Submitted to: Tropical Animal Health and Production
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/19/2003
Publication Date: 2/24/2003
Citation: BARTHOLOMEW, P.W., LY, R., DOUMBIA, M., KHIBE, T., KONE, N., TRAORE, B., BA, S. AGRO-INDUSTRIAL BY-PRODUCTS, COWPEA RESIDUES AND UREA-TREATMENT OF HAY FOR SUPPLEMENTARY DRY SEASON FEEDING OF MATURE ZEBU OXEN IN MALI. Tropical Animal Health and Production. 15(2). http://www.cipav.org.co/lrrd/lrrd15/2/bart152.htm. 2003. Interpretive Summary: In sub-Sahelian Africa, mature cattle commonly lose up to 25% of their body weight during the dry season because of a decline in feed availability and quality. Although some crop residues, agro-industrial by-products and legume forages are used to supplement hay or grazing, little information is available on how smallholder farmers should use them to gain maximum benefit in livestock production and household income. Experiments were undertaken to measure the effects of feeding different amounts of an agro-industrial by-product (residues remaining after extracting oil from cotton seed) and legume crop residues, together with native pasture hay, on weight changes of cattle during the dry season in the semi-arid zone of Mali. The amount of cottonseed residue fed had the greatest effect on animal liveweight. Cattle fed 2¼ lb of cottonseed residue each day for 11 weeks gained an average of 54 lb while those fed 4½ lb of cottonseed residue per day gained 81 lb. Cattle fed only native pasture hay, in contrast, lost nearly 30 lb over the same period. Using dried cowpea crop residues in a ration produced only a small increase in weight gain. In experiments carried out on small farms, supplementation of intake from grazed native pasture with hay ensiled with urea reduced weight loss in oxen by 20 lb per animal over a two-month period. Limited amounts of cottonseed residue can be used for greatest benefit by restricting individual animal intake and feeding more animals. Efforts to increase feed self-sufficiency on smallholder farms should focus on production of legume forages with increased nitrogen content, rather than on simple increase in legume forage yield.
Technical Abstract: During short-term (9 to 11 weeks) dry-season feeding in central Mali, liveweight changes in mature zebu oxen (Bos indicus) were measured to evaluate diets based on natural pasture hay and supplemented with a range of levels and types of feeds available to smallholder farmers. Among the feeds tested cottonseed residues had the greatest effect on cattle daily liveweight change (DLWC) which was described as a curvilinear function of the amount of cottonseed residue (CR) offered over levels ranging from 0 to 4 kg.hd-1.d-1; DLWC=1.339-1.423(0.674CR). Each 1 kg.d-1 increment in offer of cowpea haulm increased DLWC by between 0.04 and 0.15 kg.hd-1.d-1. A mixture of 60% hay and 40% molasses with urea added at 10 g.kg-1 increased average daily weight gain by 0.19 kg.hd-1.d-1, compared with diets based on untreated hay. In on-farm trials, supplementation of intake from grazed natural pasture with hay ensiled with urea reduced weight loss from an average of 0.18 kg.hd-1.d-1 to 0.03 kg.hd-1.d-1 over a 2-month period at the end of the dry season. The benefit derived from limited quantities of cottonseed residue can be increased by restricting individual animal intake and feeding more animals. Improvement of feed self-sufficiency on smallholder farms should focus on production of legume feeds with increased nitrogen content.