Main Article Content
Buffaloes are versatile animals, since they allow the economic exploitation of their milk, meat and work production, besides adapting to tropical edaphoclimatic conditions. In the Southwest region of São Paulo, there is a predominance of milk production of buffaloes destined for dairy products specializing in the production of derivatives, especially mozzarella cheese. The present study was developed in a property located in the city of Alambari - SP, specialized in the production of milk of buffalo Murrah, with 21 animals born between March and May 2017. Buffalo calves were separated from mothers with 24 to 48 h of life and kept in an Argentine-type calf, so that they had free access to shade, water and ration during all the hours of the day, until the 90 days of age. The buffalo calves were divided into three treatments: 1) milk of buffaloes, succedaneum, water, and feed; 2) succedaneum, water and feed; and 3) milk of buffaloes in natura, water and feed (control). Exclusive breastfeeding with buffalo milk (control) resulted in weight gain of 640±43.1 g/day, treatment with milk + succedaneum gained 451±43.1 g/day, whereas the treatment that received succedaneum alone gained 381±39.0 g/day. The results obtained demonstrated that the weight gain of the control treatment has a statistically significant difference in relation to the other treatments. The use of commercial bovine substitutes as an integral substitute for buffalo milk for the buffalo calves Murrah demonstrated considerable weight gain.