This study was conducted to investigate the effects of different amounts of Spirulina platensis (SP) on the performance and digestibility of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), organic matter (OM), plasma cholesterol, LDL, HDL, BUN, albumin and globulin concentration of Holstein calves. Twenty four Holstein calves were randomly assigned to 4 treatments including 0, 2, 6 and 25 g per day of SP (designated as S0, S2, S6 and S25, respectively) each in 6 replicates for 57 days. Starter diet plus milk were used as basal diet for all treatments. Results showed that treatment effect was not significant on the final weight, daily gain, daily feed intake, feed efficiency and digestibility coefficient (P>0.05), while increase in the spirulina level up to 25 g, decreased digestibility of DM, CP, NDF and OM. Significant reduction in plasma cholesterol, LDL and HDL concentration were observed for S25 related to other groups (P<0.05). However, other blood parameters like BUN, albumin and globulin were not affected by spirulina (P>0.05).
Key words: Algae, Spirulina platensis, calves, performance, digestibility, serum biochemical parameters.
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