Feeding of Cassava Hay for Lactating Dairy Cows

  • Wanapat, M. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Puramongkon, T. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Siphuak, W. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University)
  • Received : 1999.05.20
  • Accepted : 1999.08.11
  • Published : 2000.04.01


Whole cassava (Manihot esculenta, Crantz) crop was harvested about 10-15 cm above ground at 3 months after planting and sun dried for 1-3 days or until the leaves were crispy-dried and the branches and stems were mostly wilted to produce cassava hay. Cassava hay (CH) contained 86.3% DM, 8.9% ash, 23.6% CP, 44.3% NDF, 30.0% ADF, 5.8% ADL, 0.257% condensed tannin and 0.35 mg % HCN, respectively. In addition, CH contained relatively higher amino acid than alfalfa hay especially methionine, isoleucine, leucine and lysine. Ruminal fermentation of CH resulted in high concentrations of $C_2$, $C_3$, and $C_4$ at 72, 17 and 7 mol/100 mole, respectively. A feeding trial was conducted to study on effect of feeding of cassava hay in late lactating dairy cows fed on urea-treated rice straw during the dry season on their intake, ruminal pH, $NH_3$-N, milk yield and compositions. Thirty, Holstein-Friesian crossbred cows in their first lactation were randomly assigned in a randomized complete block design to receive five different dietary treatments: T1=supplementation of concentrate to milk yield at 1:2, T2=supplementation of concentrate to milk yield at 1:2+0.56 kg DM, T3=supplementation of concentrate to milk yield at 1:3+1.3 kg DM CH, T4=supplementation of concentrate to milk yield at 1:4+1.70 kg DM CH, T5=CH fed on ad libitum+small concentrate supplement. All cows received urea-treated rice straw as a roughage source throughout a 80 d feeding trial. The experiment revealed that cassava hay contained high level of protein and minimal level of tannin at 3 months of harvest. Tannin intake ranged from 1.44 to 13.36 g/hd/d and did not affect on urea-treated rice straw intake. Milk yield across treatments were similar (5.4-6.3 kg/hd/d) (p>0.05) but 3.5% FCM was highest in cows received CH at 1.70 kg/hd/d. Feeding of cassava hay resulted in increasing milk fat (4.0 to 4.6%) (p<0.05) and milk protein (3.8 to 5.3%) (p<0.05). Moreover, the use of CH could reduce concentrate supplementation to milk yield from 1:2 to 1:4, respectively, thus resulted in more milk income return.

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