Abstract #M159

# M159
The effects of supplementation of Yucca on growth performance and health condition of newborn calves.
W. H. Liu1, L. Ma1, Y. Ma1, Z. T. Yu2, D. P. Bu*1,3, 1Institute of Animal Science, State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China, 2Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 3CAAS-ICRAF Joint Lab on Agroforestry and Sustainable Animal Husbandry, World Agroforestry Centre, East and Central Asia, Beijing, China.

Previous studies showed that Yucca supplementation could improve growth performance and immunological functions in poultry. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of supplementation of Yucca on the growth performance of newborn calves. A total of 40 healthy Holstein calves (4-d old; 40 ± 5 kg of body weight) were randomly allocated to 1 of 4 treatment groups (n = 10). The control group was fed 0 g/d Yucca (Y0), while the other groups were supplemented with 3 g/d (Y3), 6 g/d (Y6), or 9 g/d (Y9) of Yucca. All calves were housed in individual hunches. Before the feeding experiment, all calves had been each fed 4 L colostrum within 1 h after birth and given 2 more feedings of colostrum at 6 h (2 L) and 18 h (1 L) after birth. All calves were offered milk twice daily from d 2 to d 21, and then a milk powder (it was reconstituted into milk before each feeding) from d 22 to d 60 at weaning. The intended amount of Yucca was mixed into a small volume of the milk that was fed first at each meal. Calves had free access to water and a starter. Bodyweight (BW), body length, body height, chest circumference of the calves were measured fortnightly, while the dietary intake and fecal scores were recorded daily. The experiment ended at d 60. Data were analyzed using the mixed model procedure of SAS, with linear and quadratic polynomial contrasts tested using the CONTRAST statement of SAS with coefficients estimated. The Yucca did not affect DMI, chest circumference, body length, or average daily gain (P > 0.05). The feed-to-gain ratio of groups Y3, Y6 and Y9 was 15.2%, 18.4%, and 13.3% significantly lower (P < 0.01) than that of Y0, with no significant differences among the Y3, Y6, and Y9. The fecal score decreased linearly (P < 0.05) with the increased Yucca supplementation, and the fecal score of group Y9 was 7.1% (P < 0.05) lower than that of Y0. These results indicate that supplementation with Yucca can improve the growth performance, and the health status of newborn calves.

Key Words: Yucca, dairy calf, fecal score