EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF VARYING CONCENTRATE RATION LEVELS ON THE PERFORMANCE OF SAHIWAL HEIFERS DURING THE PRE-PUBERTAL PERIOD
Keywords:dry matter intake, concentrate ration, pre-pubertal period
This study aimed to investigate the effects of varying levels of concentrate ration on the performance of Sahiwal heifers during the pre-pubertal period. The study examined several key parameters, including dry matter intake (DMI), daily weight gain (DWG), feed efficiency (FE), onset of puberty, body measurements (BM), and nutrient digestibility. The findings demonstrated significant differences among the different treatments and provided valuable insights into the impact of concentrate supplementation. Regarding DMI, the results indicated a variation ranging from 3.66±0.08 to 5.59±0.03 kg/heifer, which could be attributed to factors such as age, size, and weight of the heifers. In terms of DWG, heifers fed on a diet consisting of green fodder and 1% concentrate exhibited a higher average daily weight gain of 0.49±0.01 kg/calf compared to other treatments. FE was also influenced by the level of concentrate supplementation, with higher concentrations leading to improved efficiency. The provision of additional dietary protein was found to enhance feed efficiency by converting feed into available protein. The onset of puberty was significantly affected by the supplementation of green fodder with varying levels of concentrate. Delayed puberty was observed in Sahiwal heifers fed solely on ad-libitum fodder, indicating the importance of sufficient nutrient intake to meet the heifers' nutritional requirements. Body measurements (BM), including body length (BL), wither height (WL), and heart girth (HG), showed improvement in heifers fed on varying levels of concentrate. The digestibility of nutrients, including dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), and ash, varied significantly among the different treatments. Overall, this study provides important insights into the effects of concentrate ration levels on the performance of Sahiwal heifers during the pre-pubertal period. These findings contribute to existing knowledge and can serve as a valuable resource for researchers, farmers, and stakeholders interested in optimizing the growth and development of Sahiwal heifers.
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