The growth performance of 18 Holstein and 20 Jersey heifer calves fed calf starter meals containing either cottonseed oil-cake meal (CSOCM) or soybean oil-cake meal (SBOCM) was compared. The diets were iso-nutritious in terms of crude protein and energy, and were fed from two weeks of age until two or three months of age to Holstein or Jersey calves respectively. Jersey and Holstein calves weighed 21.4±0.5 and 35.9±1.4 kg respectively at the start of the experiment. There were no differences between calf starter meals containing CSOCM or SBOCM (p > 0.05) in respect of feed intake, growth rate or efficiency of feed conversion. Average daily gain of Jersey and Holstein heifer calves was 0.435±0.02 and 0.635±0.03 kg/day respectively. No calves died during the experiment. It was concluded that the most important criterion for inclusion of CSOCM in calf starter meals is the cost of CSOCM relative to that of SBOCM, provided that the CSOCM used has a gossypol content of less than 200 ppm.
(South African Journal of Animal Science: 2000, 30(1): 67-69)