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Benefit of feeding Urochloa hybrid cultivar ‘Cobra’ on milk production in Tanzania

  • Mwendia, Solomon W.
  • Notenbaert, An Maria Omer
  • Nzogela, Beatus
  • Mwilawa, Angello
Publication Date
Sep 30, 2022
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Animal genetics, management, diseases, feeds and environment affect milk production in cattle. Feed is the most important and when addressed, cattle show immediate responses. In sub-Saharan Africa, livestock productivity is low largely due to use of low-quality crop residues and natural pastures, often poor in key nutrients for animal performance. In an 8-week on-farm feeding trial with farmers’ participation, milk production under farmers’ practice (FP) was compared with the use of improved Urochloa hybrid cultivar ‘Cobra’ hay (Cobra hay) as an intervention (IN). A crossover design with each cow undergoing FP and IN phases was used. For the initial 2 weeks, the experiment followed FP before shifting to 50-50 FP/IN in week 3 and 100% IN in week 4 and 5, followed by 50-50 FP/IN in week six and 100% FP in week 7 and 8. Milk production increased by 15 % under IN and was associated with better feed utilization efficiency of 2 kg DMCobra hay/L of milk. The use of Cobra hay has potential to increase dairy productivity in Tanzania and other similar tropical ecologies and contexts in sub-Saharan Africa

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