Discipline: Animal Science
The feeding value of cassava-based starter diets fortified with methionine were measured in calves in terms of their growth response and nutrients utilization. Nine (9) calves (crosses of Sahiwal x Holstien x Brahman cattle) between 2 and 4 months old from the LSU Cattle Project were utilized for this study from February 1 to May 31, 2002.
Three treatment diets were tested: Treatment 1, corn-based ration; Treatment 2, 50% cassava-based ration + 0.2% methionine; and Treatment 3, 60% cassava-based ration + 0.2% methionine. A randomized complete block design was used utilizing analysis of covariance (ANACOVA) and analysis of variance (ANOVA) for studies 1 and 2, respectively. Study 1 measured the growth performance of calves fed with the three treatment diets; and study 2 measured the digestibility of nutrients in the three treatment diets.
Results showed that calves fed cassava-based diets fortified with methionine had better (P<0.05) live weight gain than those fed with corn-based diets. Although there was no significant (P>0.05) difference among the adjusted treatment means on the dry matter intake (concentrate + forage), it was observed that the feed conversion efficiency ratio was better (P<0.05) in calves fed cassava-based, particularly Treatment 3 (60% cassava meal + 0.2% methionine). Similar results were significantly observed (P<0.05) among the treatment means in favor of Treatment 3 on the apparent percent digestibility, apparent digestible energy, apparent digestible crude protein and the total digestible nutrients (TDN) of calves fed cassava-based starter diet fortified with methionine.
Economic analysis revealed that calves confined as early as two months and fed cassava-based starter diets generate profit as much as PhP73.99/head/day.