Feed formulation and feeding impact on the performance of dairy cows in Central Highland of Ethiopia
Livestock Research for Rural Development
Agricultural College, ATVET, Holetta, Ethiopia; College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
The study was conducted on private urban and periurban dairy production systems around Holetta, Central Highland of Ethiopia, with the objective to assess the existing feed formulation and feeding of crossbred dairy cows in terms of nutrient supply in relation to the performances. Structured questionnaire and laboratory analysis for home-mixed concentrate were employed to generate data from a total of 60 dairy farms. The average of home-mixed concentrates chemical composition for urban and periurban farm, respectively, were 209 and 224 g/kg dry matter (DM) of crude protein (CP), 3.85 and 5.28 g/kg DM calcium (Ca) and 10.6 and 9.74 g/kg DM of phosphorus (P). The nutrients supplied per kg of milk through home-mixed concentrates for urban and periurban crossbred dairy cows, respectively, were 92.6 and 93.5 g CP, 1.70 and 2.21 g Ca and 4.69 and 4.04 g P. The average daily milk yield (ADMY)/cow/day, calving interval(CI) and days open(DO) for urban and periurban farms, respectively, were 11.1 and 9.28 kg, 14.3 and 15.4 months, and 152 and 176 days. Significant variations in terms of nutrient supply through home-mixed concentrate between the production subsystems of the study site existed. Thus, big variations in nutrient supply and imbalances resulted in an apparently low performance of dairy animals in terms of ADMY, CI and DO as compared to what was expected. © 2015, Fundacion CIPAV. All rights reserved.