Livestock Research for Rural Development

Volume 12, Number 4, 2000

Abstracts of papers in LRRD, Volume 12, Number 4

Production of F1 Bos taurus x Brahman cows bred to Brahman bulls and Brahman cows bred to F1 Bos taurus x Brahman bulls versus Brahman 1. Weights at birth, weaning, 18 months and final weight 

Dieter Plasse, Hugo Fossi, Rafael Hoogesteijn, Omar Verde, Carlos Rodríguez M* and Rafael Rodríguez**

 Universidad Central de Venezuela, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Maracay, 
*Hato Sta. Luisa, San Fernando de Apure
**Agroflora C.A. Valencia, Venezuela


The experiment was carried out in herds HI and HII in seasonally flooded savannah in Apure state, Venezuela. 

In HI, 1200 calves were born between 1984 and 1987, belonging to the following breed groups: Brahman (B, control), 3/4 B 1/4 Chianina produced by F1 dams (Group 1) or F1 sires (2), and 3/4 B 1/4 Angus sired by F1 bulls (3). In HII, 1283 calves born between 1984 and 1986, belonged to B, 3/4 B 1/4 Marchigiana produced by F1 dams (4) or F1 sires (5), 3/4 B 1/4 Simmental by F1 dams (6) or F1 sires (7), and 3/4 B 1/4 Charolais by F1 dams (8) or F1 sires (9). Using least squares techniques, in HI, 1200 birth weights (BW), 1124 weaning weights adjusted to 205 days (205W), 1092 18-month weights adjusted to 548 days (548W)and 444 final pasture weights (FW) were analyzed including in the model the fixed effects of breed group (G), sex (S), year (Y) and month (M) of birth, age of dam (D), Y x M and, for FW, age (linear) of the animal (A). In HII, 1283 weaning weights (WW), 675 eighteen month weights (18W), 189 final weights (FW) and average daily gains during the fattening period on pasture (ADGF) were analyzed.

In HI, for BW, 205W and 548W all effects were highly significant except Y x M (P<0.05) and M (ns) for BW. For FW, effects of G, M, A and Y x M were not significant but Y was (P<0.05). In HII, for WW and 18W the following effects were found: G (P<0.01), S (P<0.01), M (P<0.01),  A  (P<0.01)  and Y (ns). D was significant for WW (P<0.01) and G x Y for 18W (P<0.01).  Y x M was significant for WW (P<0.01) but not for 18W. For FW the effects were G (P<0.01), M (ns) and A (ns) and, for ADGF, G (ns) and M (ns). 

Adjusted means in HI were for BW, 205W, 548W and FW (934 ± 5.6 days): 30.4 ± 0.2, 147.4 ± 1.0, 261 ± 1.3 and 463 ± 1.8 kg and in HII for WW (232 ± 0.9 days), 18W (596 ± 1.3 days), FW (1042 ± 2.8 days) and ADGF: 188 ± 1.1, 255 ± 1.5, 445 ± 7.2 kg and 893 ± 11 g. In HI the advantage of crossbreds over B controls for 205W, 548W and FW was: (1) 11, 9 and 1 %; (2) 2, 2 and 0 %; (3) 8, 4 and 0 %. In HII the deviation of crosses from B for WW, 18MW and FW was: (4) 18, 10 and 8 %; (5) 10, 3 and 4 %; (6) 21, 12 and 8 %; (7) 12, 2 and -1 %; (8) 14 % (only WW), (9) 19 % (only WW). 

It was concluded that the superiority over B of 1/4 Bos taurus offspring of F1 dams at weaning was on average 16 % and that of F1 sires 10 %, but decreased strongly thereafter showing little advantage for FW. 

Key words: Beef cattle, Brahman, 1/4 Bos taurus, growth, fattening, pasture


Production of F1 Bos taurus x Brahman cows bred to Brahman bulls and Brahman cows bred  to F1 Bos taurus x Brahman bulls versus Brahman.  2. Cow  production 

Dieter Plasse, Hugo Fossi, Rafael Hoogesteijn, Omar Verde, Rafael Rodríguez*, Carlos Rodríguez M**

Universidad Central de Venezuela, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Maracay, 
*Agroflora CA, Valencia, Venezuela
**Hato Sta. Luisa, San Fernando de Apure, Venezuela

This breeding program was carried out in herds HI and HII in seasonally flooded savanna in Apure state, Venezuela. In HI, 1598 cows were bred between 1983 and 1986 in multi sire herds according to breed of bull. Brahman (B) cows were bred to B (control), F1 Chianina x B (Group 1) and F1 Angus x B (2) bulls, as well as F1 Chianina x B cows to B bulls (3). In HII, 2036 cows were bred between 1983 and 1985: B cows to B (control), to F1 Marchigiana (M) x B (4), to F1 Simmental (SI) x B (5) and to F1 Charolais (CH) x B (6) bulls and F1 M (7), F1 SI (8) and F1 CH (9) cows to B bulls. Least squares techniques were used to analyze the following events (offspring present: 1, not present: 0): pregnancy (P), calving (C) weaning (W), 18 months (18M) and weight produced per cow in the herd at weaning (WWCH) and at 18 months (18MWCH) including in the model the fixed effects of: breed group (G), birth year (Y) and cow age (D). 

In HI, G was significant for P (P<0.05) and the other traits (P<0.01), Y for W and 18M (P<0.05) and the other traits (P<0.01), and D for all characteristics (P<0.01). In HII, G was significant for P and C (P<0.05), and W and WWCH (P<0.01), and did not have any effect on 18M and 18MWCH; Y was not significant for any trait, but D was (P<0.01) for all of them. 

In HI, adjusted means for P, C, W, 18M, WWCH and 18MWCH were 77.4 ± 1.5, 72.0 ± 1.7, 68.0 ± 1.7, 65.6 ± 1.8 %; 101 ± 2.6 and 171 ± 4.7 kg, the unadjusted means being slightly higher. In HII, adjusted means for the same traits were: 78.6 ± 1.3, 71.5 ± 1.4, 67.3 ± 1.5, 57.3 ± 1.8 %; 126 ± 2.8 and 135 ± 4.2 kg, the unadjusted means being slightly lower. In HI, deviations of crossbreeds from B were for P, C, W, 18M, WWCH and 18MWCH for (1) 0, 3, 2, 0, 4, 1%; (2) -8, -3, -5, -4, 3, 1 %; (3) 6, 14, 15, 15, 28, 25 %. In HII, the deviations from B were for (4) -5, -8, -10, -3, -1, -2 %; (5) -1, -6, -7, -4, 3,  -5 %; (6) -3, -1, 0 %, no data, 17 %, no data; (7) -13, -16, -20, -12, -6, -3 %; (8) -2, -2, 0,- 4, 21, 8 %; (9) 11, 10, 13 %, no data, 25 %, no data. 

Reproductive efficiency of  F1 cows was negatively influenced by their high milk production (high weaning weights of 3/4 Bos indicus 1/4 Bos taurus) except in F1 Chianina, and F1 Charolais, but their WWCH was between 21 and 28 % higher than for B, except in F1 M, which were 6 % inferior. B cows bred to F1  bulls were inferior in P compared to being bred to B bulls and deviated from the control for WWCH between -1 and 17 %. For 18MWCH breed groups (1), (2), (3) and (8) were 1, 1, 25 and 8 % superior to B, the others were equal or up to 5 % below B, however, only the advantage of (3) was significant.

Key words: Beef cattle, Brahman, F1 Bos taurus cows, cow traits, reproduction 


Traditional poultry production and commercial broiler alternatives for small-holder farmers in Botswana 

A A Aganga, U J Omphile, P Malope, C H  Chabanga, G M Motsamai 
and L G Motsumi

Department of Animal Science and Production, Botswana College of Agriculture  
Private Bag 0027, Gaborone, Botswana 

Two studies were conducted.  The first study evaluated the production potential of indigenous (Tswana) chickens under an extensive free-range management system in the Gaborone agricultural region of Botswana.  The second study  was a  survey of 25 randomly selected, commercial small-scale broiler farms  in the Southern region of Botswana. Data were obtained using a structured questionnaire, interviews and direct observations of the birds and their management in the two systems. 

Study 1 involved 85 farmers. Ten different common supplementary feeds fed to the free-range chickens together with soil samples from where the chickens roost were collected. The feeds were: sorghum grain (Sorghum bicolor), maize grain (Zea mays), jugo bean, also  known as bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verda), tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius var. latifolius), millet grain (Pennisetum glaucum), melon seeds (Colocynthis citrullus L), Tswana water melon fruit (whole), sorghum milo, maize bran and sorghum beer residue (moroko). Mean adult body weight of the birds (n=713) was 2.2 and 2.0 kg for cocks and hens respectively. Average egg  weight (n=188) was 48 g with an annual production of 34 eggs laid in 2 to 3 clutches. Production varied little among flocks.  .Sexual maturity was attained at about 6 months for females.  The crude protein content of the feeds (as-fed basis) given as supplements was: maize grain 9.8%, millet 6.5%, sorghum 11.1%, tepary bean 18.5% and jugo bean 15.8%.  All the feeds had a low level of calcium, for example 0.22 % for melon seeds.  The  farmers kept the chickens for home consumption and occasional sales.

In study 2, all the farmers practiced intensive housing on deep litter.  The number and size of the poultry houses ranged from one to eight, with floor area of less than 100m² to 1,000m². Numbers of chickens in each batch ranged from less than 1000 to 10,000 with about 4 batches in a year.  The broiler strains were Ross hybrid, Indian River and Cobb with 56% of the farmers keeping Ross hybrid.  Various heating methods were used for brooding with more than 40% using gas as a source of heat.  Vaccinations for either gumboro and / or Newcastle were used by 76% of the farmers. Feed was provided ad libitum in all instances.

Keywords: Village poultry, small-holders, broilers, feeding, management, reproductive traits, Botswana    


The influence of grazing on the concentration of total phenols and condensed tannins in Gliricidia sepium in the dry tropics

Claudia Elena Romero Lara, José Manuel Palma García* and Juan López**

Posgrado  Interinstitucional en Ciencias Pecuarias, 
Universidad de Colima, México

* Centro Universitario de Investigación y Desarrollo Agropecuario (CUIDA), Universidad de Colima, México

** CENID-INIFAP Microbiología, México, DF

The following research was embarked upon to determine if grazing sheep have an effect on the concentration of total phenols and condensed tannins in the foliage of the legume tree Gliricidia sepium.  The factors -- management (grazed and non-grazed), and the season (dry season, rainy season, and begining of rainy season) -- were analyzed using univariate repeat measurement analysis and simple correlation.  Measurements were made of concentration of total phenols, free condensed tannins, condensed tannins adhering to fibre, tannins adhering to protein, total condensed tannins, crude protein, neutral detergent fibre, precipitation, temperature, and age of regrowth. The content of crude protein (CP) was not modified significantly by management or season. Grazing reduced the concentration of total phenols and of the condensed tannins.  Tannins adhering to protein accounted for 70-75% of the total condensed tannins and had highest levels in the dry season.  By contrast, condensed tannins adhering to fibre and free condensed tannins reached their lowest values in the dry season. Correlations among the different chemical entities, rainfall and age of regrowth varied according to whether the trees were grazed or not.  It is postulated that grazing and season change the metabolism of G. sepium, with resultant effects on the concentration of total phenols and condensed tannins, as well as the chemical affinity of the tannins for protein and fibre. 

Key words:  Gliricidia sepium, grazing, sheep, phenols, condensed tannins, protein


Chemical composition and in vitro dry matter digestibility of some fodder trees from South-east México 

F J Solorio-Sánchez , I Armendariz-Yañez  and J Ku-Vera

Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia/Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán
Apdo 4-116; CP 97100. Mérida, Yucatán, México

An in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD, %) study was conducted using rumen liquor as source of inoculum. Dry samples (leaf, stem and seed) of eight tropical trees were used as substrates. Crude protein in leaf dry matter ranged from 12.8% in Bursera simaruba to 23.4% in Sesbania grandiflora. The IVDMD was highest (74.3%) in Gliricidia sepium foliage and lowest (37.9%) in Guazuma ulmifolia. Albizia lebbeck had the highest in vitro digestibility for seeds (84.0%), while S. grandiflora had the highest value for stems (39.7%). 

 The results suggest that at least four tree species (A. lebbeck, G. sepium, B. alicastrum and S. grandiflora) used in this study have high feeding value.

 Key words: Tree foliage, Gliricidia sepium, Albizia lebbeck, Brosimum alicastrum, Sesbania grandiflora, digestibility, crude protein

Peri-urban milk production in Peru: Assessing farmers’ decision-making within a changing market 

 T Bernet, J Julca*, J Sáenz* and G Prain

International Potato Center (CIP), Apartado 1558, Lima 12, Peru
*Agrarian University La Molina, Livestock Department, Apartado 456, Lima, Peru.

This study assesses past, present, and future development trends of the dairy sector in the surroundings of Lima City. While historical data were used to track the evolution of milk production in the Lima Department in the past, expected future changes were analyzed by the application of a farm household optimization model to representative small-, medium-, and large farms in the region. 

Results show that milk producers on the coast of Lima currently face favorable market conditions, as milk prices are much higher than in other regions, thanks to increased competition among local milk buyers, who are confronted with unused processing capacities and are unable to meet demand from their "local" market, Lima City. This situation is likely to change in the near future, however, as milk production is growing rapidly (7 % per year). Once the Lima market has become saturated with its own bulky and perishable dairy products, milk prices are likely to fall. The drop in price will hurt small and medium farms most, provoking that many of these farms will go out of business. Large farms are in the best position to withstand milk price reduction because of their economies of size. These have considerably lower average production costs which enables them to negotiate with input providers for feed prices and quality. 

As the implementation of economies of size determines the long-term success of milk production on the coast, the only viable strategy for small and medium milk producers is to grow. In that process, smaller farmers might benefit most in merging their herds and in establishing producer associations, which would strengthen their market position, both up- and down-stream. Such associations would also provide better access to information, particularly in the field of feeding and reproduction practices, where improvements are most important for small farmers. For large farms, the key is to manage efficiently the different contracted specialists involved in production.

Keywords: Peru, milk production, peri-urban agriculture, farming system research, regional development.


Culling of breeding goats in the peri-urban area of N’Djamena, Chad 

L Y Mopate and M Imadine

Laboratoire de Recherches Vétérinaires et Zootechniques de Farcha, 
BP 433 N'Djaména Tchad

The present study on culling of goats in villages of the peri-urban area of N’Djamena involved twelve villages and fifty three farms. Results show that bucks with defects are culled at an average age of 2.1 + 0.7 years old versus 7.2 + 1.9 years old. Among females, for those with no defects, poor milkers and bad mothers (89 %) are culled after the second and third parturition (RMB). The average number of parturitions is 2.59 + 0.69. Most (94% ) of sick females (sterility, repeated abortion and difficult parturition) are culled in the 2nd and 3rd parturition. The average number of parturitions is 2.64 + 0.59. The third parturition is critical to determine the culling of breeding females presenting defects. Most (87%) of the old females are culled due to either physiological fatigue or the desire of introducing younger animals, mean number of parturitions of this culled group is10.2 + 2.02. Culled animals are mostly sold.  

Key words : Culling, reproduction, goats, peri-urban area, N’Djamena, Chad


Impact of female livestock extension workers on rural house hold chicken production 

M Farooq ,  K Shoukat*, M Asrar*, Shah Mussawar*, F R Durrani, A Asghar** and  S Faisal 

Poultry Science Department, NWFP, Agricultural University, 
Peshawar, Pakistan

* Faculty of Rural Social Science, NWFP, Agricultural University Peshawar
** SRSC, Haripur, Pakistan

A research project was carried out during the year 1999 to study the impact of training given to female farmers by Female Livestock Extension Workers (FLEW) under the Livestock Extension Women Worker (LEWW) project on the status of backyard chicken production in Mardan division. The study comprised data collection (prior to and after getting training in backyard chicken production over a one year period) from 100 farmers who were eager to join female farmers groups and get training from FLEW. These one hundred farmers were initially selected from 200 farmers at random, keeping in view their eagerness for joining female farmer groups. The training included skill development, production, and breeding of highly productive stock, care of the newly hatched chicks, housing, feeding, disease prevention, and hygienic measures, control of external and internal parasites, egg selection and storage, hatchability of eggs, and its requirements, selection and culling of birds, provision of vaccines and some other medicines, and development of linkages with the Agencies and Livestock and Dairy Development Department of the Government of NWFP. No extra inputs were provided (eg: in terms of birds).

Training had a significant effect on flock size, egg production morbidity, mortality, egg storage duration and hatchability of eggs. Significantly lower flock size was maintained by female farmers prior to get training (18.7±1.27) than after training (30.8±1.87 number). Egg production, per household and per bird,  was significantly lower prior to training (1083±27 and 57±3.06) than after training (1629±38 and 97.6±6.66 eggs, respectively). A significantly higher number of eggs per capita per year were available for farmers after training (168±8.61) than before training (112±2.0). Mean overall morbidity and mortality per flock were significantly higher before training (53.5±1.4 and 41.8±1.38) than after training (26.5±0.92 and 17.8±0.79%, respectively). Eggs were stored for a greater (P<0.05) duration in winter (13.6±0.57 days) and summer (5.85±0.36) for hatching prior to training than after training (8.62±0.20 and 3.92±0.14 days, respectively). A significantly higher number of eggs (16.0±0.33) were set under a broody hen before getting training than after training (14.0±0.13 eggs). Hatchability per number of eggs set was significantly lower prior to training (63.1±1.51%) than after training (84.1±0.99%). On overall basis, 49 and 50% of the farmers adopted improved chick and adult bird rearing practices, respectively. Vaccination practice was adopted by all farmers (25% were already vaccinating their birds before getting training). A significantly higher number of farmers (93%) were providing better housing facilities after training than before training (7%).

Key words: Backyard poultry, training, women, egg production


Feeding of alfalfa hay with molasses blocks or crumbles to growing rabbit   

S S Linga and S D Lukefahr

Department of Animal Science & Wildlife Sciences, Texas A&M University
Kingsville, TX 78363, USA

 Two experiments were conducted to evaluate alfalfa hay in combination with energy supplements (blocks, crumbles, or mash, based on sugar cane molasses) as feed for growing rabbits.  In experiment one, 36 New Zealand White (NZW) straightbred rabbits (age from 37 to 39 d) were involved.  Kits were randomly assigned to each of four diet treatments involving three pens as replicates containing three rabbits.  Diets were control (commercial pelleted diet) or chopped alfalfa hay with or without an energy supplement (blocks or crumbles based on molasses).  Control animals were 296 g heavier than experimental (alfalfa hay diets) rabbits at the end of the 28-d study (P<0.01).  There was no difference in average daily gain (ADG) between groups fed molasses blocks and crumbles (P>0.05). The ADG was 4.3 g more rapid for energy-supplemented rabbits compared to those fed alfalfa alone (P<0.05). 

In the second experiment, 24 Altex and 24 NZW straightbred rabbits (age from 39 to 40 d) were involved.  Kits were assigned to each of the four diet treatments: control (pelleted complete diet) or alfalfa cubes with or without an energy supplement (molasses blocks or mash).  Each diet had four pen replicates containing either three Altex or NZW rabbits.  At the end of the 42-d experimental period, control rabbits were 1,067 g heavier than experimental rabbits (P<0.001).  Energy-supplemented rabbits were 307 g heavier than rabbits fed alfalfa cubes alone (P<0.01).  Altex rabbits had heavier final weights by 221 g than NZW rabbits (P<0.01).  In both experiments, there were no significant differences due to diet in the uniformity of final weights within a pen.  Even though ADG was more rapid for rabbits fed the control diet, from an economic standpoint, it may be more appropriate in developing countries to raise rabbits on forages (in tropical countries alfalfa is not an option but there are alternatives) with an energy supplement based on molasses, especially where commercial feeds are either not available or cost-prohibitive.

Key words: Rabbits, alfalfa, Medicago sativa, molasses blocks, growth, feed utilization


Effect of period of regrowth on production and nutritive value of foliage from the "Ramon" tree (Bromisum alicastrum Swartz)

H Mendoza-Castillo, G S Tzec-Sima* y F Solorio-Sánchez**

 Centro Regional Universitario de la Península de Yucatán CRUPY. 
Universidad Autónoma Chapingo.
Departamento de Zootecnia de la Universidad Autónoma Chapingo. Chapingo, México. CP 56230
Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán.

The objective was to determine the effect of the re-growth time (months) on the yield and quality of ramon (Brosimun alicastrum) forage from trees in three locations. Re-growth periods were: 4, 8, 12 and 16 months, in a completely random design with 6, 5 or 4 replications for Xmatkuil, Maxcanu and Temozon locations, respectively. The trees in the first two locations were 2 and 4 years old with heights of 2.6 and 3.9 m, respectively, and were cut back to a trunk height of 1.5m above the ground. In the third location, the trees were 50 years old and were 8m high.  In this case, only the foliage was removed, leaving intact the trunk and principal and secondary branches. 

Forage yield increased as re-growth time increased, with the highest fodder production for the 16-month re-growth with 1.6, 3.4, and 36 kg DM/tree, respectively for the three locations. Period of re-growth had only a minimal effect on the indices of nutritive value (R² of 0.14 and 0.38 for CP; 0.09 and 0.18 for NDF; 0.12 and 0.39 for IVDMD). Content of crude protein in dry matter of leaves was in the range of 14.5 to 19.2 with a median value of 17% while IVDM of leaves was in the range of 64 to 89 with median value of 83%.  For stems the corresponding values were: 5 to 13 with median of 7.5% for crude protein; and 40 to 57 with median of 50% for IVDMD.

It was concluded that 12-months re-growth is the one that gives the best combination of yield and quality of ramon forage. The traditional system of harvesting the foliage (leaving the stems and main ranches) was observed to give much higher production than when the tree was cut back to a stem height of 1.5m.

Key words: Brosimun alicastrum, fodder tree, Moracea, coppicing, nutritive value, biomass


The energy and protein needs of scavenging laying hens

D J Farrell 

School of Land and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland,
Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.

The daily energy and protein requirements of a 1.2 kg scavenging hen, laying a 38 g egg at a rate of 20% production, are calculated. The hen produces 4 batches of chicks each year and raises them to 6 weeks. She travels 2.25 km/day and in doing so climbs 100 m. Apparent metabolisable energy for the hen is 689 kJ and her dietary protein requirements are 6 g/day. A typical scavenging feed resource base of 250 kg/household per year will support 12.5 scavenging hens for energy and 13 hens for their protein needs.

Keywords: Scavenging hens, energy and protein needs


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