Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences | JIRCAS

Feeding Value of Poor Quality Feeds in Cattle and Buffalo

Tropical agriculture research series : proceedings of a symposium on tropical agriculture researches
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The principal feed resources for ruminant animals in tropical regions of the world are crop residues which are supplemented relatively with a small quantity of cultivated fodder, pasture and oil cakes. The concentrates which consist largely of agroindustrial by-products, forest and aquatic waste are fed to livestock in a very limited quantity. Ruminants, because of these feed resources of poor quality, are dependent upon nutrients resulting from fermentation in the rumen. Buffalo and cattle differ in their physiological characters, as well as rumen fermentative ability and microbial concentration. These two ruminant species are economically important for both milk and draught purposes in many countries. Their relative ability to utilize poor quality roughage is worth studying.
It has been observed that dry matter intake per metabolic body size by adult buffalo (74.8g) is generally lower than that of cattle (80.4g), while the digestibility of dry matter and crude fiber varies considerably betwen them depending on the source of roughage. The digestibility of other components of the feed does not vary significantly. The buffaloes are considered to utilize better feed energy, because of their lower feed intake (74.8 g versus 80.4g/W0.75 kg) and lower basal metabolic rate (68 kcal versus 82 kcal/W0.75kg) compared to cattle for maintaining their liveweight.
The superiority of buffalo over cattle in terms of microbial population and ammonia concentration in the rumen has also been observed. The rumen protozoal (x105/ml) and bacterial (x108/ml) counts for cattle and buffalo are 1.15, 1.59 and 13.2, 16.2, respectively. The ammonia contents in the rumen are significantly higher in buffalo (12.8 mg/100ml) than in cattle (10.1 mg/100ml). However no differences were detected between these two species in other nitrogenous constituents and volatile fatty acids. The microbial enzymes such as cellulase and transaminases in the rumen have also been assayed in both cattle and buffalo.

Date of issued1991-09-24
CreatorK. Pradhan
PublisherJapan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences