Sugarcane bagasse as exclusive roughage for dairy cows in smallholder livestock system

  • Received : 2017.03.17
  • Accepted : 2017.10.12
  • Published : 2018.03.01


Objective: The study aimed to evaluate sugarcane bagasse as roughage in lactating cow on feed intake, digestibility, ingestive behavior, milk production and composition, and microbial protein synthesis. Methods: Ten Girolando cows at initial body weight of $450{\pm}25.6kg$ and at $143.7{\pm}30.7days$ in milk were assigned in two $5{\times}5$ Latin square designs. Five 21-day experimental periods were adopted ($1^{\circ}$ to 14-day: diets adaptation period; $15^{\circ}$ to 21-day: data collection and sampling period). The diets consisted of four different levels of sugarcane bagasse (45%, 50%, 55%, and 60%) and a control diet, commonly adopted in the region, based on spineless cactus (25% sugarcane bagasse), formulated to meet 12 kg/d milk yield. Results: The dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), and total digestible nutrients intakes and DM and OM digestibilities observed for 45% and 50% bagasse inclusion were similar to control diet, while that 55% and 60% bagasse inclusion were lower. Cows fed control diet, and bagasse diets of 45%, and 50% levels had the nutritional requirements attended, that guaranteed 12 kg/d of milk yield. The crude protein intake and digestibility of cows fed 45%, 50%, and 55% of bagasse inclusion were similar to control diet. The neutral detergent fiber (NDF) intake and digestibility differ for all bagasse diets related to control diet, while the non-fiber carbohydrates intake and digestibility for cows fed 45% of bagasse were similar for control diet. The intakes and digestibilities of nutrients decreased linearly in function of bagasse inclusion; NDF and indigestible NDF intakes did not vary. The ruminating time, feeding and rumination efficiency, microbial protein synthesis and milk yield decreased linearly with sugarcane bagasse inclusion. Conclusion: Sugarcane bagasse decreases milk production; however, its inclusion level in between 45% to 50% associated to concentrate could replace diets based on spineless cactus for crossbred dairy cow's producing 12 kg/d of milk.


Supported by : Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq)


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