Grass hay and acacia fruits: A local feeding system for improved calf performance in semi-arid Ethiopia
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Tropical Animal Health and Production;25(1): 41-49
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/29739
A 90-day growth trial was designed to compare the performance of calves on 3 dry-season diets composed of local resources from the Borana pastoral system. The control group received the traditional diet of cut- and carry, standing - brown grass while the other diets consisted of grass hay stored since the previous wet season with or without Acacia tortilis fruits as a protein supplement. All calves had access to water once every 3 days as traditional. The hay had a higher nitrogen content and in vitro digestibility than the standing grass and the acacia fruits had higher nutrient concentrations than the hay. Calves on hay plus acacia fruits had higher nitrogen intakes than those on hay only, and those on hay only had higher nitrogen intakes than those on standing grass. Calves on standing grass lost weight and condition, those on hay only maintained weight but lost condition and those on hay plus acacia fruits gained weight and maintained condition.