Growth performance, forestomach development, and carcass and meat quality of veal calves fed a milk replacer diet (Control) were compared to those obtained from calves fed the same liquid diet plus 250 g x calf(-1) x d(-1) of dried beet pulp or wheat straw. Three groups of 46 Polish Friesian calves, balanced according to initial BW, were assigned to the three dietary treatments in a fattening trial, which lasted 160 d. The provision of either solid feed did not affect the milk replacer intake. However, calves' ADG was increased (P < 0.01) only by feeding the beet pulp diet. The administration of both solid feeds improved calves' health status; calves fed solid feeds required fewer iron treatments for low hemoglobin and needed less medical treatments for respiratory or gastrointestinal diseases. In comparison to the Control calves, the provision of wheat straw and beet pulp increased iron intake throughout the fattening period by 41 and 130%, respectively. However, only calves fed beet pulp showed higher levels of hemoglobin and plasma iron concentrations (P < 0.05), whereas the same blood parameters were similar between Control calves and those fed wheat straw. At slaughter, both solid feeds led to empty forestomach weights heavier than those of Controls without reducing dressing percentage. The reticulorumen was heaviest in calves fed beet pulp, whereas wheat straw promoted omasal development. The administration of beet pulp resulted in a better carcass conformation than did the Control diet or wheat straw, but it had a detrimental effect on carcass color, which was graded as the darkest (P < 0.001). Consistent with this result, meat color of calves fed beet pulp was darker than that of Control calves and those fed wheat straw, because of the higher hematin concentration measured at the muscle level. No differences in carcass and meat color were observed between Control calves and calves fed wheat straw. The administration of solid feeds for welfare purposes does not always prevent the production of veal meat fulfilling the color standards required by the market. There is not a straight-forward relationship between a solid feed's iron content and the "redness" of veal meat, which should be related to the capability of the calves to use the iron provided by the roughage.
|Titolo:||The provision of solid feeds to veal calves: I. Growth performance, forestomach development, and carcass and meat quality|
|Parole Chiave:||Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena; Animals; Pigmentation; Stomach, Ruminant; Health Status; Body Composition; Weight Gain; Meat; Animal Feed; Cattle; Animal Welfare; Iron, Dietary; Quality Control; Male|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore VET/03 - Patologia Generale e Anatomia Patologica Veterinaria|
Settore AGR/19 - Zootecnica Speciale
|Data di pubblicazione:||feb-2002|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|