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Advances in Agriculture
Volume 2015, Article ID 410497, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/410497
Research Article

Growth and Blood Parameters of Weaned Crossbred Beef Calves Fed Forage Kale (Brassica oleracea spp. acephala)

1Département de Biomédecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, 3200 Sicotte Street, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada J2S 2M2
2Département de Sciences Cliniques, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, 3200 Sicotte Street, P.O. Box 5000, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada J2S 7C6
3Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre, 2560 Hochelaga Boulevard, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 2J3
4Valacta, 555 Boulevard des Anciens-Combattants, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, Canada H9X 3R4
5Département des Sciences Animales, Université Laval, 2425 Rue de l’Agriculture, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6

Received 29 September 2014; Revised 7 January 2015; Accepted 12 January 2015

Academic Editor: Leonardo Velasco

Copyright © 2015 Y. Chorfi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Forty lightweight calves ( kg) were randomly distributed to four treatments: (Control) low nutritive value pasture and hay plus 1 kg d−1 of rolled barley; (Pasture) management intensive pasture; (Haylage) timothy haylage; and (Kale) 50% timothy haylage −50% kale pasture. Blood samples were analysed for thyroid hormones, liver enzymes, glucose, cholesterol, total proteins (TP), albumin, globulins, and urea-N. At the end of the trial, the Pasture group was the heaviest with  kg BW and 1.54 kg ADG. Final BW and ADG were similar for the Kale and Haylage groups. Blood T3 was higher for Kale than for the other groups. The T3/T4 ratio was greater for Control at the end of the experiment. There were no treatment differences for T4, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH), cholesterol, and glucose. Blood urea-N was lower for Kale and higher for Pasture; however albumin concentrations were greater for Pasture and similar for other treatments. Except for the Control group, calves had a lower concentration of circulating globulins at the end than at the beginning of the experiment. This study showed that Kale could be fed to backgrounding calves without detrimental effects on performance.