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Effect of Age of Young Dairy Calves on Dry-Matter Digestibility of Alfalfa Pellets


SUCCESSFUL attempts to rear dairy calves on high-quality forage (dry-matter digestibility more than 70 per cent) without grain feeding have been reported by McCullough et al.1, McMeekan2 and Roy et al.3. Utilizing similar forage, Preston et al.4 investigated the effect of age on digestibility and intake with calves 3–9 weeks old. Their findings suggested that: “(a) rumen development is anatomical; (b) the development of microflora—in respect of their ability to ferment and digest grass dry matter—is instantaneous or practically so, and is dependent on there being a suitable substrate in the rumen”.

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  1. 1

    McCullough, M. E., and Sell, O. E., Georgia Exp. Sta. Circular N.S. 7 (1957).

  2. 2

    McMeekan, C. P., New Zealand Dept. Agric. Bull. 228 (1955).

  3. 3

    Roy, J. H. B., and Shillam, K. W. G., Farmer and Stock-Breeder (Feb. 16–17, 1956).

  4. 4

    Preston, T. R., Archibald, J. D. H., and Tinkler, W., J. Agric. Sci., 48, 259 (1957).

  5. 5

    Morrison, H. B., “Feeds and Feeding”, 22nd edit. (Morrison Pub. Co., Ithaca, N.Y.).

  6. 6

    Kane, E. A., Ely, R. E., Jacobson, W. C., and Moore, L. A., J. Dairy Sci., 36, 325 (1953).

  7. 7

    Cook, C. Wayne, and Harris, L. E., J. Amer. Sci., 10, 565 (1951).

  8. 8

    Reid, J. R., et al., J. Dairy Sci., 33, 60 (1950).

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