Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, 2394-1073,Vol.: 10, Issue.: 4
Original Research Article
Effect of Supplementary Feeding on the Performance of Ankole x Friesian Crossbred Calves Grazed on Natural Pastures
Sylvester Katuromunda1*, Denis Mpairwe1, Elly N. Sabiiti1 and Ewa Wredle2
1Department of Agricultural Production, School of Agricultural Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
2Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
Aims: To determine the effect of protein supplementation to Ankole x Friesian crossbred calves grazing natural pastures on their growth performance, and the economic viability of supplementation.
Study Design: Randomized Complete Block Design.
Place and Duration of Study: Kiruhura district in Uganda; September to December 2012.
Methodology: Nine weaned crossbred calves aged 5-6 months on each of the five experimental farms were divided into three groups. Each group was randomly assigned one of the three dietary treatments comprising: a control where calves depended solely on pastures, supplementation with homemade concentrate (HMC), or lablab hay (LH). Calves were released daily at 8.00 am to graze till 3.00 pm when those on supplementation were returned to their pens for supplementary feeding; meanwhile the control group was left grazing until evening. Body weight (BW) and body condition (BC) of each calf were recorded at three weeks’ intervals. Financial efficiency of supplementation was estimated using the ratio of total revenue (TR) to total variable cost (TVC).
Results: The mean total DMI (kg/day) of calves supplemented with HMC (3.28) and LH (2.94) were higher (P < .001) than that of calves on sole grazing (1.90). The mean daily BW gain (g/day) of calves supplemented with HMC (540) was higher (P = .03) than that of calves supplemented with LH (423) and those on sole grazing (357). The BC scores of calves fed HMC and LH were 4.74 and 4.90 respectively, and were higher (P = .04) than that of calves (4.32) on sole grazing. Returns per unit variable cost of production measured by TR/TVC for calves on sole grazing were 1.30 compared to 1.11 and 0.92 for calves fed LH and HMC, respectively.
Conclusion: Supplementing crossbred calves grazing natural pastures with HMC improves their growth performance, but might be uneconomical in the short run due to cost of ingredients.
Body weight gain; crossbred calves; dry matter digestibility; dry matter intake; gross margin; homemade concentrate; lablab hay.
Full Article - PDF
DOI : 10.9734/JAERI/2017/30366