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Performance of Bali Cattle (Bos sondiacus) Calves by Direct Supplementation to Unweaned Calves During the Dry Season in West Timor, Indonesia

M. L. Mullik, I G. N. Jelantik, H. L. L. Belli, W. M. Nalley, Y. M. Mulik1, C. Leo-Penu and R. S. Copland

ABSTRACT. An on-farm experiment was conducted in the district of Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia from the middle of dry season (July 2007) through to the end of the following wet season (April 208) to assessed growth rates of Bali cattle (Bos sondiacus) calves following direct supplementation to the calves prior to weaning in the dry season. A total of 249 Bali cattle cow-calf pairs were selected and were allocated into four treatment groups namely no intervention (calves grazing with their dam) and given no supplement (control), calves were confined and given supplement at 1% liveweight (GS1) or 2% liveweight (GS2) or 3% liveweight (GS3). The supplement contained 18.6% crude protein. The supplement was provided to the calves in collective calf pens while their dams were released to graze native pastures nearby. Confined calves were reunited with the dams during the night. Parameters measured were calf daily gain (LWG) and body condition score of the dams. The LWG of calves which were given supplement (125 g/d Р222 g/d) was significantly higher (P=0.001) than the non supplemented group. The highest LWG was achieved by GS3 group (222 g/d). Wet season LWG was also significantly greater in supplement groups (174 g/day) than control animals (113 g/d). Body condition score of cows whose calves receiving supplement was significantly higher (2.7) than un-supplanted ones (2.4). It can be concluded that direct supplementation to Bali cattle calves improves LWG both in the wet and the dry season.

Key Words: Bos sondaicus, Dry season supplementation, Liveweight gain, Bali calves, Body condition score Download File PDF

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