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TitleEffect of spineless cactus ( opuntia ficus-indica) meal inclusion level on voluntary feed intake and milk production of holstein cows
AuthorSerakwane, Moelelwa Rosemary
SubjectFeed intake
SubjectApparent diet digestibility
SubjectBody condition score
SubjectLive weight
SubjectMilk quality
SubjectMilk composition
SubjectCattle -- Feed utilization efficiency
SubjectMilk yield
Formatx, 64 leaves
AbstractThesis ( (M.Sc. Agriculture (Animal Production)) -- University of Limpopo, 2019
AbstractA lack of energy and water in livestock production limit the performance of the animal. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the effect of spineless cactus as a source of energy and water on feed intake, feed digestibility and milk production of Holstein cows. Cactus serves as fresh forage or stored as silage for later feeding in livestock. However, there is limited information about cactus nutrients, their proportions in different species and the variability of these proportions with season. A total of four multiparous lactating Holstein cows with an average of 650 ± 80kg live weight were used and assigned to four dietary treatments with four replicates. Each animal was used four times. A cross-over design was used. The four dietary treatments were 0%, 4%, 8% and 12% of spineless cactus meal inclusion levels. The study period was 21 days of adaptation period and 6 days of collection period. Higher digestibility and energy supply (P<0.05) were observed with spineless forage diets compared to the control diet. Inclusion of spineless in the diets improved (P<0.05) diet intake and milk production in Holstein cows. However, an improved performance in milk production was observed with spineless cactus meal inclusion levels of 4%, 8% and 12%. Amongst the diets, 0% inclusion level had lower dry matter intake of 22.7kg (P0.05) affected by the level of spineless cactus meal inclusion in the diet. Dry matter intake, neutral detergent fibre intake, acid detergent fibre intake and metabolisble energy intake of the cows were optimized at different spineless cactus meal inclusion levels of 19.427% (r2 = 0.992), 16.375% (r2 = 0.974), 14.0% (r2 = 0.984) and 22.909% (r2 = 0.994), respectively. Spineless cactus meal inclusion had no effect (P>0.05) on ADF intake and crude protein intake. Apparent digestibility values (0.73, 0.76 and 0.76) were not significantly different at 4%, 8% and 12% of spineless cactus meal inclusion levels, respectively. v It is concluded that spineless cactus meal inclusion level in the diet affected (P<0.05) diet intake and milk production of the Holstein cows. However, these variables were optimized at different spineless cactus meal inclusion levels. It could be recommended that spineless cactus can fit perfectly in livestock rations with attention given to their low crude protein content. These opuntia species can be fed to livestock mainly cattle and sheep during any season but are needed the most during drought as supplements when forages are scarce or expensive to feed. It is, therefore, concluded that 8% of spineless cactus inclusion level can be used to maintain productivity of the animals.
AbstractNational Research Foundation (NRF)