G Bistanji, S Hamadeh S, Hajj Hassan*, F Tami and R Tannous
*Agriculture Research Institute, Tal Amara, Lebanon
Grazing systems in semi-arid areas offer only limited potential for intensification, and livestock production is becoming increasingly crop-based. A number of agro-industrial byproducts are available for animal feeding. Crop residues along with agro-industrial byproducts can play an important role in the feeding of sheep and goats under different management systems.
A survey was conducted at more than 30 factories covering the major agro-industries in Lebanon to identify and quantify the potential byproducts generated by the agro-industrial sector. The total amount generated by the surveyed factories revealed that large amounts of byproducts are being wasted. In fact, about 90 % of these byproducts are available all year round. An estimation of the total nutritional quantity and quality of byproducts revealed a significant potential for their use as livestock feeds thus cutting down on the important feed deficit in Lebanon.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of creep feeding with different energy sources on lamb growth until weaning. Seventy-two lambs were distributed at random in a factorial arrangement 3*2*2 of treatments, which were: type of supplement: Soya-maize(SM), Soya-cassava (SY) and without supplement (C), the breed: Pelibuey or Pelibuey X Hampshire and sex. The results were analyzed by ANOVA using the initial age as covariant. Mean values were compared with the multiple range test. The liveweight gain was higher for the supplement treatments (P< 0.01) [228 for SM, 205 for SY and 110 for C]and for crosses compared with Pelibuey [233 and 208] and for males vs females [239 and 199]. Supplement intakes were: 825 and 689 g DM/day for SMand SY. The feed conversion (kg of supplement DM/kg of LWG) was 1.44 (SM) 1.43 (SY); 1.3 (PH), 1.55 (P); 1.34 (M) and 1.52 (H). It is concluded that supplementation improves sustancially the body weight gain and that crosses and males were more efficient in using the supplement compared with Pelibuey and females, respectively.
The early adoption of the legume Arachis pintoi was studied in the State of Caquetá, located in Colombias Amazon region. Data came from 174 farmers randomly surveyed within the area of influence of Nestlé, a multinational milk-processing company. In addition, 52 farmers who had already adopted Arachis were surveyed separately to study their experiences, difficulties, and prospects with the legume.
Results indicated that livestock activity is undergoing dynamic intensification. Since 1986, milk production per lactation has increased by 31%, cow fertility by 5%, herd size by 18%, and the area sown to improved pastures by 165%. Current adoption rate of Arachis is about 9.2%, with an estimated 3000 ha already planted. Two-thirds of farmers who had adopted Arachis said they would double, in the next year, the average area sown (9.6 ha/farm). Adopters tended to have larger farms and to have invested twice the capital than did non-adopters. The cost of seed for both grass and legume accounted for 40-52% of total establishment costs, making seed quality decisive in guaranteeing success.
To promote Arachis, more information on the plant and its management in association with grasses must be disseminated. Mechanisms should also be sought to reduce establishment costs.
An evaluation of the pig enterprise at the Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA) farm using sow productivity and gross margin analysis was carried out. The data were obtained from breeding and financial records of the Landrace and Duroc breeds from 1997 to 1999.
Litter size at birth influenced litter size at weaning and both traits decreased with an increase in parities. A positive correlation (0.70) was observed between litter size at birth and litter size at weaning. A negative gross margin was realised due to the high feed costs and low market price of pigs which did not cover production costs.
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This study aimed to assess the survival and the productive performances of imported pregnant dairy heifers from Europe and Canada in Morocco. For this purpose, a detailed survey was conducted in three irrigated regions of the country (Doukkala, Haouz and Tadla) of 1024 heifers imported from 1996 to 1998. Results show that almost 41% of these females had short productive lifespan, as they were culled before 3 years of production (34%) or they simply died (7%). Significant differences were found between the three regions for the reasons of culling. In Tadla, where intensive dairying with exotic Friesian cows has been well accepted by farmers for a long time, the most decisive factor to sell imported cows is their low productivity. In the Haouz region, which is a newly irrigated area, reproduction failures and pathogenic infections are the principal causes for culling cows. In the Doukkala region, which is the nearest to the big city of Casablanca, imported cows are sold to satisfy an urgent and growing need for meat.
The survey has also revealed that it is in the Tadla region where cows are intensively kept (73.3% of imports), in comparison to Doukkala (56.4%) or Haouz (55.0%). It has been discovered that only 45% of female calves of these imported cows were raised on farm to increase the dairy stock. Hence, this trend goes against the objectives behind the imports of pregnant heifers. On the other hand, 130 heifers imported from July till November 98 were identified and submitted to regular control to determine milk yield in 305 d. Results confirm the supremacy of Tadla region (3810 kg) above Doukkala (3724 kg) and Haouz (3292 kg), and also demonstrate that genetic abilities for milk production are largely misused. Reproduction failures were also detected as average days open were 136, without taking account of 21 cows which were sold due to long anoestrus period. Thus, it has been concluded that imported dairy cows level of performances under Moroccan smallholder conditions is rather poor. Hence, further research is needed to identify whether massive imports should be pursued or not, at a time when very few attempts have been made to raise locally bred heifers more suited for smallholders conditions.
Twenty-seven Zebu yearling bulls of 253±35 kg average live weight were randomly distributed to nine pens to evaluate their performance during 90 days when fed a basal diet of ensiled pig excreta (excreta, molasses and maize stover), molasses and sorghum (grain and straw) plus supplements of either: dried poultry litter (DPL), meat meal (MM) or soya bean meal (SBM). Average gains in liveweight were 1.27± 0.132, 1.27±0.287 and 1.55±0.317 kg/day for DPL, MM and SM, respectively. Gains in liveweight were higher (P<0.05) for SM than DPL or MM. Feed intakes (kg/day of dry matter) were 7.33, 8.52 and 9.06; feed/gain ratios were 5 .78±0.298, 6.71±0.927 and 5.84± 0.33 (P>0.05) for the DPL, MM and SM, respectively. Costs/kg live weight gain were MexPesos 5.3, 6.5 y 5.6 for the treatment DPL, MM and SM. The greater liveweight gain when using soya bean meal as the supplement was probably due to a better amino acid balance and rumen "bypass" properties compared with the other supplements.
Income effects of fodder and herd management on small-scale milk producers in the northern Peruvian Andes
T Bernet and C León-Velarde*
International Potato Center (CIP), Apartado 1558, Lima 12, Peru
*International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and CIP, Apartado 1558,
Lima 12, Peru
A linear programming model was used to analyze the effects of different herd and fodder management levels on agricultural income of small-scale mountain dairy farmers in northern Peru.
Results demonstrate that fodder and herd management strongly impact farm profits. There exists considerable potential to improve this situation, as many farmers in the study region are deficient in their fodder and herd management. When moving from average to high management levels, farmers could double their farm profits. In general, high mortality rates, long calving intervals, and inefficient fodder storage practices depress farmers incomes most.
Because of feeding deficiencies, especially in the dry season, recommended extension activities primarily must emphasize fodder storage and improved pasture management, to subsequently also enhance better herd management practices.
Participatory methods were used to analyse the feed resources in three highland villages in Tanzania. Farmers assessed feed availability, botanical composition, feeding method and feed intake. The purpose of the investigation was to see whether the introduction of dairy goat crosses had changed the utilisation of feed resources and to establish whether feeding was a constraint.
The major feeding system was tethering goats to eat a large variety of naturally occurring grasses, herbs, shrubs and trees and crop residues in fields after harvesting. Some dairy goat farmers practised herding when sufficient labour was available but 58 % employed additional cut-and-carry from planted forage and all added maize bran to dairy goat rations. Feed availability near the homestead depended heavily on the occupation of land by crops. Rainfall played a minor role. Feed intake and consequently production and reproduction were perceived to be reduced by rainfall related factors such as low DM content, surface water on forage, reluctance of animals to graze during rainfall and worm infestation. Forage species consumed depended on feeding system, occupation of land by crops and ecological factors. Dairy goats were offered a wider variety of species through herding and the additional cut-and-carry. Because of the need to minimise labour requirements in tethering at distant sites, local goats depended more on species on the farmland and in vicinity of the homestead.
The average farm size of both groups of farmers was 3.1 ± 0.3 ha. Households had 2.6 ± 0.2 person-equivalents available for farm work (1.2 ± 0.2 person-equivalents/hectare). Using homestead housing quality as an indicator, dairy goat farmers had significantly more capital at their disposal than local goat farmers. Dairy goat farmers were also slightly better educated and more active in farmers' associations. Dairy goat farmers invested 40 % more time (e.g. herding) in their goats. Investing more capital - to buy maize bran for example dairy goat farmers gained more than two times higher returns to labour than local goats farmers did. Local goat farmers received almost five times higher returns to variable costs on the little capital they used for the tethering rope. Although dairy goat farmers had made changes in feed resource utilisation, these appeared insufficient to cope with the low intake of forage DM in the rainy season and the increased requirements of dairy goats.
A study was conducted to determine the quantity of residual milk sucked by calves for 5 weeks post partum and the composition of the milk immediately before milking in the Nharira-Lancashire smallholder farming areas of Zimbabwe. Seven communal area (CA) and 6 small scale commercial area (SSCA) farmers owning 49 cow-calf pairs of 3 breeds participated in the study.
There were no significant differences in the morning milk intake by beef, dairy and dairy x beef (DxB) calves in both CA (mean: 1.39 kg) and SSCA (1.51 kg). Mean pre-weaning growth rates of calves from the 3 breeds were not significantly different in each area (mean: CA = 0.256 and SSCA = 0.343 kg/d). In the CA, the total morning milk yield (milk off-take + calf intake) was 3.5 kg for beef, 4.0 kg for DxB and 5.7 kg for dairy cows; the differences were significant. In the SSCA farms the beef and DxB cows had a lower yield (4.8 and 5.4 kg, respectively) than the dairy cows (7.3 kg). Differences in protein and lactose contents were significant among the 3 breeds in the CA.
These results show that for a 30-minute suckling period, calves from the 3 breed groups consumed similar quantities of milk of a similar nutritive value.
In order to generate information on upgrading Brahman (B) to Guzerat (G) and Nellore (N), an experiment was designed on a private ranch in Carabobo state, Venezuela. The ranch had purebred B, G, N, as well as the different grades of crossbred cows resulting from the upgrading process. Records of the whole herd were used in the evaluation. The mean herd size was 220 cow-years (1976 to 1984). From 1980 the herd was under artificial insemination and no clean-up bulls were used. Animals were kept on improved pasture. A total of 15 B, 14 G and 20 N sires were used. Bulls (semen) were selected according to high estimated genetic value for 18-months weight in a cooperative genetic program and international semen banks. A total of 1972 cow-years records on B, 1/2 G, 3/4 G, 7/8 G, G, 1/2 N, 3/4 N, 7/8 N, and N females were coded (0 or 1) for pregnancy, calving, weaning and the presence of a calf at 18 months of age, and analyzed by least squares procedures. Model 1 included the random effects of bull within breed group of cows (S:C) and the fixed effects: breed group of cow (C), year of service (Y), and age of cow (A) in years. Model 2 included additionally the effect of lactation status (L) and the L x A interaction.
S:C was the most important effect (P<0.01) for all traits, followed by A (P<0.01) which was significant even for presence of calf at 18 months. C and Y did not show a significant effect. The breed group of cow constants indicated a small (non-significant) advantage for 1/2 and 3/4 cows over B (control) but this advantage was even smaller in 7/8 cows. The results indicate that upgrading of Brahman to Guzerat or Nellore does not result in a significant advantage in the traits studied, and is not commensurate with the cost and time involved. In Model 2, L was the most important effect (P<0.01), and the other factors showed results similar to those obtained from Model 1.
It is concluded that instead of crossing Bos indicus breeds, farmers should pay greater attention to the genetic and reproductive evaluation of the bulls in the breed of their choice and intensify the selection of females.
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