Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

L. L. Madsen


L. L. Madsen


L. E. Harris


Origin and purpose of research

Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane or DDT as it is more commonly known, was first used extensively by the armed forces in the Pacific Area during World War II. This insecticide is not only a very toxic contact and stomach poison, but also is quite residual on most types of surfaces. Because of these qualities, it was selected to control the malaria mosquito and thus aided in the conquest of many disease-ridden islands of the Pacific.

When DDT became available to the general public after the war, it was found not only to be effective against mosquitoes but also many other types of insects. Among these insects are the alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica hon.) and lygus bugs (Lygus elisus Van D., Lygus hesperus Knight) that had previously impaired the production of alfalfa in Utah and other areas. Although treatment of alfalfa fields is usually confined to alfalfa for seed production, DDT-dusted alfalfa straw and DDT dusted alfalfa hay are fed to farm livestock.

In ruminant animals, microorganisms play an important role in the synthesis of protein from nitrogenous non-protein compounds and also aid in the break-down of many complex plant materials so that they may be more fully utilized by these animals. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of DDT upon the role played by the microflora and fauna of the rumen in the synthesis, digestion and utilization of certain nutrients by dairy calves.


Digestion and balance studies were conducted with Holstein bull calves fed different levels of DDT and protein equivalent in the ration. The experiment was designed so that each calf would receive one level of DDT throughout the experiment, and would receive a low protein basal diet plus three additional levels of protein equivalent. These additional protein levels were made up by adding a nitrogenous non-protein compound, urea, to the basal diet to give an increased level of protein equivalent in the diet.

The nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus balance and the digestibility of dry matter, protein, and ether extract were determined.