A Preliminary Study on Artificial Nursing of Young Calves
A substantial amount of young calves entering Nigeria are lost daily when their dams are sold for slaughter. This preliminary study presents a management technique for raising orphan young calves. Six male White Fulani orphan calves, aged between 2 and 4 weeks were grouped into three. The first group of two calves was fed with a mixture of skimmed milk and corn starch. The second group was fed with a mixture of soya milk and corn starch, while the third group of two calves was fed on their respective lactating dam naturally. The calves that were fed on soya milk and corn starch diet died by the 12th and 14th day of the study as a result of dehydration and diarrhoea of nutritional origin. Calves fed by their respective lactating dams had a faster growth rate than calves fed on skimmed milk and corn starch. Over the 18 weeks of this study, the weight gains of the calves fed with skimmed milk and corn starch were significantly lower (P<0.05) than the calves fed by their respective dams. This study concluded that orphan young calves could be artificially raised successfully on skimmed milk and corn starch in Nigeria.
Keywords: Artificial, Nursing, Rearing, Calves
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