Effect of feed supplements on dry season milk yield and profitability of crossbred cows in Honduras. uri icon

abstract

  • The contribution of dry season silage feeding on daily milk yield (MY) and dairying profitability in terms of income over feed cost (IOFC) was evaluated in dual-purpose cattle production systems in Honduras. MY records of 34 farms from two milk collection centres were collected over a 2-year period. Farms were surveyed to obtain information on the type, quantity and cost of supplemented feed, breed type and number of lactating cows in each month. Farms were classified in silage farms (SF, with a short silage supplementation period), non-silage farms (NSF) and prototype farms (PF, with an extended silage supplementation period). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and a linear mixed model approach. PF had significantly higher MY than SF and NSF but, due to higher expenses for both concentrate and silage, similar IOFC compared to NSF. SF had similar MY but lower IOFC compared to NSF, due to higher feed expenses. The effect of silage feeding, particularly maize silage, on MY was significant and superior to that of other forage supplements. Silage supplementation contributed to the highest MY and IOFC on farms with crossbred cows of > 62.5 % Bos taurus and to the second highest profitability on farms with > 87.5 % Bos indicus share. It is concluded that silage can play an important role in drought-constrained areas of the tropics and can contribute to profitable dairying, irrespective of breed.

publication date

  • 2013
  • 2013