Effects of Supplementation of Mixed Cassava (Manihot esculenta) and Legume (Phaseolus calcaratus) Fodder on the Rumen Degradability and Performance of Growing Cattle

  • Thang, C.M. (Department of Animal Nutrition and Feeding, National Institute of Animal Husbandry) ;
  • Sanh, M.V. (Department of Buffalo Science, National Institute of Animal Husbandry) ;
  • Wiktorsson, H. (Department of Animal Nutrition and Feeding, National Institute of Animal Husbandry)
  • Received : 2006.08.17
  • Accepted : 2007.04.08
  • Published : 2008.01.01


Two experiments were conducted to assess the effect of replacing a conventional concentrate with mixed cassava (Manihot esculenta) foliage and legume (Phaseolus calcaratus) foliage. In Exp. 1, three rumen fistulated crossbred cows were used for in sacco rumen degradability studies. In vitro gas production was also studied. In Exp. 2, 11 crossbred F2 heifers (Red Sindhi$\times$Holstein Friesian), with initial live weight of $129{\pm}6kg$ and aged six months, were allocated in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) to evaluate a mixture (ratio 3:1) of cassava and legume foliage (CA-LE feed) as a protein source compared to a traditional concentrate feed (Control) in diets based on fresh elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) and urea treated rice straw ad libitum. The Control feed was replaced by the CA-LE feed at levels of 0% (Control), 40% (CA-LE40), and 60% (CA-LE60) based on dry matter (DM). The in sacco degradation of CA-LE feed was higher than Control feed (p<0.05). After 48 h incubation the degradation of CA-LE feed and Control feed was 73% vs. 58% of DM and 83% vs. 65% of CP, respectively. The gas production of CA-LE feed was also significantly higher than of Control feed during the first 12 h of incubation. The results of the performance study (Exp. 2) showed that the level of CA-LE feed in the concentrate had no effect on total dry matter intake (p>0.05), but live weight gains (LWG) in CA-LE40 and CA-LE60 were significantly higher (551 and 609 g/d, respectively) than in the Control group (281 g/d). The intake of CP was higher (p<0.05) for the treatments CA-LE40 and CA-LE60 (556 and 590 g/d, respectively) compared to that of Control (458 g/d), while there was no significant difference in ME intake. The feed conversion ratio was 16.8, 9.0 and 7.9 kg DM/kg LWG in Control, CA-LE40 and CA-LE60, respectively. The feed cost of CA-LE40 and CA-LE60 corresponded to 43% and 35%, respectively, of the feed cost of Control feed. The best results were found when CA-LE feed replaced 60% of DM in Control feed and considerably decreased feed cost. It is concluded that feeding cassava foliage in combination with Phaseolus calcaratus legume as a protein supplement could be a potentially valuable strategy which leads to reduced feed costs and a more sustainable system in smallholder dairy production in Vietnam.


Heifer Calves;Cassava Foliage;Legume Foliage;Rumen Degradability;Growth Rate;Economic Return


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