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Utilisation of horticultural residues by N’Dama cattle and their crosses in The Gambia

Akinbamijo, O.O., Nouala, S., Sanyang, F.B., Smith, O.B.
Livestock production science 2003 v.80 no.3 pp. 221-228
animal products, average daily gain, beans, body condition, body weight, bulls, commercial farms, corn stover, crossing, digestibility, experimental diets, feed conversion, genotype, horticulture, laboratory animals, livestock production, nutrient retention, organic matter, vines, voluntary intake, Gambia
In a 90-day study, the feed conversion efficiency of three cattle genotypes was tested on non-conventional feed resources with a view of widening the feed resource base for peri-urban dairy production in The Gambia. Eighteen growing bulls in three breed groups comprising of six bulls each with a mean starting weight of 157±14 kg; 230±31 kg and 194±26 kg kg for N’Dama (ND), N’Dama×Holstein–Freisian (NHF) and N’Dama×Jersey (NJ), respectively, were used in the study. Experimental diet was a composite ration based on horticultural residues consisting of 667 g/kg baby corn stalk and 333 g/kg bean vines collected from commercial farms of the Greater Banjul Area. Cattle genotype had a significant effect on in vivo dry and organic matter digestibility. NHF had a lower (P<0.01) digestibility coefficient compared with NJ and the pure ND with 559, 602 and 615 g/kg for NHF, NJ and ND bulls, respectively. The voluntary feed intake of the experimental diet ranged between 25 and 27 g/kg L.W. across genotypes resulting in a positive nutrient retention in the experimental animals. Data on live weight showed that the feed allowance was good enough not only to maintain the animals but also allowing for generous average daily gains (ADGs) of 510, 640 and 680 for ND, NJ and NHF, respectively. Although the ND had the least (P<0.05) ADG, it recorded the highest mean body condition score. In conclusion, the horticultural resides proved to be a feed resource of high biological value in terms of feed conversion to animal products if harnessed judiciously especially for the peri-urban dairy sub sector.