The effect of betaine and rumen undegradable choline on growth rate and feed efficiency in calves

Mikolaj A. Gralak, Violetta Naughton (nee Lesniewska), Ryszard Puchala, Wieslaw Barej, E Dymnicki

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The experiment was performed on 30 Black-and-White Lowland calves of 87.0-90.3 kg body weight. The animals were divided into three groups fed meadow hay and a control granulated centrate - C, supplemented with 2.5% betaine - B (Betafin - Finnsugar Bioproducts, Helsinki, Finland) or with 2.25% choline chloride - CH (Prince Agri Products, Inc., Quincy, II, USA), which was equivalent to about 0.5% of the rumen undegradable choline. The daily body gain of animals fed the C diet and the B diet was the same, 0.849+ 0.029 kg, in calves of the CH group was 0.898+0.029 kg. The concentrate efficiency ratio was 3.06 + 0.097, 3.13+ 0.097 and 2.91+ 0.097 kg in the C, B and CH group, respectively. The relative growth rate was higher (P 0.10) in the CH group, reaching 131.7+1.40., 169.1+2.71 and 210.6 + 4.H4% of initial weight in the 5th, 10th and 15th weeks, respectively. The results achieved suggest that 0.5% rumen undegradable choline has a positive effect on production performance of half year old calves. In contrast, 2.5% betaine supplementation had no effect on production performance even though it was administered at 5-times higher levels than the rumen undegradable choline.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-233
JournalJournal of Animal and Feed Sciences
Issue number3-s
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1998


  • calf
  • betaine
  • choline
  • growth rate


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