Effect of administration of anaerobic fungi isolated from cattle and wild blue bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus) on growth rate and fibre utilization in buffalo calves
Fifteen Murrah buffalo calves (age about 10 months, 163 - 176 kg BW) were divided into three groups. Group I (Control) was fed a complete feed mixture consisted of 50% wheat straw and 50% concentrate mixture (contained per kg: maize 330 g, groundnut cake 210 g, mustard cake 120 g, wheat bran 200 g, de-oiled rice bran 110 g, mineral mixture 20 g and common salt 10 g) along with 2 kg green oats per animal and day to meet the vitamin A requirements. Calves of Groups II and III were fed with the Control diet supplemented with Orpinomyces sp. C-14 and Piromyces sp. WNG-12 cultures, respectively. The digestibility of DM was significantly highest with Piromyces sp. WNG-12 in Group III (62.2%) followed by Orpinomyces sp. C-14 in Group II (60.3%), and Control (53.5%). A similar pattern of increase in digestibility of crude protein and cell-wall contents was observed in treatment groups. The digestible energy in terms of percent total digestible nutrients was also significantly enhanced in Groups II (56.6%) and III (59.9%) when compared to Control (49.2%). The rumen fermentation parameters such as pH and NH3-N were found to be lower, whereas total nitrogen, tricarboxylic acid precipitable-nitrogen, total volatile fatty acids and zoospore counts per millilitre of rumen liquor were significantly higher in fungal administered groups. After administration of fungal cultures, improvements of animal growth rate (i.e. body weight gain) and feed efficiency were also observed.
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