Impact of Forage Legume Hays Derived from Intercrop as Dry Season Feed Supplements for Lactating Bunaji Cows and N'dama Beef Cattle uri icon

abstract

  • Two experiments were conducted concurrently to study the influence of three forage legume hays (Stylosanthes guianensis, Centrosema pubescens and Cajanus cajan) obtained from maize - based intercropping system, as supplements to mature guinea grass (Panicum maximum). The legume hays were fed to lactating Bunaji cows (Experiment 1) and N'dama calves (experiment 2) for a period of 30 and 60 days, respectively using a completely randomized design with 4 animals per treatment in both trials. The dry Matter degradation characteristics of the forage legumes were also assessed tit three rumen - fistulated Bunaji castrates. Cows supplemented with C. pubescens and C. cajan produced higher milk (P<0.05) than those offered S. guianensis. Calves supplemented with C. pubescens and S. guianensis gained more weight (P<0.05) than those fed on C. cajan - supplement. Degradable fraction (b) were 338, 334 and 470g/kg for S. guianensis, C. pubesces and C. cajan, respectively. Additional benefits in terms of higher Milk and body weight increase could be derived from the use of cereal-based inter-cropped forage legumes as supplements especially by poor resource African smallholder Mixed farmers in the dry season.

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003