Effect of Varying Levels of Whole Cottonseed Supplementation on Concentrate Intake, Weight Gain and Blood Parameters in FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji Heifers
A.A. Voh Jr,
A study was carried out to determine the effects of
varying levels of whole cottonseed on feed intake, weight gain and blood
parameters in FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji heifers. Twenty FriesianxBunaji
and 24 Bunaji pre-pubertal heifers were divided to 4 groups of 5 and 6
animals/group. Animals in each group were fed 1 of 4 experimental concentrate
diets containing 0, 25, 50 and 75% whole cottonseed for 140 days. The
result of the study showed that concentrate intake declined with increase
in the level of whole cottonseed in dieting averaging 4.2, 3.3, 3.1 and
2.9 kg head -1day -1 in FriesianxBunaji fed 0, 25,
50 and 75% whole cottonseed diets, respectively. The corresponding intake
figures for the Bunaji heifers were 3.1, 2.9, 2.5 and 2.2 kg head -1
day -1. Mean daily weight gain were 0.59, 0.59, 0.48 and 0.64
kg in FriesianxBunaji and 0.48, 0.41 and 0.50 C kg in Bunaji heifers fed
0, 25, 50 and 75% whole cottonseed levels, respectively. Changes in blood
parameters were not significant in both FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji heifers
across treatments. The study showed that heifers could be fed diets containing
up to 75% whole cottonseed, respectively without adverse effects.
to cite this article:
P.P. Barje, O.W. Ehoche, L.O. Eduvie, A.A. Voh Jr, G.N. Akpa and O.S. Lamidi, 2008. Effect of Varying Levels of Whole Cottonseed Supplementation on Concentrate Intake, Weight Gain and Blood Parameters in FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji Heifers. Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 3: 1-8.
Studies have shown that the time taken by an animal to reach puberty
and sexual maturity depends on availability and quality of feed (Oyedipe
et al., 1982a; Mukasa-Mugerwa, 1989). A way of reducing the costs
of raising heifers is by feeding diets that will stimulate faster growth
rates and reduce age at first calving. Whole cottonseed is high in energy,
protein and fibre and possesses the potential to induce growth (Arieli,
1998; Rogers et al., 2002). Despite these qualities, feeding whole
cottonseed diets to livestock, especially monogastrics and young ruminants
with undeveloped rumens has limited by its potential toxic effect due
to the presence of gossypol. Even with adult female ruminants, which have
been reported to exhibit limited signs of gossypol toxicity (Rogers et
al., 2002); caution is often exercised when feeding whole cottonseed.
Reported previous studies on feeding whole cottonseed to cattle show variations
in reported safe levels of whole cottonseed supplementation. Lanham et
al. (1992) reported that diets containing 30% whole cottonseed were
not toxic to growing cattle; however, a sharp decline in dry matter intake
occurred as whole cottonseed levels increased from 35 to 55%. Poore (1994)
recommended that for first parity cows a grain diet should be fed alongside
whole cottonseed. Arieli (1998) suggest that whole cottonseed should be
fed at 10 to 15% of the total diet DM for dairy cattle. Rogers et
al. (2002) suggested that whole cottonseed could be fed at about 0.33%
of body weight or 15% of the total ration to growing cattle.
The objective of this study was to determine the effects of feeding concentrate
diets with varying levels of whole cottonseed on feed intake, weight gain
and blood parameters of prepubertal heifers.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The study was carried out at the Dairy Research Programme farm of the
National Animal Production Research Institute, Ahmadu Bello University,
Shika-Zaria, Nigeria. Shika lies between Latitudes 11 and 12° North
and between Longitude 7 and 8° East. Mean annual rainfall in the area
is 1100 mm, lasting from May to October. Mean relative humidity is about
72%, while the average daily temperature is about 25°C. The wet season
is followed by a dry period (dry season), which lasts from November to
April, with mean daily temperatures ranging from 14-36°C and mean
relative humidity between 20 and 37%.
Experimental Animals and Their Management
The experimental animals consisted of 20 FriesianxBunaji and 24 Bunaji
prepubertal heifers. The FriesianxBunaji prepubertal heifers were born
on station, while the Bunaji heifers were purchased from the open market.
The ages and initial weights of FriesianxBunaji heifers ranged between
16 and 18 months and 180 and 220 kg, respectively. The ages of the Bunaji
heifers were determined by an experienced veterinarian using the dentition
(Forse, 1999) and ranged between 24 and 28 months. Their initial weights
were between 140 and 180 kg. The experimental animals were dewormed with
Albenda 25007 (Albendazole) bolus (Eagle Chemicals Co. Ltd.
Chungchongnamdo, Korea) at the rate of 5 mg kg-1 body weight.
They were treated against ticks and other ectoparasites by twice weekly
dipping in a long-walk dip containing Steladone7 (Novartis
Inc. Basle, Switzerland).
Experimental Feed and Feeding
Four concentrate diets were formulated to contain 0, 25, 50 and 75%
whole cottonseed (Table 1). The diet with 0% whole cottonseed
served as the control. The animals were divided within breeds into 4 groups
of 5 and 6 animals per group for FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji, respectively.
They were weighed and after balancing for weight each group within breed
was randomly assigned to one of four experimental diets in a randomized
complete block design. They were taken through a 14 day pre-experimental
period followed by a 7 day adjustment period. The animals were fed the
control diet (0% whole cottonseed diet) and diets assigned to specific
groups during the pre-experimental and adjustment periods respectively
at the rate of 1 kg head-1 day-1. After the adjustment
period, they were weighed and the daily concentrate allowance adjusted
to the experimental feeding rate of 1.5% of body weight head-1
day-1. Subsequently, concentrate allowance was adjusted fortnightly
of experimental diets (%)
Metabolizable Energy, Estimated gossypol (kg kg-1)
animals had been weighed. The animals were individually fed the concentrate
for 3 h in the morning (between 7.00-10.00 am) before going out for grazing
from 10.00 am to 5.30 pm. The animals grazed on natural range throughout
the experimental period. Concentrate intake was measured by weighing leftovers
at the end of the 3 h feeding period. Body weight changes were determined
by weighing the animals fortnightly. The trial lasted for 140 days.
Blood samples were drawn from the jugular vein of each animal into 10
mL blood sample tubes at the beginning of the study and subsequently at
2 weeks interval. Ethylene-di-amine-tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) was used
as anticoagulant (5 mg tube-1). The blood samples were used
to determine packed cell volume, white blood cell count, haemoglobin,
neutrophils and lymphocytes. All collected blood samples were processed
within 2 h of collection.
Feed samples were analysed for proximate components (AOAC, 1990) and
for Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF) and Acid Detergent Fibre (ADF), using
the procedures of Goering and Van Soest (1970). The blood samples were
used for the determination of packed cell volume, erythrocyte, white blood
cell count and differential (neutrophile and lymphocyte) counts (Coles,
1974). The collected blood samples were processed within 2 h of collection.
Data Management and Analysis
Data collected were computed using Microsoft Excel software (Microsoft
XP). The data were analysed using General Linear Model Procedures of the
Statistical Analysis System (SAS, 1987) to study the effect of varying
levels of whole cottonseed in the diets on the various parameters measured.
The model used was:
Yijk = μ + Bj + Xijk
+ Tk + eijk.
||Record of dependent variable
All statistical tests were done at 1 and 5% probability levels.
Composition of Experimental Diets
Dry matter averaged 96.3% across diets, while crude protein levels averaged
16.0, 15.4, 16.3 and 17.8% for diets containing 0, 25, 50 and 75% whole
cottonseed, respectively. Crude fibre content increased with increase
in the level of whole cottonseed. Similarly, Ether extract, NDF and ADF
increased with increase in the level of whole cottonseed in the diets.
However, ash content declined as whole cottonseed increased in the diet
Friesianx Bunaji heifers on diet containing 0% whole cottonseed had the
highest average daily concentrate intake of 4.2 kg head-1 day-1,
while those on 75% whole cottonseed diet had the least (2.9 kg head-1
day-1) (Table 2). The difference in the average
concentrate intake by heifers on
of level of whole cottonseed on feed intake and weight gain by FriesianxBunaji
and Bunaji heifers
|ab: Means within the same row in the same
treatment column with different superscripts are significantly different.
Frx = FriesianxBunaji, BJ = Bunaji, LOS = Level of Significance, **:
p<0.01, *: p<0.05
25 and 50% whole cottonseed diets (3.3 and 3.1 kg head-1 day-1)
was not significant. Concentrate intake was also depressed significantly
(p<0.01) with increase in the level of whole cottonseed in the diets
in the Bunaji heifers (Table 2). Animals on 50 and 75%
whole cottonseed diets had significantly lower (p<0.05) concentrate
intake compared to those on 0 and 25% whole cottonseed diets. There was
no significant difference in concentrate intake between animals on 0 and
25% whole cottonseed diets and between those on 50 and 75% whole cottonseed
diets. Within treatments, feed intake by FriesianxBunaji heifers was significantly
higher (p<0.01) than those of Bunaji heifers.
Average daily weight gain by FriesianxBunaji heifers fed 75% whole cottonseed
diet (0.637 kg day-1) was significantly higher (p<0.01)
than those of heifers on the other treatments, while those of animals
on 0 and 25% whole cottonseed diets were not significantly different (p>0.05)
(Table 2). The least average daily weight gain (0.484 kg day-1)
was recorded in animals on 50% whole cottonseed diet. The difference in
feed: gain ratio of animals fed 0 and 50% whole cottonseed diets was not
significant. In terms of cumulative weight gains, FriesianxBunaji heifers
fed 25, 50 and 75% whole cottonseed diets performed better than those
fed 0% whole cottonseed. The best performance was recorded in animals
fed 75% whole cottonseed diet. Among the Bunaji heifers (Table 2) average
total weight gained and average daily weight gains of animals fed 0, 25
and 75% whole cottonseed diets were not significantly different. Weight
gain by Bunaji heifers fed the 50% whole cottonseed diet was significantly
lower (p<0.05) than those fed the other diets. Feed: gain ratio varied
significantly (p<0.05) across treatments. Bunaji heifers fed 25% whole
cottonseed diets had significantly (p<0.01) higher feed: gain ratios
than those fed the other diets. Feed: gain ratio of Bunaji fed 0% whole
cottonseed diet was also significantly higher (p<0.01) than those of
animals fed 50 and 75% whole cottonseed diets. Within treatments the differences
in weight gains between FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji heifers were highly
significant (p<0.01) (Table 2). There was no significant
difference in feed: gain ratio between FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji heifers
fed 0 and 75% whole cottonseed diets, but the ratios were significantly
different (p<0.05) in those fed 25 and 50% whole cottonseed diets.
There were no significant differences in packed cell volume, haemoglobin,
white blood cells, neutrophils and lymphocytes levels in the blood of
FriesianxBunaji heifers across treatments (Table 3). Packed cell volume,
total white blood cells count and neutrophils levels were not significantly
different in Bunaji heifers fed 0, 25 and 50% whole cottonseed diets (Table 3). The values increased significantly (p<0.05) in those fed 75% whole
cottonseed diet. There were no significant differences in Haemoglobin
and lymphocytes concentrations across treatments. Within treatments,
changes in pre-pubertal FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji heifers fed varying
levels of whole cottonseed
Means within the same row in the same treatment column with different
superscripts are significantly different. Frx = FriesianxBunaji, BJ
= Bunaji, LOS = Level of Significance, *: p<0.05, ns: Non significant
there were no significant differences in packed cell volume, haemoglobin,
total white blood cells and neutrophils concentrations in the blood of
FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji heifers fed 0, 25 and 50% whole cottonseed
diets (Table 3). Packed cell volume, haemoglobin, total white blood cells
and neutrophils were significantly (p<0.05) higher in Bunaji heifers
fed 75% whole cottonseed diet than in the FriesianxBunajiheifers fed the
same diet. Lymphocyte concentrations were not significantly different
in FriesianxBunajiand Bunaji heifers across treatments.
The increase in ether extract, NDF and ADF in the diets with increase
in the level of whole cottonseed in the diet, is as expected, because
of the high amounts of these components in the whole cottonseed (NRC,
1989; Bernard et al., 1999). Whole cottonseed used in this study
was highly linted, accounting for the increase in the fibre content of
the feed with increase in whole cottonseed. Holland and Jaster (1999)
and Mujahid et al. (2000) reported that the amount of lint on the
seed varies with cotton variety and the efficiency of delinting process
and this often affects the fibre content.
The general decline in feed intake in both FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji
heifers with increase in the level of whole cottonseed observed in this
study agrees with the reports of Lanham et al. (1992). However,
the results is at variance with that of Harvatine et al. (2002)
who reported significant increases in dry matter intake with increase
in the proportion of dietary whole cottonseed. The significant difference
in concentrate intake between the FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji heifers within
the same treatment diet could be attributed to the fact that the FriesianxBunaji
being of a bigger frame consumed more feed to maintain their larger body
The fact that whole cottonseed constituted the largest component of the
rejected feed, as the level of its inclusion in the diet increased, is
an indication that the animals selectively ingest other component of the
feed while rejecting whole cottonseed. This preferential consumption of
other ingredients in the diets resulted in large leftovers, which might
have been reflected in the decline in total feed intake with increase
in the level of whole cottonseed. Highly linted whole cottonseed as was
used in this study had been implicated in observed depression in dry matter
intake (Lanham et al., 1992; Arieli, 1998; Harvatine et al.,
2002). Arieli (1998) observed that highly linted whole cottonseed usually
stratifies in the ruminal contents. It is possible that gut fill was increased
with increase in the rate of stratification of whole cottonseed in the
rumen as more linted whole cottonseed was consumed causing a decline in
dry matter intake. It is also possible that the increase in both ether
extract and neutral detergent fibre with increase in whole cottonseed
could have contributed to the depressed feed intake since supplemental
fats/oil has been associated with depression of feed intake (Harrison
et al., 1995; Choi et al., 1996; Romo et al., 1996).
Similar negative effect of whole cottonseed on dry matter intake of goats
has been reported by Luginbuhl et al. (2000) and was attributed
to the increase in dietary Ether Extract (EE) and Neutral Detergent Fibre
(NDF) with increase in whole cottonseed levels in the diets.
The significant difference in growth rate between FriesianxBunaji and
Bunaji heifers within treatments is similar to what had been reported
by Rekwot (2000). The higher weight gains of both FriesianxBunajiand Bunaji
heifers fed the diet with 75% whole cottonseed compared to other treatments
is consistent with the reports of Van Amburgh et al. (1998) and
Firkins et al. (2002), which showed increases in body weight gains
at high levels of whole cottonseed. Arieli (1998) and Rogers et al.
(2002) attributed the improved performance of cattle fed high whole cottonseed
diets to the high energy and protein content of whole cottonseed. The
decline in feed: gain ratio in both breeds at high whole cottonseed levels
may probably indicate a possible improvement in feed efficiency with increase
in whole cottonseed in the diet.
The increase in total white blood cells and neutrophiles in the Bunaji
fed the 75% whole cottonseed diet agrees with the findings of Coppo et
al. (1994). Packed cell volume, total white blood cells count and
neutrophiles of Bunaji heifers on 75% whole cottonseed diet were significantly
higher than those FriesianxBunaji heifers on the same diets. These results
seem to suggest that the Bunaji heifers were less adversely affected by
high level of whole cottonseed than the FriesianxBunajiheifers. However,
for both FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji heifers, the values for packed cell
volume, haemoglobin and white blood cell count remained within normal
ranges (26-42%, 8-14 g 100-1 mL and 9-12x103 100-1
mL, respectively) for cattle (Coles, 1974; Olaloku and Oyenuga, 1975)
even at high levels of whole cottonseed. These findings also agree with
those of Hawkins et al. (1985) and Barraza et al. (1991)
who reported no change in the blood metabolites even when whole cottonseed
was fed at levels considered to be toxicity threshold. The result also
confirms the ability of ruminants with fully developed rumen to tolerate
high levels of whole cottonseed intake (Risco et al., 1993; Calhoun
et al., 1996; Mena et al., 2001).
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
From the results off this study it could be concluded that increase in
the level of whole cottonseed in the diets of prepubertal heifers depressed
feed intake significantly. Weight gain by both FriesianxBunaji and Bunaji
heifers increased with increase in the level of whole cottonseed in the
diet. Level of whole cottonseed supplementation had no significant effect
on values of blood parameters. It is suggested that prepubertal
heifers could be fed diets with up to 75% whole cottonseed without exhibiting
any toxicity signs on the parameters investigated.
The authors wish to express their gratitude to the Director of the National
Animal Production Research Institute for permission to publish this study.
The contributions of staff in the Dairy Research Programme and the Central
Laboratory in the success of this study are acknowledged. The Federal
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development funded the research.
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