Gliricidia sepium as an alternative protein supplement to cottonseed cake for smallholder dairy cows fed on Napier grass in Tanzania

Authors: Shem, M.N.; Machibula, B.P.; Sarwatt, S.V.; Fujihara, T.

Source: Agroforestry Systems, Volume 58, Number 1, May 2003 , pp. 65-72(8)

Publisher: Springer

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Lack of availability, poor quality forages and cost of concentrate feeds, especially during the dry season, are some of the major problems faced by smallholder dairy producers in the tropics. Therefore, two experiments were conducted to evaluate the nutritive value and economic benefits of substituting cottonseed cake (CSC) by Gliricidia sepium (GS) for milk yield and composition of crossbred dairy cattle. In experiment one chemical composition of the two feeds and their dry matter degradability (DMD) were determined. GS had (P < 0.05) higher dry matter degradability (DMD) than CSC. Potential DM degradability (PDMD) and degradation rate constants (c) of CSC and GS did not vary (P > 0.05). In experiment two, four treatment diets, all based on Napier grass, maize bran, mineral/vitamin mixture and two levels each of GS and CSC, were fed to milk cows in a 4 × 4 Latin square experiment. The treatments were, T1 = 0 GS + CSC 18%, T2 = 18% GS + CSC, T3 = 23.4% GS + CSC and T4 = 39.7% GS + CSC. Cows on T1 and T3 showed (P < 0.05) higher total DMI, metabolizable energy intake (MEI) and milk yield than cows on T2 and T4. There were no differences (P > 0.05) in milk protein, butterfat and total solids contents between the treatments. Cost analyses showed diet T3 to be more profitable than the other treatments, suggesting that the use of GS in combination with CSC is more profitable than when either of the two was used alone.

Keywords: Degradability constants; Milk yield and substitution; Nutritive value

Document Type: Research Article


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Publication date: May 1, 2003

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