day 30 to 60 of the experiment (P < 0.05). In comparison with the control (i.e., AN0), overall, the feed conversion ratio in AN1 and AN2 calves improved by about 21.4 and 16.3%, with the AN1 indicating the most suitable feed conversion ratio (P < 0.05). In comparison with the control, supplementation of diets with algae extract linearly improved (P < 0.05) the digestibility of nutrients. Data suggested that inclusion of algae extract had the best beneficial effects on the performance and digestibility of nutrients in finishing buffaloes. Therefore, it may be beneficial to use algae extract especially in warm or hot regions of the world such as the Khuzestan province, though more experiment is required to ensure its effect on heat stress.

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Acknowledgments

The authors appreciate the honorable officials of the Agricultural Sciences and the Natural Resources University of Khuzestan and Agricultural Research and Education Center and Natural Resources of Safi Abad Dezful for the support and for providing the facilities of research.

Funding

This work was financially supported by Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan.

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Correspondence to Morteza Chaji.

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Chaji, M., Eslami, M. & Kordnejad, E. Influence of Ascophyllum nodosum algae extract on finishing growth performance and nutrient digestibility of buffalo calves in warm climates. Trop Anim Health Prod 52, 1335–1343 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-019-02138-z

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Keywords

  • Ascophyllum nodosum algae
  • Buffaloes
  • Performance
  • Daily gain
  • Feed efficiency
  • Gas production