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Otieno et al., 2008. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 20 (6)

Document reference 
Otieno, K. ; Okitoi, L. O. ; Ndolo, P. J. ; Potts, M/+., 2008. Incorporating dried chipped sweet potato roots as an energy supplement in diets for dairy cows: experiences with on-farm dairy cattle feeding in western Kenya. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 20 (6)

An on-farm study was undertaken in western Kenya to investigate the potential of incorporating dried chipped sweet potato roots (DCSPR), fortified with protein source from poultry droppings (PD), as energy supplement for dairy cattle. Two sites, Amagoro in Teso and Kanduyi in Bungoma District, were selected for the study. Baseline data on feeding management and milk production was collected from the study sites followed by a joint extension-farmer sensitization workshop and a subsequent participatory feed formulation workshop in which farmers selected the supplement mixture composed of DCSPR, PD, and dairy meal at the ratio of 2:1:1 to try on their farms. A total of 12 and 10 farms participated in Bungoma and Teso respectively.Out of these, 3 farms in Bungoma and 4 farms in Teso fed 4 kg/cow/day of the supplement for a period of five weeks and recorded data on type and amount of basal feed, supplements and milk yields. In Kanduyi where Napier grass was the major basal feed, the amounts fed ranged from 3 to 21kgDM/cow/day. The introduction of the supplement mixture on one of the farms where dairy meal was being fed at 2 kg/day, improved total weekly milk yields by 50.7%. In two other farms where the supplement was being fed at 1.5kg/cow/day total weekly milk yields improved by 11.9% and 21% respectively  when the amount was increased to 3kg/cow/day. Overall, the mean milk yields which were very low during the pre-trial period improved by 32.6% during the trial phase. In Amagoro natural grazing formed the main source of basal feed complemented with Napier grass and banana pseudo stems. The amounts of Napier grass fed ranged from 2.4kgDM.cow/day in one of the farms where the sweetpotato-based supplement was not fed throughout the trial to 21kgDM/cow/day in farms that used the supplement. When the production data from one of the farms in Teso together with the prevailing market costs of feeds and farmgate milk price, was used to run a livestock feeding strategies simulation model (LIFE-SIM) in order to determine the optimum bio-economic levels of DCSPR and PD in the supplement mixture, the best strategy was found to be one involving grazing on natural pastures complemented with Napier grass at the rate of 21kgDM/cow/day in the months of December to March when the pastures are of poor quality and this being reduced to 12kg DM/cow/day from April to December. Assuming the cow calves in January, the supplement mixture should be fed at the rate of 4 kg/cow/day from December through to May, and it would not be necessary to offer dairy meal.

Citation key 
Otieno et al., 2008