• Gadzama, I. U. National Animal Production Research Institute, Ahmadu Bello University, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria
  • Yashim, S. M.
  • Abdu, S. B.
  • Makun, H. J.
  • Barje, P. P.
  • Achi, N. P.


Intake, Soymilk Replacer, Performance, Nutrient Utilization, Calves


The study was carried out to evaluate the growth performance and nutrient utilization of Friesian x Bunaji calves fed different ratios of soy:cow milk. Soybean was sourced, cleaned and soaked in clean water for 72 hours. The water was changed twice after every 24 hours of soaking. Thereafter, the soybean was rinsed, sun-dried for 8 days, milled, sieved and then taken to the laboratory for chemical analyses. Results showed that soymilk produced from the 72 hours soaked soybean contained 87.11% moisture, 12.89% total solid (TS), 3.30% fat, 9.59% solidnon-fat (SNF), 5.55% protein and 0.82% ash. While the milk obtained from Friesian x Bunaji cows had moisture, TS, fat, SNF, protein and ash content of 88.30%, 11.70%, 2.69%, 9.01%, 3.29% and 0.67%, respectively. The protein content of the different ratios of soy:cow milk diets increased with increase levels of soymilk and varies from 3.29% in 0:100 to 5.23% in 75:25 ratio of soy:cow milk. The TS, fat, SNF and ash contents also followed similar pattern. Sixteen Friesian x Bunaji dairy calves with body weight of 34.8±0.7kg were randomly assigned to four dietary treatments (which consisted of 0:100, 25:75, 50:50 and 75:25 ratios of soy:cow milk) with four calves per treatment in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). Each calf received
two litres of the mixture of soy:cow milk daily. Results from the growth trial showed significant (P>0.05) difference in total feed intake among calves fed the different ratios of soy:cow milk. Calves fed diet containing 25:75 ratio of soy:cow milk had the lowest total feed intake (409.64 kg), average daily feed intake (4.18 kg/day) and better (P<0.05) total weight gain (74.25 kg), average daily weight gain (0.76 kg/day) and feed conversion ratio (5.52) as against (416.29 kg), (4.25 kg/day), (66.00 kg), (0.67 kg/day) and (6.31), respectively in calves fed cow milk alone (control). Digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, crude protein, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre were significantly (P<0.05) influenced by the inclusion of soymilk at different ratios. Nitrogen retained were similar (P>0.05) in calves fed 75:25, 50:50 and 25:75 ratios of soy:cow milk. However, calves fed 25:75 and 75:25 ratios of soy:cow milk had better nutrient digestibility and nitrogen balance, respectively. It was concluded that feeding 25:75 soy:cow milk gave higher live weight gain of 0.76 kg/day as against 0.67kg/day in calves fed cow milk alone. Therefore, feeding calves with 25:75 ratio of soy:cow milk is recommended for better growth performance and feed conversion than feeding cow milk alone.