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COPRA MEAL AS A SUPPLEMENT TO CATTLE OFFERED A LOW QUALITY NATIVE PASTURE HAY

  • Hennessy, D.W. ;
  • Kempton, T.J. ;
  • Williamson, P.J.
  • Received : 1988.11.16
  • Accepted : 1989.03.16
  • Published : 1989.06.01

Abstract

Twenty-four Hereford steers, 22 months old and a mean liveweight (${\pm}\;s.e.$) of $250\;{\pm}\;7\;kg$ were used in an experiment to evaluate over 42 days two rates of copra meal supplementation to cattle on a low N ($8.6\;{\pm}\;0.9$ g N/kg dry matter (DM)), low digestible ($45\;{\pm}\;5.2%$ DM) native pasture hay. Steers given the two rates (500, 1000 g/steer/day; i.e. 500C, 1000C) were compared to steers on a non-supplemental diet and to the effects on steers of supplemental urea (30g/steer/day; 30U) or with copra meal (500 g/steer/day; 500C.U), or of cottonseed meal (500 g/steer/day; 500S). Liveweight change was increased (P<0.01) by all of the supplements except by supplemental urea. The most effective treatment, 1000C, increased significantly (P<0.01) liveweight change (946 g/day) in steers above all supplements except those steers given 500C.U (718 g/day). Hay intake per unit liveweight was increased (P<0.05) by 7% by the 30U and 500C.U treatment, and by 9% by 500C; this group having the highest supplements, being greatest (P<0.05) for the 1000C group (6.0 g feed intake/g gain) and least for the 500S supplemented group (11.5 g/g gain). Efficiency was lowest (18.6 g/g gain) for the non-supplemented steers on the basal hay diet. Copra meal N was less degradable (i.e. 29%) in nylon bags over 15 hours in the rumen than was cottonseed meal N (37%), and rumen ammonia concentrations were lower (P<0.05) in cattle supplemented with copra meal (25, 27 mg N/L) than in cattle given urea (36 mg N/L) or cottonseed meal (39 mg N/L). It is concluded that copra meal at a daily rate of 500 g/head, and with rumen soluble nitrogen from urea, is an effective supplement for improving growth of cattle on a low quality forage.

Keywords

Protein Meals;Copra Meal;Cottonseed Meal;Cattle;Low Quality Hay