Valuation of different methods of surplus colostrum preservation and the effect of feeding preserved colostrum on Sahiwal calf performance
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In a laboratory experiment, colostrum was preserved by five different methods viz: treatment with formaldehyde at levels of 0.1% (Ft) and 0.05% (F2)j acidification with formic acid at levels of 0.5% (FAt) and 0.1% (FA2)j and an untreated control (naturally fermented (NF). The colostrum batches were stored at ambient temperatures averaging 27-28°C. Weekly aliquots were analyzed for total solids, total protein, nonprotein nitrogen, lactose, pH and titratable acidity. There was no significant change (p>O.t) in total crude protein and total solids content for all the treatments. Acidification as measured by pH and %tit ratable acidity was most rapid in the NF colostrum. pH was relatively stable after the initial decrease due to addition of acid for the FAl and FA2 colostrum. Lactose reduction was most pronounced in the NF colostrum whereas the FAI had the highest residual lactose content. In a subsequent feeding experiment 11,preserved colostrum was used to feed Sahiwal calves individually in treatment groups comprising of seven calves each from 6 days to 30 days of age. Their performance was compared to that of a control group fed on whole milk. Body weight gains for the first 4 weeks were comparable for all the treatment groups. From 0-12 weeks of age the control group and the FAt group of calves had significantly higher daily gains (P<0.05) than the other groups. The Fl group of calves were affected negatively by the dietary treatment resulting in the death of 3 calves. Calf deaths in this treatment (Ft) were thought to be associated with formalin poisoning. Scouring was a major problem and contributed to the low growth rate especially for the F2 group of calves. The FA!, FA2 and NF colostrum resulted in lower cost per kg weight gain (Ksh 145.05, 160.10 and 207.70 respectively) than whole milk (Ksh 286.70).