Effect of feeding a rumen modifier on body weight gain in crossbred heifers
Author(s): Priyanka A Dahiwale, DK Deokar, PS Sakhare, SD Mandakmale, YG Fulpagare and CA Nimbalkar
Abstract: The effect of feeding a rumen modifier [mixture of neem seed powder (Azadirachta indica), fennel seed (Foeniculum vulgare), harad (Terminalia chebula), at the rate of DMI of heifers, RM-3] along with dry fodder (soybean straw), green fodder (lucerne) and concentrate mixture. The performance of crossbred heifers was studied. Twenty one crossbred heifers divided into three groups were assigned to three treatments, basal diet (control, T1), basal diet supplemented with RM-3 at the rate of 2% of dry matter intake (DMI) (T2) and basal diet supplemented with RM-3 at the rate of 4% of DMI (T3) for a period of 120 days. The diet was comprised of concentrate and roughage in 50:50 ratio. The heifer from all the treatments not only maintained their bodyweight but did indicate an increase in body weight over the experimental period. This means the ration provided to them was adequate to fulfil their nutritional demand. Total body weight gain over an experimental period was 62.57 kg, 109.00 kg 101.57 kg in T1, T2 and T3 respectively. This indicated that rumen modifier with concentrate mixture – II promote a higher growth rate in heifers. However, there was more weight gain under T2 treatments. The average daily body weight gain was 0.52, 0.91, and 0.85 kg per day in T1, T2 and T3 treatments, respectively. It is concluded that the rumen modifier (RM-3) along with concentrate mixture can be used as a feed additive to increase weight of crossbred heifers and improve immune status without affecting animal performance.