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A two-stage experiment was carried out. The first stage was determining how long the soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merril) was allowed to soak before the anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) and performance of Friesian x Bunaji calves fed various soy:cow milk ratios were assessed.

Soybean was procured, cleaned, and separated into five groups (designated for the experimental treatments) in stage one of the experiment. The first group served as the control (unsoaked soybean), whereas the other groups underwent 12, 24, 48, and 72 hours of clean water soaking, respectively.

Once every 24 hours, the water was changed twice. The soybean was then rinsed, dried in the sun for 8 days, processed, sieved, and brought to the lab for testing.

According to the proximate composition analysis, unsoaked soybean xix (control) included 40.28% crude protein, 14.11% fat, and 3459.50 kcal/kg DM of metabolizable energy.

A 72-hour-soaked soybean had a 44.37% CP, 29.55% fat, and a ME value of 5514.57 kcal/kg DM, in contrast. Soaking the soybean, especially over 72 hours, increased its chemical makeup and decreased its levels of anti-nutritional components.

With increasing soymilk levels, the crude protein content of the various soy:cow milk diets rose. It ranges from 3.29% in the 0:100 to 5.23% in the diet comprising a 75:25 ratio of soy:cow milk. Similar patterns could be seen in the total solid, fat, solid-not-fat, and ash contents.

The feeding value of the optimal soaking period (72 hours) in combination with cow milk at a ratio of 0:100 (control), 25:75, 50:50, and 75:25 soy:cow milk, respectively, in the diets of Friesian x Bunaji calves was assessed in the second experiment using a growth trial.

Four food regimens, each comprising four calves, were randomly assigned to sixteen calves with an average body weight of 34.80.7kg. This was done using a completely random design. According to the growth trial’s findings, there was no difference in average total feed consumption between calves given the various ratios of soy:cow milk (P>0.05).

The lowest total feed intake (409.64 kg), average daily feed intake (4.18 kg/day), and better total weight gain (74.25 kg), average daily weight gain (0.76 kg/day), and feed conversion ratio (5.52), respectively, were seen in calves fed diets containing a 25:75 ratio of soy:cow milk as compared to calves fed cow milk alone (control).

Soymilk inclusion at various ratios exhibited a beneficial effect on some linear cavalry body parameters, including body length, height at the withers, and heart girth.

The results of the blood tests revealed that the levels of ANFs in the soymilk given to calves had been dramatically lowered after soaking soybeans in water for 72 hours.

White blood cells (4–12109/l) and glucose (40–100mg/dl) were both within the normal ranges. The rumen metabolites (rumen fluid temperature, pH, NH3-N, and TVFA) were positively impacted by feeding various soy:cow milk ratios, with the 75:25 ratio of soy:cow milk having the greatest concentration of RAN (13.84 mg/100ml).

The effects of sampling time on rumen temperature, pH, NH3-N, and TVFA concentrations were significant (P 0.05). The addition of soymilk at various ratios had a significant (P0.05) impact on the digestibility of DM, OM, CP, NDF, and ADF xx.

Calves fed soy:cow milk in ratios of 25:75 and 75:25 exhibited higher nutritional digestibility and nitrogen balance, though. Cow milk was almost three times more expensive per litre (N98.00) than soymilk (N33). Better feed cost per kg weight gain of N496.10 and N469.67 was seen in calves fed 25 and 50% soymilk, respectively.

The least amount of feed was consumed overall by calves fed a 75:25 ratio of soy to cow milk (N 30489.00). demonstrating that using 75:25 soy:cow milk was less expensive for calves than using only cow milk.

It was determined that 72 hours of sowing soybeans in water decreased the levels of ANFs and increased the nutritious value. In comparison to calves fed cow milk alone, feeding 25:75 soy:cow milk increased live weight gain by 0.76 kg/day to 0.67 kg/day.

Economically speaking, compared to feeding cow milk alone, feeding soy:cow milk at a ratio of 75:25 lowered the cost of feeding by (24.16%). Soybean soaking in water for 72 hours was advised in order to achieve optimal results.

Furthermore, it is advised to give calves soy-cow milk mixture in a 25:75 ratio rather than only cow milk for improved performance and feed conversion.


Although calves are the future producers of cow milk for human consumption, they initially rely entirely on milk to meet their nutritional needs. According to Ghorbani et al. (2007), milk is a special type of diet for calves and provides a wealth of nutrients necessary for growth and organ development.

In both commercial and small-scale dairy farms, post-natal feeding of dairy calves is crucial for optimal health and growth (Khan et al., 2012). However, Nigeria’s native varieties of cattle are naturally bad milk producers, as they don’t make enough to support their calves optimally, much less have extra for human use.

As a result, calves are underfed or starved, which stunts their growth and increases their mortality. Lack of nutrition, particularly in the early stages of life, affects calves’ reproductive and productive abilities throughout their entire lives (Roy et al., 2016).

Infant pre-ruminant nutrition can be improved and survival can be raised if adequate milk replacements are made accessible (Khan et al., 2012). Improvements in the nutritional health of calves during their first two to three months of life may help them mature sooner, be better able to withstand viral threats, and provide more milk later on (Drackley, 1999).

According to Roy et al. (2016), milk replacers (MR) are excellent sources of liquid nourishment for calves. According to Khan et al. (2012), milk replacers are any feed ingredients, or a combination of feed ingredients, that can be used to replace entire milk in a calf’s diet.

They are created from milk byproducts with the addition of a few extra ingredients so that the finished product resembles whole milk.

Vegetable oils, skim milk powder, and whey powder are the main ingredients of a normal MR. On a DM basis, the average crude protein content is 20%, while the average fat content is 15%–22% (Mete et al., 2000).
In affluent nations, by-products from the milk processing industry are used to provide substitutes for whole milk feeding to pre-ruminants (Oliveira et al., 2015).

Such a practise is impractical in Nigeria, a developing nation where the need for milk and milk products in human nutrition is rapidly rising as a result of population growth (ATA, 2013).

The use of milk replacer is intended to increase calf performance while reducing the expense of whole milk in calf rearing programmes (Mete et al., 2000).

In the creation of milk substitutes, a variety of low-cost, high-quality plant proteins, including soyflour, soymilk, soy protein concentrate, and wheat protein, could be used (Ghorbani et al., 2007). However, Roy et al. (2016) shown that because soy protein contains high-quality protein, it is frequently employed in milk replacer formulations.

According to Ghorbani et al. (2007), animal milk typically comprises 1.0 to 5.6% protein. Soybean, on the other hand, has an appropriate amino acid profile and can contain up to 40% crude protein (Gernah et al., 2013).

In addition to being a good source of protein, soymilk is also high in carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, and minerals (Nitsan et al., 2005).
For the artificial upbringing of young animals, soymilk, a novel milk substitute, has been employed (Ghorbani et al., 2007).

A few research (Bartlett et al., 2006; Ghorbani et al., 2007; Masum et al., 2009; Roy et al., 2016) showed that giving calves soymilk as a milk substitute resulted in improved growth performance when compared to whole milk feeding.

Despite playing a crucial part in animal nutrition, soybean cannot be offered to animals raw because various anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) restrict how well it may be used. Protease inhibitors, tannins, phytates, oxalates, saponins, and other substances are examples of ANFs.

Thankfully, these ANF levels can be decreased or removed by soaking, cooking, sprouting, fermenting, toasting, etc. (Soetan and Oyewole, 2009). As a result of their partial or complete solubilization and elimination with the discarded solution, soaking may also lower ANFs like protease enzyme inhibitors, phytates, etc.

(Prodanov et al., 2004). ANFs and complex proteins are less harmful in calves with fully functional rumens, therefore processing is less important (Liener, 1994).
The best liquid feed for pre-ruminants is milk replacement. Commercial milk substitutes are hard to find and costly because they are typically imported. Soybean can be grown locally, is easily accessible, and is less priced. Because of its great nutritional value, soybean has the potential to be used in milk substitute compositions.

A good source of high-quality, reasonably priced protein is soybean. Because it is inexpensive and contains essential amino acids that are similar to those found in cow’s milk, soy protein is frequently utilised in calf milk starters and replacers instead of milk proteins.

Since soymilk is less expensive than cow milk, successfully substituting soymilk for cow milk may lower the cost of feed. However, processing and subsequent solubility of the protein source are critical in assessing the viability of alternative proteins in milk substitutes in order to maintain proper growth and health of the calf.

To increase the feeding value of soymilk, soaking as a processing technique could be used. If processed soymilk is able to successfully substitute cow milk, it may also increase the nutritional value and survivability of calves.

Farmers may easily use the technology to increase the survival of the calves and have extra milk available for sale. Therefore, it is crucial to investigate the utilisation of soymilk as a substitute protein source in milk substitutes in calf nutritional studies.

The study’s main goal was to look into the pros and cons of substituting soymilk for cow milk in dairy calves’ diets. The particular goals were to assess:

1. The impact of soaking time on the nutritional and antinutritional makeup of soybean (soybean milk quality).

2. How Friesian x Bunaji calves fared when given various proportions of soymilk and cow milk.

3. The financial benefit of giving Friesian x Bunaji calves milk in various soy:cow milk ratios.
The following research inquiries served as the basis for this study’s design:

Does the length of soaking have any impact on the nutritional and anti-nutritional components of soybeans?

Does feeding Friesian x Bunaji calves varied ratios of soy:cow milk have any impact on how well they perform?

Research Question 3: Is there a financial benefit to feeding various soy:cow milk ratios?

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