Estimation of dairy response curves of indigenous cattle in West Africa. Bunaji cattle. Abstract
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A multi-country study was initiated in 1996 to collate, and to generate data to estimate response to feed and health inputs in indigenous cattle to be used in input-output predictive models. Results on two experiments are Reported. At ILRI Ibadan (Trial 1), 4 groups each to 5 lactating Bunaji cows received 3.5, 4.5 and 6.5 and 6.5 kg TDN of feed mixes of Lablab hay, cotton seed cake (CSC) and brewers spent grain (BSG) as full diet for 10 wk. At two on farm locations in Kaduna State, 5 groups, each of 11 cows received 0, 1, 2, 3, 4kg TDN/hd feed mixes of groundnut haulms, BSG and CSC as supplements to grazing natural pastures (Trial 2). Data from both trials were subjected to repeated measures analyses (RMA) and to polynomial analyses. In Trial 1, daily feed intake in the 4 groups averaged 5.6, 7.7, 8.4 and 9.3 kg/d. Results of the RMA showed significant effects (P<0.001) for time and interactions of time and treatment. Cows on 3.5 kg TDN attained a peak yield of 2.9 1/d at the end of first wk on and dropped off subsequently whereas cows on 5.5 kg TDN attained a peak yield of 4.1 1/d during the fourth wk. Polynomial orthogonal contrasts were significant only for linearity, with estimated least squares means (LSM) of 2.1, 2.0, 3.2, and 3.0 1/d (S.E = 0.59). In Trial 2, milk offtake for human use (MOF), calf daily gain (ADG), milk equivalent of growth (MEQ), and total yield, TOT (=MOF+MEQ) were significantly (P<0.001) influenced by time and treatment interaction. Polynomial contrasts showed that MOF was only significant at linearity (P<0.05), while ADG, MEQ and TOT were significant up to the quadratic component (P<0.05). LSM for TOT were 0.73, 1.76, 2.15, 2.13 and 3.36 1/d (S.E=0.235). Results suggest that on input ouput basis it may not be profitable to provide full feed greater than 5.5 kg TDN (approx. 9 kg, DM 20 percent CP) for Bunaji cattle in stall feeding schemes. On the other hand supplementary feeding rate up to 4 kg TDN/d for grazing cattle of average weight of 250 kg and producing about 3 1/d of milk (5 percent fat) would make economic sense.
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