Author(s): Snchez NR, Ledin I
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Abstract The effect of feeding different levels of foliage from Cratylia argentea (Desvaux) O. Kuntze to dairy cows on intake, digestibility, milk production and milk composition was studied in the dry tropics in Nicaragua. The treatments were sorghum silage ad libitum, either unsupplemented or supplemented with 2 kg or 3 kg of Cratylia on a dry matter (DM) basis. Six Bos indicus cows of the Creole Reyna breed, with a mean body weight of 386 (SD 19) kg were used in a replicated 3 x 3 Latin square design. Supplementation with Cratylia increased (p < 0.05) DM intake from 6.6 to 7.8 and 8.7 kg DM/day and milk production from 3.9 to 5.1 and 5.7 kg/day for sorghum silage alone and supplementation with 2 kg and 3 kg DM of Cratylia, respectively. Milk fat, total solids and crude protein and organoleptic characteristics (smell, taste and colour) were not significantly different among diets. The apparent digestibility coefficients of dry matter, organic matter, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre were not affected significantly by supplementation with Cratylia. However, crude protein (CP) digestibility increased (p < 0.05) in the diets supplemented with Cratylia compared to sorghum silage alone. In conclusion Cratylia given as a protein supplement to a low-quality diet improved DM intake and CP digestibility of the diet and increased milk production, but did not affect milk composition.
This article was published in Trop Anim Health Prod
and referenced in Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences