Mineral Status in Cattle Fed Rice Straw and Para Grass Combined with Different Levels of Protein Derived from Cassava Foliage

  • Sath, K. ;
  • Pauly, T. ;
  • Holtenius, K.
  • Received : 2012.06.25
  • Accepted : 2012.09.18
  • Published : 2013.01.01


Eight male cattle of the Local Yellow breed with an average live weight of 121 kg and an average age of 18 months were used to evaluate the effects of different levels of sun-dried cassava (Manihot esculenta) foliage supplementation on mineral metabolism in growing cattle fed rice straw and para grass as basal diet. Rice straw ad libitum and para grass (Brachiaria mutica) at 1% DM of BW comprised the basal diet. The study was arranged as a $4{\times}4$ double Latin square design, with cassava foliage contributing 0, 0.8, 1.6 or 2.4 g CP/kg BW. The cassava foliage intake was lower than the planned levels. DM consumption was significantly affected by cassava foliage supplementation, with the largest intake observed at the two highest levels of cassava foliage supplementation. Rice straw intake showed the opposite pattern, with lower intake at higher cassava foliage supplementation. No refusals occurred for para grass in any of the treatments. Ca, P, Mg, K, S and Mn intake increased significantly with increasing intake of cassava foliage, but Na intake was not affected by treatment. Faecal excretion of Ca, Mg, S and Mn increased significantly with increasing cassava foliage intake. There were no differences between P, K and Na excretion in faeces. There was a significant diet effect on Mg, S and Mn digestibility. Mg and Mn digestibility increased with increasing cassava foliage supplementation, while S digestibility decreased. Ca, P, K and Na digestibility was not affected by diet. There was a significant effect of treatment on P retention, with the highest value observed for supplementation with 1.6 g CP/kg BW cassava foliage. Ca and Mg showed similar trends, with the highest retention again for supplementation with 1.6 g CP/kg BW cassava foliage. There were weak but significant positive correlations between nitrogen retention and the macro minerals Ca, P and Mg. Furthermore, retention of all these minerals was positively correlated. Mineral losses in urine were not affected by dietary treatment with the exception of P excretion, which was affected by treatment. In conclusion, cassava foliage is a good Ca source which compensates for the low Ca content in rice straw and para grass, but P deficiency appears to be exaggerated in cattle with higher cassava intake. The results suggest that under these conditions growing cattle on a high cassava intake would benefit from P and S supplementation.


Digestibility;Intake;Retention;Cassava Foliage;Rice Straw;Para Grass


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