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South African Journal of Animal Science

On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589


RAZA, M. et al. Yeast cell wall supplementation modulates pre-weaning stress in male Nili Ravi buffalo calves. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2022, vol.52, n.4, pp.460-471. ISSN 2221-4062.

The effects of yeast cell wall (YCW) supplementation on growth performance, cell-mediated immune response, blood metabolites, and health scores in early-weaned male buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) calves were evaluated. Forty Nili Ravi buffalo calves were randomly divided into four groups and supplemented with four dietary treatments, namely control (animals without prebiotics), YCW-2 (yeast cell wall fed at 2 g/calf/day), YCW-4 (yeast cell wall fed at 4 g/calf/day), and cMOS-4 (commercial mannan-oligosaccharide fed at 4 g/calf/day). Milk intake, dry matter intake (DMI), and health scores were recorded daily, whereas body weight (body weight) and structural developments (hip height, wither height, heart girth, and body length) were recorded weekly. Feed efficiency and average daily gain (ADG) were calculated at the end of the experiment. Blood samples were collected fortnightly to determine glucose, non-esterified fatty acids, beta-hydroxybutyric acid (ßHBA), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), catalase, malondialdehyde, creatinine, hepatic enzymes, cholesterol, triglycerides, and total serum protein profile. The cell-mediated immune response was determined by the application of dinitrochlorobenzene directly to the skin. The results of the study revealed that supplementation of YCW and cMOS increased DMI, body weight, feed efficiency, ADG, and structural growth in buffalo calves, whereas faecal scores were significantly improved in supplemented groups compared to the control. Glucose, BUN, and ßHBA improved in supplemented animals more than in the control group, indicating bioactivity that contributed to the improvement of gut health. Supplementation with YCW improved the growth performance, physiological responses, and gut health of early-weaned male buffalo calves.

Keywords : faecal score; growth; male buffalo calf; serum chemistry; structural measurements.

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