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Chapter seven
Dairy feeding systems
S.K. Ranjhan


Feed resources and utilisation
Feeding dairy cattle and buffalo
Supplementation with green forages
Supplementation with concentrates
Supplementation with specific nutrients
Formulation of Rations
Feeding dairy calves
Feeding dairy calves from birth to three months
Feeding dairy calves from three months to maturity
Feeding dry calf starters and roughages
Feeding dairy cows
Feeding dry cows
Balanced concentrate mixture
Feeding for reproduction
References


Feed resources and utilisation

Feeding systems in smallholder dairying are primarily based on grazing of native pastures of low productivity. The benefits of such land may range from a mere exercise ground during the major part of the year, for example in India, Pakistan, northern Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, to a fairly good pasture, for example, in the mid country of Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. During the wet season, some weight gain and milk production is achieved which is followed by variable losses during the dry season depending on the pressure on grazing land and quality and quantity of vegetation.

In south Asian countries cattle and buffalo are generally fed on wheat, paddy, ragi and other straws and stovers. These are supplemented with small quantities of grass available from scanty grazing, or cut grass. Generally no concentrate is fed to the growing, working, pregnant and dry animals. Only lactating animals are given better feeding through supplementation of by-product concentrates such as, oil cakes, brans, and milled pulses, as farmers receives the immediate returns on their investment through saleable milk.

A survey conducted in India (Ranjhan 1997), showed the following ranges in percentages of feed components in rations varying according to agro-climatic region, season and stage of the production cycle:

Grasses and grazing 15-30%
Crop residues 66-70%
Cultivated forages 5-8%
Concentrates 2-5%

In most of the Asian countries there is a shortage of feed and fodder. While many countries import concentrates, there is little trade of roughages. The gap between supply and demand of dry matter and TDN (31%) and crude protein (58%) in India is mainly due to the low availability of good quality roughages for most of the bovine population (Ranjhan 1994).

A lot of work has been done to determine the nutrient requirements for different categories of animals, for example, Ranjhan (1994); ICAR (1994, 1997). Tables 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3 present the nutrient requirements for maintenance, pregnancy and milk production (Ranjhan 1991) in tropical cattle and buffalo, derived from work conducted in India. It should be noted that there has been little use of this information by farmers.

No precise soil, plant and animal relationship concerning mineral deficiencies has been established for the different agro-climatic regions in the tropics. Smallholder farmers sometimes feed common salt but this is not necessarily a reflection of sodium deficiency. Reports of selenium poisoning and micotoxicosis when paddy straw is fed to buffalo in Punjab in India and Pakistan, and flourosis in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, are indicative of the need for nutrition research and sound feed management.

Up to 60 per cent of dry matter intake of dairy cows is from crop residues in many countries. These residues exhibit low voluntary intake (1.5% of body weight) as a result of the high bulk of digesta in the reticulorumen, and the slow rate of digestion. Therefore, mechanical processes associated with digestion, such as particle size, balance of nutrients and rates of microbial fermentation can increase performance on these rations. Cereal straw alone is deficient in energy, protein, minerals and vitamins.

Improvement in the feeding value of cereal straws can be achieved by physical, chemical, physico-chemical and biological pre-treatments. In physical treatment, chopping, grinding, pelleting, soaking and wetting, steaming under pressure, gamma irradiation and other such methods show variable levels of improvement in the nutritive value. In the chemical treatment, alkalis such as sodium hydroxide, acids and oxidating reagents also assist. Urea treatment of straw has been shown to benefit its digestibility by both breaking down cell walls and providing non-protein nitrogen. No methods have been widely adopted by farmers possibly because the technologies are not socially acceptable.

Farmers, perhaps wisely balance crop residues and grazing with protein rich leguminous fodders like cowpea, berseem, and lucerne, or with byproduct concentrates like brans, oil cakes, and grains, depending upon their availability and the potential milk yield of their animals.

Table7.1. Daily nutrient requirements for maintenance, pregnancy and lactation for cattle and buffalo (Ranjhan 1991).
Body weight
(kg)
Dry feed
(kg)
DCP1
(kg)
ME2
(Mcal)
TDN3
(kg)
Ca4
(g)
P5
(g)
Carotene
(mg)
Vitamin A
(100-IU)

Maintenance of mature cows and buffaloes6

200

3.5

150

6.0

1.7

8

7

21

9

250

4.0

170

7.2

2.0

10

9

26

11

300

4.5

200

8.4

2.4

12

10

32

13

350

5.0

230

9.4

2.7

14

11

37

15

400

5.5

250

10.8

3.0

17

13

42

17

450

6.0

280

12.4

3.4

18

14

48

19

500

6.5

300

13.2

3.7

20

15

53

21

550

7.0

330

14.4

4.0

21

16

58

23

600

7.5

350

15.5

4.2

22

17

61

26

650

8.0

370

16.2

4.5

23

18

69

28

700

8.5

390

17.3

4.8

25

19

74

30

750

9.0

410

18.0

5.0

26

20

79

32

800

9.5

430

19.1

5.3

27

21

85

34

Maintenance and pregnancy (last two months of gestation)

250 4.9 270 10.8 3.0 14 12 51 21
300 5.6 290 12.4 3.4 16 14 56 25
350 6.4 320 13.2 3.7 21 16 67 27
400 7.2 350 14.1 4.0 23 18 76 30
450 7.9 400 15.9 4.4 26 20 86 34
500 8.6 430 17.3 4.8 29 22 95 38
550 9.3 465 18.8 5.2 31 24 105 42
600 10.0 500 20.2 5.6 34 26 114 46
650 10.6 530 21.6 6.0 36 28 124 50
700 11.3 550 22.7 6.3 39 30 133 53
750 12.0 600 24.2 6.7 42 32 143 57
800 12.6 630 25.6 7.1 44 34 152 61

Milk production (nutrients required per kg of milk fat)

3.0 - 40 0.97 0.270 2.5 1.8
4.0 - 45 1.13 0.315 2.7 2.0
5.0 - 51 1.28 0.370 2.9 2.2
6.0 - 57 1.36 0.410 3.1 2.4
7.0 - 63 1.54 0.460 2.3 2.6
8.0 - 69 1.80 0.510 3.5 2.8
9.0 - 75 2.06 0.500 3.7 3.0
10.0 - 81 2.16 0.600 3.9 3.2
11.0 - 85 2.34 0.650 4.1 3.4
1. Digestible crude protein; 2. Metabolisable energy; 3. Total digestible nutrients; 4. Calcium; 5. Phosphorus; 6. During the first and second lactation, in order to allow growth of lactating cows add about 20 and 10 per cent, respectively, of the maintenance allowance.

Feeding dairy cattle and buffalo

Diets based on crop residues deficient in protein, energy, minerals and vitamins which restricts intake and digestibility, can be improved by providing supplementary nutrients, including:

In the tropics such supplements are often in short supply and expensive. Their incorporation must be prudent and specific to the type of animal being fed.

Table 7.2. Nutrient requirements of pre-ruminant cattle and buffalo calves (Ranjhan 1972).

Supplementation with green forages

Supplementing cellulosic waste with green forages is one of the most practical and traditional methods of feeding both cattle and buffalo. The animals are allowed to forage during the day on roadside grasses, community grazing grounds, tree leaves, or cut grasses. In the evening they are fed straw in corrals or stalls.

Cattle and buffalo fed with leguminous feeds, such as, berseem, cowpea, and Leucaena, when on a cellulosic waste diet in the ratio of 1:3 for maintenance and 1:1 for yearling growing calves on a dry matter basis have been shown to grow at a rate of 300-400 grams per head per day (Sen et al 1978). Any reduction in the availability of green forage will reduce the growth rate proportionally. For non-leguminous fodder, a ratio of 1:1 for maintenance and 3:1 for growth on a dry matter basis would be required.

For four to five kilograms of milk production in cattle and buffalo, leguminous forages and cellulosic waste fed in a ratio of 8:1 on a dry matter basis, provides an adequate protein and energy consumption rate of 2.5 -2.7 per cent of body weight.

Table 7.3. Daily nutrient requirement for growing dairy animals (Ranjhan 1997).

Supplementation with concentrates

Another form of use of cellulosic waste growth and milk production is the feeding of by-product concentrates. This is commonly practised in countries such as, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and the Philippines. By-product concentrates commonly available to smallholder farmers are cakes, for example, mustard, groundnut, and coconut, brans, for example rice, wheat, and maize, milling by-products, for example, broken pulses, and non-conventional concentrates, for example, palm kernel, salseed meal, cassava chips, and rubber seedmeal.

A by-product concentrate mixture prepared and fed at the rate of 1.5 kg for a 450 kg animal along with crop residue can meet the requirements for maintenance. For growth, the concentrate mixture should be fed at one per cent of body weight. For milk production, one kilogram of concentrate mixture for every three kilograms of milk in cows and two kilograms in buffalo will meet nutritional requirements.

Supplementation with specific nutrients

Dairy animals should be fed 30 to 40 grams of common salt and 30 to 50 grams of trace mineral mixture in the daily concentrate. Common salt and mineral mixture licks are often commercially available. Urea molasses mineral block licks containing deficient nutrients have proved especially useful under good management across the tropics.

Formulation of Rations

Feeding standards take into account the physiological needs for specific functions such as maintenance, milk production, growth, pregnancy, and draught. These functions require adequate amounts of energy, protein, minerals and vitamins. In normal practice the main consideration is given to energy and protein needs.

Feeding standards vary slightly between countries. Because of this the same feed is valued in a different manner and in some cases underlying assumptions of the basal diet of dairy cows in countries differ. The main feeding standards for various categories of livestock in different countries are National Research Council (NRC) recommendations of the United States and Agricultural Research Council (ARC) recommendations of the United Kingdom, which have been modified for local conditions in many countries such as for India (Sen et al 1978; Ranjhan 1991). The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR 1984) recommendations for feeding dairy animals are appropriate for India and some neighboring countries.

Before approaching the nutritional needs of any particular type of dairy animal the importance of appetite or dry matter intake (DMI) is very important. There is little benefit in offering a nutritious feed stuff if it is not consumed in sufficient quantities to meet nutritional needs. Dry matter intake varies according to the density of energy in the diet, digestibility, amount of crude fiber, the physiological nature of the feed, succulence odor, and texture. Higher ambient temperatures of the tropics reduces intake in Bos taurus cattle to a greater extent than Bos indicus and their crosses (Ranjhan and Daniel 1972).

Feeding dairy calves

The plane of nutrition of the calf plays an important role in its rate of weight gain which in turn affects its future milk production capacity. The higher the plane of nutrition, the earlier the onset of puberty and hence lactation. The success of cattle and buffalo breeding projects in Asia depends upon successful rearing of calves to breedable age as fast as practicable, with a minimum of mortality.

Feeding dairy calves from birth to three months

There is no more important detail in the care and management of a dairy herd than the rearing of calves. At birth, the young calf's stomach, like the adult ruminant, is divided into four parts, although only the abomasum is functional and has an inherent capacity of about two litres at birth.

The weaning of the calves from the dams is done at birth or after four days to allow ingestion of colostrum. The colostrum should be fed within the first four hours of birth and continued over the next four days. Colostrum is high in protein which is due largely to its content of lactoglobulins which provide antibodies which can be absorbed intact up to 36 hours of age. At a later age, Y globulins are broken down by the proteolytic enzymes in the developing gastrointestinal tract of the calf. The passive transfer of the intact proteins through the mucosa of the abomasum and intestine is probably due to the absence of digestive enzymes during the first 24 hours of life and the high initial permeability of the intestinal membrane. Colostrum contains an anti-tryptic enzyme which may also help protect whey proteins from the action of proteolytic enzymes of the pancreas (Jaskowski and Jaskowski 1950). In addition to the high nutritive value of colostrum, it has a laxative effect in removing muconium. Colostrum should be fed at one-tenth of the body weight of the calf; overfeeding may be harmful. Calves that do not get colostrum and survive, produce their own autogenous antibodies to E. coli from about 10 days of age. Calves if left with the dams can suckle between six to seven kilograms of colostrum per day which may increase to even 10 kg by the end of the fourth day. In case the dam dies and colostrum is not available, two chicken eggs in normal dams milk may be provided to calves.

After the fourth day, the calves should be fed with the dam's milk or with milk replacers. Numerous experiments have suggested that calves must receive a minimum of 100 liters of milk in an eight week period, along with calf starter which has good quality protein and a succulent good quality fodder or hay (Dave et al 1972). The longer the period the calf has access to a plentiful supply of milk, the less need to supplement its diet with other foods. The feeding of whole milk to calves as practiced by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute is at a rate of one tenth of their body weight for the first three weeks. One fifth of the body weight in the next two weeks and one twentieth of the body weight with gradual tapering until 60 days of age (Ranjhan et al 1972). Milk schedules for different breeds are shown in Table 7.4.

Milk substitutes (replacers) can be given directly after colostrum feeding. These substitutes are based on skim milk powder which usually comprises more than 50 per cent of total dry matter. The inclusion of dry whey in milk substitutes is usually limited to less than 20 per cent of dry matter, because higher levels induce scouring in calves, caused by the high mineral content of the whey which appears to accelerate the rate of passage from the abomasum. Calves receiving reconstituted buttermilk containing about 1.3 per cent fat after the colostrum-feeding period gain weight at nearly the same rate as those given whole milk when the calves are at pasture. Skim milk, fortified with 3.5 per cent lard and homogenized, can give similar 450 gram per day growth rates in crossbred calves as achieved by whole milk (Srivastava and Ranjhan 1977).

It should be noted that, when feeding milk to calves, it is of high opportunity cost in circumstances where milk price is high. Restricted milk feeding as discussed later, would appear the most practical system for most of the tropics.

Feeding dairy calves from three months to maturity

The nutrient requirements for growth of calves have been given in Table 7.4. From the data presented in this table it is possible to calculate growth rations. With ordinary feeding stuffs like straws and concentrate mixture normally fed to young stock in the tropics, it is difficult to satisfy energy requirements since the straws are not as palatable, and dry matter intake seldom increases beyond two per cent of body weight.

When wheat straw constitutes the basal roughage, a rate of growth as high as 0.8 to 1.0 kg can be obtained by feeding nearly 2.5 to 3.0 kg of concentrate mixture with as little as 2.5 kg of green berseem and about 2.0 kg of wheat straw in cattle and buffalo calves over 200 kg in body weight. On a ration of this kind zebu bull calves, heifers, and crossbreeds mature at about two years of age and crossbreeds at 18 months of age. In other words, in a ration where 50 to 60 per cent of the total dry matter is substituted by concentrates the rate of growth is very much increased. Where concentrate to roughage ratio is 50:50 and 25:75, the growth of the calves can be maintained at 600 and 500 kg per day (Ranjhan and Daniel 1972). However, the growth of Holstein animals was greatly depressed during hot and humid months. Where the basal roughage is wheat straw supplemented with three kilograms of green maize, the average weight gain of crossbreeds was, 421 g to 570 g and when calves were fed according to NRC requirements (Katiyar 1972). Since NRC (1971) requirements are lower than the NRC (1971) and Sen et al (1978), it is recommended that these requirements can be followed in tropical areas. An example of a growth production ration is given in Table 7.5 for the nutrient requirements for 200 kg animals.

Table 7.4. Feeding schedule (g) for calves up to three months of age.

Age of Calf

Whole milk

Skim milk

Calf starter

Good quality hay

Haryana calves

1st 3 days

3000

-

-

-

1st week

(colostrum)

-

-

-

4th-7th day

3000

-

-

-

2nd week

3250

-

50

200

3rd week

3500

-

100

350

4th week

3000

-

200

400

5th week

1500

1000

350

500

6th week

-

2500

550

550

7th week

-

2000

600

600

8th week

-

1750

700

650

9th week

-

1250

800

750

10th week

-

-

900

850

11th week

-

-

1000

1000

12th week

-

-

1300

1200

13th week

-

-

1500

1500

Murrah buffalo

1st 3 days

3000

-

-

-

1st week

(colostrum)

-

-

-

4th-7th day

3000

-

-

-

2nd week

3500

-

50

250

3rd week

3800

-

100

350

4th week

3500

-

300

500

5th week

1500

1000

400

550

6th week

-

2500

600

600

7th week

-

2000

700

700

8th week

-

1750

800

800

9th week

-

1250

1000

1000

10th week

-

-

1200

1100

11th week

-

-

1300

1200

12th week

-

-

1400

1400

13th week

-

-

1700

1900

Holstein, brown Swiss, crossbred

1st 3 days

3000

-

-

-

1stt week

(colostrum)

     

4th-7th day

3500

-

-

-

2nd week

4000

-

100

300

3rd week

3500

-

300

500

4th week

3000

-

400

600

5th week

1500

1000

500

700

6th week

-

2500

650

750

7th week

-

2000

800

850

8th week

-

1750

1000

1000

9th week

-

1250

1200

1100

10th week

-

-

1300

1200

11th week

-

-

1400

1300

12th week

-

-

1500

1500

13th week

-

-

2000

2000

In the ration there is a shortage of about 200 g of TDN or about 1 Mcal ME which can be met if about 500 g more wheat straw is consumed by the calves. Normally it has been seen that when wheat straw forms the basal ration, calves are unable to consume the dry matter quota with the result that insufficient energy is consumed unless extra concentrate is fed which is usually uneconomical. The above ration is also deficient in about five grams of calcium and one gram of phosphorus for which about 25 g of sterilized bone meal or 50 g of complete mineral mixture can be fed. When about 25 kg of green leguminous fodder, for example, green berseem, lucerne, cowpea and lpil-lpil, and non-leguminous fodder, such as, ghiabati (Ipomea pestigridis), containing about 1.5 per cent DCP, 10 per cent TDN or 350 Kcal of ME per kg of green with about 16 per cent of dry matter is fed, it supplies about 0.37 kg DCP, 2.5 kg TDN and nine Mcal of ME.

Table 7.5. Example of the growth production ration for a 200 kg animal.
 

Quantity (kg)

DM (kg)

DCP
(kg)

TDN
(kg)

ME
(Mcal)

Ca 
(g)


(g)

Requirements

 

5.7

0.33

3.4

12.3

18

14

Feeding schedule

             

Wheat straw 
(0, 40, 1.4 Mcal ME per kg)

4.0

3.6

0.00

1.6

5.6

8.0

2.0

Concentrate mixture
(16, 70, 2.5 Mcal ME per kg)

2.0

1.8

0.32

1.4

5.0

4.0

10.0

Green grass
(1.5, 1.0, 0.3 Mcal ME/kg)

2.0

0.4

0.03

0.2

0.8

1.2

1.0

    5.8 0.35 3.2 11.4 13.2 13.0

DM = dry matter; DCP = digestible crude protein; TDN = total digestible nutrient; ME = metabolisable energy; Ca = calcium; P = phosphorus.

Ration schedules used at Indian research stations for various breeds of calves over three months of age are presented in Table 7.6.

The water intake of calves is dependent on dry matter intake, ambient temperature and the proportion of salt and protein content in the diet. On a restricted milk intake, the water intake per unit of dry matter is increased during the first 60 days of life with an average of about six kilograms during winter and about 8.5 kg during the summer months per kilogram of dry matter consumed through milk, calf starter and roughage. The water intake of Holstein is markedly increased during the hot humid months and is associated with depressed feed intake.

Feeding dry calf starters and roughages

Introducing roughage and concentrates at an early age in the diets of calves will help establish rumen microflora and in the development of the rumen, resulting in an early ability to digest coarse fodders and starchy foods and to synthesise B vitamins and protein from simple nitrogenous compounds.

Table 7.6. Ration schedule for dairy animals from three months to maturity.

Breed of animal

Concentrate mixture
kg

Roughage quantity
kg

From 3 to 6 months

Hariana

(a) 1.0-1.5 or

Green oats or maize- 10 kg

 

(b) 0.2-1.5 or

Berseem 1.5-2.5 kg +dry fodder 2 kg

 

(c) 1.4-2.0

Green fodder 3 kg +straw 2 kg

Murrah

(a) 1.2-1.5 or

Green oats or maize or silage 10-12 kg

 

(b) 0.2-1.5 or

Berseem 1.5-2.5 kg +dry fodder 2 kg

 

(c) 1.4-2.0

Green fodder 3 kg +straw 2 kg

From 3 to 4 months (75-90 kg)

Holstein

2.0

7.5-8.0 kg green oats or maize and alike fodders

Brown Swiss

2.0

5-10 kg

Jersey (60 kg)

1.6

5-10 kg

Holstein x Hariana

2.0

5-10 kg

Brown Swiss x Hariana

 

5-10 kg

Jersey x Hariana (60 kg)

1.6

5-10 kg

From 4 to 6 months (90-100 kg)

Holstein

2.0

10-15 kg

Brown Swiss

2.0

10-15 kg

Jersey

1.8

10-15 kg

Holstein x Hariana

2.0

10-15 kg

Brown Swiss x Hariana

2.0

10-15 kg

Jersey x Hariana

1.8

10-15 kg

From 6 to 12 months

Hariana

(i) 1.0 or

Green oats or maize- 15-20 kg

 

(ii) 1.0 or

15-20 kg Berseem and + dry fodder

 

(iii) 2.0

2.0 to 3.0 kg Wheat straw + green oats 5 kg

Murrah

(i) 1.25 or

Green oats or maize 20-25 kg

 

(ii) 1.00 or

25-30 kg Berseem and + dry fodder

 

(iii) 2.00

5 kg Straw wheat straw + green 3.0 kg

From 6 to 9 months (100-150 kg)

Holstein

2.5

Green maize, sorghum or green oats (15-20 kg)

Brown Swiss

2.5

15-20 kg

Jersey (80-120 kg)

2.0

10-15 kg

Holstein x Hariana

2.5

15-20 kg

Brown Swiss x Hariana

2.5

15-20 kg

Jersey x Hariana (80-120 kg)

2.0

15-20 kg

From 1 year to age at conception (heifers)

Hariana (130-300 kg)

(i) 1.5 or

Green oats or maize 25-30 kg

 

(ii) 1.0 or

Berseem + dry fodder 30-35 kg

 

(iii) 2.0

Straw + green 4-5 kg

Murrah (140-300 kg)

2.0

Green oats or maize 30-35 kg

Exotic

Cross bred (200-300 kg)

(i) 2.0 or

(ii) 1.5

Green oats or maize 30-35 kg

Berseem + dry fodder 30-35 kg

The age at which the rumen becomes anatomically and physiologically functional depends to a large extent on the diet the calf receives during pre-ruminant growth. On a limited quantity of milk the calf begins to eat alternative foods at 10 days of age, provided they are palatable. The inclusion of dry food in their diets besides increasing the size of reticulorumen also increases the weight of the tissues. Papillary development, essential to the ability to digest coarse feeds is stimulated by the end-products of rumen fermentation rather than the coarse nature of feed per se.

Birth weights of calves vary between breeds and is the most important factor determining the potential weight gain. The average birth weights of calves of Asian breeds varies from 24 to 45 kg.

The effect of limited milk feeding on the growth of Friesian, Brown Swiss, Jersey, and Hariana crossbred calves was studied by Ranjhan et al (1972). Experiments were conducted on raising. The calves irrespective of the breed were given 100 to 116 kg of whole milk and 30 to 35 kg of skim milk for 45, 60 and 90 days of age. This comprised 50 parts barley/maize, 30 parts groundnut cake, 8 parts wheat bran, 10 parts fish meal and 2 parts mineral mixture fortified with vitamins, along with green forage. From day ten the calves were fed calf starter. The calves received about 218 to 293 kcal of ME per unit body size and grew at the rate of 300 to 400 g/day during the period from birth to three months of age, depending upon the breed crosses. Other research (Razdan et al 1965; Nangia et al 1970; and Dave et al 1970). From these, general feeding schedules have been determined for feeding calves economically, (Table 7.4). Schedules have been based on age rather than body weight to facilitate implementation on-farm.

Calf starter is a balanced concentrate mixture which is fed to the calves from day 10 to supplement limited milk intake. Normally 16 per cent of digestible crude protein and 70 per cent TDN in the calf starter should give a satisfactory growth rate. The quality of protein is important during pre-ruminant growth; sesame cake and a protein source appears better than groundnut cake (Das and Ranjhan 1978). Calf starters should contain around 20 per cent of good quality protein. The following calf starter has been used since 1972 at the `All India Co-ordinated Research Project for Cattle' Centre: crushed barley or maize 50; groundnut cake 30; wheat bran 8; fish meal 10, and mineral mixture 2 parts. Also added to the 100 kg of calf starter mixture are: five to ten per cent molasses; 10 g Rovimix (Vitamins A, B2 and D3), 0.5 kg salt and 20 g of Aurofac. This mixture has given a growth rate of 350 g/day.

The constituents of the calf starters can be altered according to the availability of feeds. The barley fraction may be replaced completely by maize, and partly by rolled oats, sorghum, millet grains and rice polishings of good quality. Linseed oil meal, till cake, and soybean oil meal, may be used instead of groundnut cake. Due to the danger of toxicity from the gossypol present in cotton seed cake, it is not recommended to incorporate it into calf starters. Rice bran can be introduced in place of wheat bran provided it is free from paddy husk. Meat meal and dried skim milk are equally good for calf starters in place of fish meal, which may be replaced with groundnut cake for calves after two months of age. Molasses may improve palatability even though the calves may not be able to fully utilize the energy present in the molasses.

Feeding roughages, such as good quality hay or leguminous green fodders to calves at an early age encourages early development of rumen functions. All concentrate diets have been found to increase acid production in rumen with consequent damage to the mucosa. Dry matter intake is also reduced in the absence of roughage intake.

Good quality fodders, for example. berseem, lucerne, cowpea, maize, and stylo, can be fed to calves. Lucerne and berseem are better types of roughages for feeding pre-ruminant calves than green maize. At three months of age calves are able to consume adequate energy and protein through starter and good quality forage, without receiving milk. However, stopping milk at 45 days can be managed without adverse effects. At this stage calves are able to obtain sufficient energy and nutrients from good quality fodder like berseem and lucerne under good management conditions. However, medium quality fodders like sorghum, oats and maize at late stages of growth, are of such a low digestibility that they limit dry matter intake (Ranjhan et al 1972).

Restricted milk feeding is practicable in smallholder tropical dairying due to the shortage of milk for the human population. With such limited milk feeding straight after birth, the calf starts nibbling dry feeds and green forages during the second week of its life. This also helps to overcome the problems of scouring and other digestive disorders of calves which otherwise complicate the rearing of calves. Management and feeding of calves has become systematic and convenient with this system, which involves less labour than that of a natural suckling system. After the rumen becomes functional, the efficiency of milk utilization decreases due to the degradation of high quality milk proteins. There is no advantage in continuing feeding of milk as greater benefit is derived from concentrate feeding. Thus this system of calf rearing is recommended for general practice both on economic grounds and in saving milk for human consumption.

Feeding dairy cows

The low average milk production of Bos indicus cattle and buffalo is mainly because they have been bred for draught purposes, disease resistance, tolerance to tropical climates and poor nutrition. Multipurpose animals produce 500-1000 litres of milk in one lactation with a peak of three to five kilograms per day. High producing crossbreeds produce between 2400-4000 litres of milk per day. Therefore, in feeding the dairy cow or buffalo, farmers should consider at one extreme a zebu cow weighing 250 kg, producing one to two kilograms of milk per day and consuming wheat or rice straw and a little grazing. At the other extreme could be a cross bred cow or Murrah buffalo weighing 500 kg and producing about 20 to 30 kg of milk per day, at six per cent fat in the case of buffalo, and receiving about 20 to 25 kg green fodder and 8 to 12 kg of concentrate.

The primary objectives in feeding the dairy cow or buffalo are: to allow maintenance and growth to mature body weight; to provide nutrients for the production of a calf after every 12 to 15 months, and to promote optimum quantity and quality of milk.

Calorimetric studies have revealed that during lactation, heat production in an animal of 453 kg body weight is increased by over 2000 kcal per day. For high producing animals to meet energy requirements, higher levels of intake are required which depresses digestibility. This results in the ME available to the animals for conversion into milk being less than the calculated value. Taking all these factors into consideration the NRC recommends an increase of three per cent feed for each 10 kg of milk produced above 20 kg/day.

In a normal practice on farms, the ration of a dairy cow or buffalo consists of two parts, namely: maintenance and production. The maintenance part of the ration depends upon the body weight while production is dependent upon the level and composition of the milk.

If a crossbred cow weighing 400 kg and producing 10 kg of milk per day with five per cent butter fat is fed 70 kg of berseem or green cowpea equivalent at 15 per cent dry matter the critical requirements of protein and energy are met. The digestible crude protein level is higher than the requirement and the TDN requirement for 10 kg of milk production is met with berseem. High quality feeds such as berseem feeding can be used as a basal roughage with no concentrate needing to be fed for up to eight liters of milk production. Similarly lucerne and cowpea can be fed solely for up to eight kilograms of milk production. The cheapest feed for milk production is good quality fodders. Problems of bloat can be managed by introducing feeds gradually; it is advisable to feed about 2 to 2.5 kg of good quality hay with legumes.

For a wheat straw and concentrate mixture addition of Vitamin A and phosphorus are needed and can be supplied through a synthetic source of Vitamin A and 100 g of sterilized bone meal for phosphorus.

Feeding dry cows

Dry and non-pregnant cows need to be fed a maintenance ration. Requirements for a 400 kg cow are 0.25 kg DCP, 3.0 kg TDN or 10.8 Mcal of ME, 17 g calcium and 13 g phosphorus. Feeding 25 kg of green maize or good quality sorghum containing one per cent DCP, 14 per cent TDN or 60 Mcal ME, 0.6 g calcium and 0.5 g phosphorus per kg of green fodder, meets requirements, as does eight kg of green berseem or lucerne and 5.5 kg of straw. When wheat straw with 1.5 kg of balanced concentrate mixture or 800 g of groundnut cake is fed, the ration is sufficient to maintain the animal. Straw plus Leucaena leaf in a ratio of 65:35 would maintain a dry cow.

Balanced concentrate mixture

Balanced concentrate mixture is prepared in such a way that 3.5 to 4.0 kg of it may support 10 kg of milk production when fed over and above the maintenance ration. In most farms this mixture is fed at one third of the milk yield in the case of cattle and up to half of the milk yield in the case of buffalo, since the buffalo milk is richer in fat. For production of 10 litres of milk at four per cent fat, the cow requires about 0.5 kg DCP and 3.7 kg TDN. Therefore, if the concentrate mixture contains 15 per cent DCP and 70 per cent TDN when fed at the rate of 3.5 kg over and above the maintenance ration, it would meet the DCP requirement for 10 kg milk production although TDN would fall short which could be made up by feeding roughage. With the tropical feeds it is difficult to prepare a mixture where one kilogram of concentrate mixture may contain more than 70 to 75 per cent of TDN unless high energy feeds, such as, maize, barley and gram are used in high proportions, which increases costs to perhaps economical levels. However, minimum quantities of cereals (10 to 20 per cent) along with the by-products may contain TDN between 70 to 72 per cent. All concentrate mixtures should be fortified with one per cent salt as well as calcium and other micro elements.

Two examples of the balanced concentrate mixtures being used in various research farms in India are given below:

Groundnut cake 20 per cent
Wheat bran 45 per cent
Maize 25 per cent
Arahar chuni 10 per cent
Groundnut cake 20 per cent
wheat bran 80 per cent

Various combinations of ingredients can be compounded depending upon the cost of ingredients and cost of per unit protein and energy.

Feeding for reproduction

Ideally, a dairy cow should calve at yearly intervals and should have a lactation length of about 300 days, but in practice calving intervals are often longer or lactation periods shorter. The cow therefore has a dry period of up to four to eight months. During this period the cow should build up body fat lost in early lactation which will be required to provide for the growth of the fetus and for the regeneration of mammary tissues.

In the practice known as `steaming up', dry cows are offered quantities of concentrate which increase gradually during the last six weeks of pregnancy. By the time of calving, the amount of concentrate given is about 75 per cent of the quantity the cow is expected to require in early lactation. Steaming up is claimed to increase milk production, in part by preparing the cow for high intakes of concentrates that should be fed in early lactation. During the last 60 days of pregnancy liveweight increases by about 20 to 30 kg. The response to `steaming up' probably depends on body condition at the beginning of the dry period. Restoring the reserves of the thin cow will probably have a greater effect on subsequent milk production than increasing the reserves of an already fat cow.

Normally 50 per cent of DCP and 25 per cent of TDN of the maintenance requirements are fed above the maintenance ration shown in Table 7.1. In order to cover these requirements 1.0 to 1.5 kg of additional concentrate mixture over and above the maintenance ration for a good cow and buffalo should be fed.

References

Das D.R. and Ranjhan S.K. 1978. Unpublished data.

Dave B.D., Gupta B.S., Ranjhan S.K. and Chabra S.S. 1970. Indian Journal of Animal Production 1:2:82.

Devendra C. 1981. Forage supplements in feeding systems for buffalo. Buffalo Journal 2:93-113.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). 1995. Production Yearbook 1994. Volume 48. FAO, Rome, Italy. 243 pp.

ICAR (Indian Council of Agriculture Research). 1984. Nutrient Requirement of Livestock and Poultry. First edition. ICAR, New Delhi, India.

ICAR (Indian Council of Agriculture Research). 1994. Nutrient Requirement of Livestock and Poultry. First edition. ICAR, New Delhi, India.

ICAR (Indian Council of Agriculture Research). 1997. Nutrient Requirement of Livestock and Poultry. Second edition. ICAR, Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi, India.

Jaskowski M and Jaskowski N. 1950. Federation Proceedings 9:194.

Katiyar R.C. 1972. PhD thesis, Agra University, IVRI, Izatnagar, India.

Nangia O.P., Razdan M.N. and Ray S.N. 1970. Indian Journal of Dairy Science 23:416.

NRC (National Research Council). 1971. Nutrient Requirements of Domestic Animals 3 NAS (National Academy of Sciences), Washington, USA.

Ranjhan S.K. 1972. Animal Nutrition and Feeding Practices in India. First edition. Vikas Publication House, New Delhi, India.

Ranjhan S.K. 1991. Chemical Composition of Indian Feeds and Feeding of Farm Animals. ICAR (Indian Council of Agriculture Research) , New Delhi, India.

Ranjhan S.K. 1994. Animal Nutrition in the Tropics. Fourth revised edition. Vikas Publication House, New Delhi, India.

Ranjhan S.K. 1995. Feeding strategies for supporting high livestock and poultry production. National Symposium on Feeding Strategies for Eco friendly Animal Production in India, IVRI, Izatnagar.

Ranjhan S.K. 1997. Animal Nutrition in the Tropics. Fourth revised edition. Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi, India.

Ranjhan S.K. and Daniel S.J. 1972. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences 42:652.

Ranjhan S.K., Katiyar R.C., Bhat P.N. and Raina B.L. 1972. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences 42(10):754.

Razdan M.N., Bhosreker M.R. and Ray S.N. 1965. Indian Journal of Dairy Science 42:652.

Sen K.C., Ray S.N. and Ranjhan S.K. 1978. Bulletin 25. ICAR (Indian Council of Agriculture Research ), New Delhi, India.

Sen K.C., Ray S.N. and Ranjhan S.K. 1978. Chemical Composition of Indian Feeds Feeding of farm Animals. ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), New Delhi, India.

Srivastava R.S. and Ranjhan S.K. 1977. Unpublished data.

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