Limited information exists about the growth of young Bali calves under local feeding strategies which are likely to be adopted by farmers. In this article, the authors examine a range of diets designed to increase the growth rate of young Bali cattle and develop practical feeding strategies to complement weaning in order to improve cattle production systems of smallholder farmers in Central Sulawesi. Three experiments were conducted to determine liveweight gain and feed and water intake of weaned Bali cattle offered a range of feed types. In each experiment, 18 weaned male Bali cattle were allocated to three treatment groups in a completely randomised block design, with six animals per treatment. The results show that the growth of weaned Bali calves could be substantially increased from ~0.1-0.2 kg/day on various forage sources in the region to over 0.4 kg/day with the addition of locally available protein/energy concentrates or gliricidia without depleting available feed resources. The authors conclude that increases of this order would likely have a major impact on the turnover of cattle and increase cash flows for smallholder operations across eastern Indonesia.

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