Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agric. Al-Azhar Univ, Assiut Branch, Assiut, Egypt.

2 Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agric. Assiut Univ, Assiut, Egypt.


This research was conducted to elucidate the effect of flavomycin® and propolis powder, as feed additives, on milk yield of buffalo and productive performance of suckling calves such as total body weight, average daily gain, body measurements and selective metabolic parameters. For this reason, sixteen multiparous Egyptian buffalo with an initial body weight of 445±11.45 kg. and their offspring suckling calves (16 calves) were used in this experiment. The trial was started at 6 weeks prenatal pregnancy and 4 months after parturition (suckling period) till weaning. The animals (mother and their suckling calves) were divided into four equal groups (4 animals / each group) according the preceding lactation season. First group (CO) was fed on the diet without any additives. Second group (T1) was fed on the diet + 50 mg of propolis/head / day. Third group (T2) was fed on the diet + 60 mg of flavomycin/ head/ day, while fourth group (T3) was fed on the diet + 50 mg of propolis + 60 mg flavomycin / head / day. The buffaloes were fed on a concentrated diet consisting of 45% seed, 15% cotton seed, 15% soy bean, 22% wheat bran, 1% premix salts, 1% limestone and 1% salt while suckling calves were allocated with their mothers and fed colostrum for the first three days. Milk, starter and treatments were given to suckling calves till weaning. The amount of buffalo milk were estimated. Body weight, body measurements and blood samples were taken from newborn calves. Results revealed that productive performance and selective blood metabolites were affected by supplemented diets. Daily and total milk yield were increased insignificantly in animals fed treated diets than untreated ones. There was a significant improvement of daily and final body weight (P<0.05) in the suckling calves treated with propolis alone or combined with flavomycin until the weaning period. Final chest girth, body high and abdominal circumference (AC) measurements were increased insignificantly for calves treated with propolis. There was a tendency of higher concentration of total protein in plasma of calves fed flavomycin (T2) than those fed control diets. Concentration of albumin was decreased insignificantly (P>0.05) in treated calves compared with control. Furthermore, flavomycin in the diets (T2) increased total globulin insignificantly (P>0.05) by about 29% compared with the control group. Treated diets induced the lowest levels in the plasma triglyceride and total cholesterol (P<0.01) in comparison to the control diets. Concentration of glucose was decreased (P<0.05) while transaminases enzyme levels were increased (P<0.05) in treated calves compared with untreated ones. It could be concluded that added flavomycin and /or propolis in the diets increased milk yield and improved live body weight and growth in suckling calves with improvement in final chest girth, body high and abdominal circumference measurements. Selected blood plasma metabolites affected by dietary treated diets without any harmful effect on health of suckling claves.