Livestock Research for Rural Development

Volume 13 Number 5, 2001

Abstracts of papers in LRRD,
Volume 13, Number 5

A livestock development approach that contributes to poverty alleviation and widespread improvement of nutrition among the poor

(Paper presented at the workshop “Malnutrition in Developing Countries: Generating Capabilities for Effective Community Action”, IFAD September 19-20, 2001)

Frands Dolberg 

 University of Aarhus, Denmark

Empowering resource poor women contributes importantly to food security. Yet, the question needs to be answered how to reach them? Livestock projects have not been very good at that so far. A review of more than 800 projects concluded that there had been very little positive and sustainable impact on the poor. As an exception to this general rule, the Bangladesh Poultry Model is used to move poor women on a food subsidy on to a sustainable development path in which micro-credit plays an important role. 

This paper examines this Model to derive lessons learned for development workers and especially livestock sector specialists.  Further, the paper attempts to place the discussion of an appropriate livestock development approach that will contribute to reducing widespread malnutrition in a wider context. The current development debate centres on issues such as outreach of micro-credit programmes, the relationship between vulnerability and assets and the importance of learning from experience. 

One straightforward conclusion is that recipients and donors alike need to give much higher priority to small animals such as poultry. These may act as “starters” in a development process in contrast to larger animals. The latter do reach to a much lesser extent the most vulnerable and food insecure households. It remains that reaching out is not only a question of technologies, but of appropriate institutional arrangements, policies and human capabilities.  

Key words: Livestock development approach, women’s empowerment, food security.  


Storage of carbon by Gliricidia sepium in agroforestry systems in Venezuela

  Karla Arias Sánchez, Carlos Ruiz-Silvera*, Manuel Milla, 
Héctor Fabio Messa* y Aquiles Escobar**

Instituto Universitario de Tecnología del  Yaracuy, San Felipe,
Programa de Agricultura Tropical Sostenible, Fundación Polar, San Felipe, Venezuela
Instituto de Producción Animal, UCV, Maracay, Venezuela    

Worldwide, agriculture contributes 25 to 30 %  of the carbon emission. In Venezuela, the yearly carbon emission is 80 Pg; of which 0,001 Pg is produced by changes in the land use towards agriculture. Agroforestry systems permit the association of forest species, crops and/or animals. The benefits related with these systems, include productivity increase in the crops and animals,  production of timber, firewood and other materials, and the storage and fixing of carbon. 

Research was done to determine C storage and fixation in Gliricidia sepium plants in two agroforestry systems, located in Yaracuy state, Venezuela.  The biomass production and carbon storage were determined in two agroforestry systems of crops in rows (SAF) and silvopastoral systems (SSP). A prediction equation of the dry weight of Gliricidia sepium wood (DW), was obtained DW= 0.433* (wood volume), R2=0.97. The carbon storage in the SSP was quantified in 309 kg C/ha and the fixation rate of 124 kg C/ha/year. In the SAF, the Gliricidia sepium carbon storage was 653 kg C/ha and the fixation rate 327 kg C/ha/year. The presence of trees and shrubs in the agricultural systems contributes to increased productivity, reduced carbon emission, generation of firewood and other forest resources and can be attractive for financing programs for the benefit of small and medium scale farmers. 

Keywords: agroforestry system, silvopastoral system, sustainable agriculture, Gliricidia sepium, carbon storage.  


Utilisation of whole cassava plant in the diets of growing pigs in the tropics 

E O Akinfala and O O Tewe*

Department of Animal Science,  Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
* Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.

The effects of inclusion of whole cassava plant (flour, peels, leaves and tender stems) as a replacement for maize in the diets of growing pigs on growth, feed intake, feed to gain ratio, serum biochemical and haematological indices were studied for eight weeks. Twenty-four pigs with initial mean weight of 12.5±0.32kg were used. Three diets were formulated. M: which was maize based served as control. 40C: contained 40% cassava products (20% flour, 10% peels and 10% leaves plus tender stems). C60: contained 60% cassava products (40% flour, 10% peels and 10% leaves plus tender stems). The ratio of leaves to tender stems was 3:1. All the diets were made to be isonitrogenous at 3.0 % N and isocaloric at 2.9 kcal/g DE. 

The weight gained ranged from 384 to 411 g/day with no differences among diets. The values obtained for serum metabolites were similar on all diets. The thiocyanate value of the blood ranged from 0.57 to 0.66 mg/100ml with highest value occurring in diet C60. 

The inclusion of dried whole cassava plant at levels of up to 60% in the diets of growing pigs had no adverse effect on their performance, serum and haematological indices.  

Key words: Pigs, cassava, whole plant, growth, metabolic profile


Effect of phosphorus supplementation on postpartum performance of Pelibuey ewes under tropical conditions 

Eduardo J Cabrera Torres, Arturo F Castellanos Ruelas*,
Rubén C Montes Perez* y Roger Delgado De León*  

Campo Experimental El Consuelo. Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales Agrícolas y Pecuarias. SAGARPA. Chetumal, Q. Roo. México.
*Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY). Av. Juárez 421. Ciudad Industrial.
CP 97288. Mérida, Yuc. México. Tel (9)946.0989

The objective of the experiment was to explore the effect of the phosphorus (P) supplementation on Pelibuey ewes, in terms of reproductive activity postpartum. Forty-four pregnant ewes were used and were split into two groups. Twenty three were supplemented with P (E) and 21 without (T). Ewes had a three month pregnancy. All ewes grazed an irrigated paddock of African Star Grass (Cynodon plectostachyus), and received 75 g/day/animal of a balanced feed low in P. The E group received a mineral mixture with 20.9% of Ca and 11.5% of P, the source of P was calcium orthophosphate. The T group received the same mineral mixture but without P, and with 11.5% of Ca. Heat observations were recorded twice a day, using androgenized females and entire males. Females in heat were serviced by natural mating. The lambs received supplementation and were weaned at 90 days. Every 15 days blood samples were taken to determine levels of Ca and P (n=5). After lambing and until oestrus, every 15 days, concentrations of Ca and P in rib number twelve were determined. Grass was sampled every 21 days for Ca and P concentrations. The results did not show differences between E and T (P>0.05) in the time interval from partum to first estrus. The levels and concentrations of Ca and P in serum and bone were similar in both groups. The P supplementation did not affect the lamb live weight at birth neither at weaning. It is concluded that P supplementation did not affect the productivity pospartum of the Pelibuey ewe on pasture. 

Key words: Pelibuey ewes, pospartum, phosphorus.  


Nutritive evaluation of tropical tree leaves for pigs. Flemingia (Flemingia macrophylla) 

Pok Samkol and J Ly 

University of Tropical Agriculture Foundation
Royal University of Agriculture
Chamcar Daung near Phnom Penh, Cambodia and

The nutritive value of flemingia (Flemingia macrophylla) leaf meal was assessed in two experiments with four Mong Cai castrate male pigs in each experiment, according to a balanced change over design for two treaatments. The flemingia leaf meal was obtained by separating leaves and petioles from branches harvested periodically (60 days on average). Leaves and petioles were sun-dried, ground and the resulting foliage meal (N 3.13; NDF 67.2% DM basis) incorporated in a basal diet of sugar palm (Borassus flabellifer) syrup and dried fresh water fish (15 and 30% of substitution by Flemingia leaf meal).

Faecal output of fresh material and water was greatly increased (P<0.001) with increasing levels of dietary flemingia leaf meal. At the same time a decrease in faecal pH values and DM concentration was encountered. Similarly, faecal ammonia and SCFA output were highest (P<0.001) when pigs were fed 30% of flemingia leaf meal.

Dry matter, organic matter and N digestibility of the diet were significantly depressed (P<0.001) with increasing levels of flemingia leaf meal in the diet. NDF digestibility was rather low in treatments containing 15 and 30% of flemingia leaf meal (overall mean, 27.7%). N retention of the diet showed a high variability amongst animals and did not appear to be greatly influenced by graded levels of flemingia leaf meal in the diet.

In vitro pepsin/pancreatin digestibility of N from flemingia leaf meal was 19.8 % in accordance with in vivo digestibility results. In vivo organic matter and N digestibility as determined by difference (n = 8) revealed a low nutritive value of flemingia leaf meal for pigs (25.3 and 21.7% respectively).

The use of flemingia leaf  meal in diets for pigs could be justified if methods to increase its nutritive value could be successfully carried out.

 Key words: pigs, flemingia leaves, Flemingia macrophylla, digestibility


Gastrointestinal parasites in sows kept in two production systems (indoor and outdoor) in the Mexican tropics 

L Rodríguez Vivas, A Ortega Pacheco , C Y Machain Williams
R Santos Ricalde

Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia. Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán,
Apartado Postal 4-116, Itzimna. Mérida, Yucatán, México. 
Tel (99) 9423200, Fax (99) 9423205

In many countries there is an increasing interest in outdoor pig production. However, gastrointestinal parasites (GIP) are a problem, because they reduce the productive performance of the animals. The research reported in this paper compared the egg and oocyst excretion from GIP, weight changes during pregnancy and lactation, and litter performance of sows kept in two production systems (outdoor vs indoor).  Eighteen primiparous sows of similar origin were divided in two groups: Six were kept in an indoor system and twelve in an outdoor system. Samples of faeces were taken from  each sow according to the following scheme: sample one (at mating), samples two to seven (at 15, 30, 45, 60, 75 and 90 days of gestation), sample eight (at farrowing) and sample nine (15 days after farrowing). The samples were analyzed using the centrifuge flotation and McMaster technique.

Isospora were prevalent in 94  and 41 % of the sows in the outdoor and indoor systems, respectively. The sows in the outdoor system had a higher excretion of oocysts from Isospora (1224) than sows kept indoors (206). There was no effect of production system on weight changes of the sows during pregnancy and lactation, and on litter performance. Trichuris and Strongylida showed prevalences £ to 33 % and they did not have a defined excretion.  

Key words: Gastrointestinal parasites, sows, indoor production system, outdoor production system, Isospora.


Effects of treatment of rice straw with lime and/or urea on responses of growing cattle

Nguyen Xuan Trach, Magne Mo*, Cu Xuan Dan

 Faculty of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Hanoi Agricultural University, 
Gialam, Hanoi, Vietnam

* Department of Animal Science, Agricultural University of Norway 

Two 3-month feeding trials were undertaken to evaluate effects of treatments using quick lime and/or urea on the feeding value of rice straw. In Trial 1, 20 young bulls were allocated into 4 groups to be fed on diets based on untreated straw (U0L0), 3% lime-treated straw (U0L3), 4% urea-treated straw (U4), or 3% lime plus 4% urea (U4L3). The straws were given ad libitum together with minimum supplementation of maize, fish meal, minerals and vitamins. In Trial 2, 15 crossbred dairy heifers were divided into 3 groups to be fed ad libitum on untreated straw (U0L0), 3% lime-plus-2% urea straw (U2L3) or 4% urea straw (U4), together with 0.5 kg of a compound concentrate and 0.4 kg dry matter (DM) of green grass per head per day. In both trials, in the middle of each month of the main experiment period, feed intake and total faeces excretion were measured and sampled for 7 days to determine apparent digestibility.

It was found in Trial 1 that straws treated with 3% lime, 4% urea or 3% lime plus 4% urea all brought about increased straw organic matter intake (OMI), organic matter digestibility (OMD) and digestible organic matter intake (DOMI). The average daily gain (ADG) was 74, 211, 280, and 303 g head/day for growing cattle fed on U0L0, U0L3, U4L0 and U4L3, respectively. The three treatments dramatically improved feed conversion ratio. In trial 2, U2L3 was more effective than U4 in terms of OMD, DOMI, ADG, and FCR. The ADG was 284, 458, and 502 g head/day for the crossbred dairy heifers fed on U0L0, U4L0 and U2L3, respectively.

 It is suggested that a combination of 3% quick lime and 2% urea can be used as an alternative to 4% urea for treatment of rice straw.

Keywords: Rice straw, cattle, urea, lime, treatment, intake, digestibility, growth rate


Nutritional evaluation of tropical leaves for pigs: Pepsin/pancreatin digestibility of thirteen plant species

J Ly*, Pok Samkol and T R Preston 

University of Tropical Agriculture Foundation
Royal University of Agriculture, Chamcar Daung near Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Visiting scientist at the UTA Foundation
Present address: Swine Research Institute, Punta Brava near Havana City, Cuba

Thirteen types of tropical trees and shrubs available in the ecological farm of UTA, at Chamcar Daung, Cambodia, were selected for a screening test to evaluate in vitro pepsin/pancreatin digestibility of N and to explore the possible interdependence with other non conventional tests for assessing nutritive value of foliages for pigs. Leaves and petioles were from Acacia auriculiformis, Artocarpus heterophyllus, Borassus flabellifer, Cocos nucifera, Desmanthus virgatus, Eucalyptus spp, Flemingia macrophylla, Gliricidia sepium, Hibiscus rosasinensis, Leucaena leucocephala, Moringa oleifera, Morus alba and Trichanthera gigantea. DM, N and NDF range of value were 21.0 to 60.9%, 1.27 to 4.13% and 24.1 to 73.0% in dry basis respectively. 

It was found that an increase in pepsin/pancreatin, in vitro N digestibility was associated with less NDF-linked N (R2 0.50; P<0.007) and lower dry matter content (R2 0.58; P<0.002) in leaves, and higher values of DM solubility (R2 0.67; P<0.001), in vitro DM digestibility (R2 0.76; P<0.001) and N water solubility (R2  0.82; P<0.001). Highest in vitro N digestibility coefficients were obtained for Moringa oleifera (79.2%), Hibiscus rosasinensis (74.2%), Gliricidia sepium (69.4%) and Morus alba (47.9%). The lowest in vitro N digestibility was observed for palmaceae (Cocos nucifera, 9.4% and Borassus flabellifer, 5.1%).

 It is suggested that simple, cheap and easy methods can be used for the nutritional evaluation for pigs of leaves of trees and shrubs in the tropical world. It is recommended to continue studying simple methods of estimating the N status of  leaves for pigs and to characterize by this approach other plant species.

 Key words: in vitro digestibility, water soluble, nitrogen, tropical trees and shrubs leaves, pigs


Estimates of breed and heterosis effects for some reproductive traits of Brown Swiss and Zebu-related breeds in South-eastern Mexico 

J G Magaña  and J C Segura-Correa

Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, UADY, 
Km 15.5 Carretera Mérida-Xmatkuil, AP 4-116, Mérida, Yucatán, México

Data from 992 cows from a commercial herd in Southeastern Mexico were used to estimate breed, general heterosis and some environmental effects on traits related to cow reproductive performance. The herd was comprised of the following genetic groups: commercial Zebu (CZ), Brahman (BR), Indo-Brazil (IB) and Brown Swiss (BS), and several crosses amongst these breeds. The reproductive traits studied were age at first calving (AFC), calving interval (CI), total days in herd from first to last calving (TDH) and total number of parities (TNP).

Statistical analyses, using least squares procedures, showed significant effects of genetic group (GG) and year of birth on AFC, TDH and TNP. Season of calving and parity number were significant for CI (P<0.05). Overall means for AFC, CI, TDH and TNP were 1027, 448, 1307 days and 3.92 parities. There were significant differences among Zebu breeds (CZ, BR and IB). Brown Swiss additive effects (expressed as a deviation from Zebu) was important only on AFC, favoring the BS breed, –60 for BR, and –90 days for both CZ and IB. General heterosis estimations were important and highly significant (P<0.001) for AFC, TDH and TNP. Heterosis reduced AFC by more than 90 days, increased TDH for more than 1.5 years and TNP for almost one parity. Reciprocal backcrosses to either BS or Zebu for the traits evaluated were not significantly different. The F1’s had the best reproductive performance under this study.

It is likely that a two-breed rotational crossbreeding program between BS and Zebu could increase and maintain good reproductive performance in farms where the level of management is similar to this study.

 Key words: Zebu, Brown Swiss, additive, heterosis, reproductive performance


Contrasts in grazing management and diet between goat herds owned by two ethnic groups in Rajasthan, India 

C D Wood, V C Badve*, D N Shindey** and C Conroy 

Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, UK.  Tel +44 1634 883540  Fax +44 1634 883959
*BAIF Development Research Foundation, Central Research Station, Uruli Kanchan, District Pune 412 202, India.  +91 20 816248 Fax +91 20 816347
**BAIF Development Research Foundation, 969 Vinayak Sadan, Near Water Tank, Paneriyon Ki Madri, Udaipur 313 002, Rajasthan, India.  Tel +91 294 464485

The diets consumed by goats belonging to specialist goat keepers (from the Gayri community) and smallholder mixed farmers (from the Tribal community) in one village in Rajasthan were monitored.    It was found that Tribals' goats spent about twice as much time walking to look for feed, reflecting the distances from the homesteads to the grazing areas used.  Differences were most pronounced in the summer season when feed shortages are considered to be most acute.  A major difference was in access to lopped tree fodder, which was very restricted for Tribal goat keepers.  Tribal goat keepers were generally very much more dependant on grazing in the hill areas than those in the Gayri community. The latter had relatively high access to Acacia nilotica, a relatively good quality tree fodder for this region,  but in an interesting contrast Acacia leucophloea was much more important to the poorer goat keepers.  This was probably due to the ability of this species to prosper in poor land, such as the hill areas, and also the preference of goat keepers for other species due to the sporadic incidences of toxicity of A. leucophloea pods.  The study illustrated how, even in a single village, goats belonging to different  ethnic groups can be managed in different ways and have different diets.  Interventions to improve the utilisation of A. leucophloea pods and to increase the availability of tree fodder could benefit Tribal goat keepers in particular.

Keywords: Goats grazing, tree fodders, small-scale farmers


Reproductive performance of Tswana and Simmental x Tswana crosses in smallholder farms in Botswana

O R Madibela, W S Boitumelo and B Kiflewahid

Sebele Station, Department of Agricultural Research, 
P/Bag 0033, Gaborone. Botswana.  

Data from the Small-scale Dairy Project were analyzed to compare the reproductive performance of Simmental × Tswana crosses and purebred Tswana milking cows from smallholder farms. The effects of season (dry and wet), breed group (Tswana and Simmental crosses) and their interaction on calving interval and days open were determined. The effects of breed and year and their interaction on calving rate were determined. Correlation of monthly calving and monthly rainfall was computed. 

There was no difference in calving interval and days open between Tswana (576±11.3 and 296± 11.3 days) and Simmental crosses (584± 22.3 and 303± 22.3 days) cows. There were no effects of season on the calving interval and days open. There was also no breed x season interaction. Peak calving occurred between October and January (52.3%) while between May and June 15.3% of cows calved. The mean calving rate of Tswana cows (68.2%) tended to be higher than that of. Simmental crosses (62.5%) cows. There was a significant effect of year on calving rate. The implications of the results are discussed in relation to the effects of breed and season on the reproductive performance of these breeds. 

Key words: Calving interval, calving rate, days open, Simmental  crosses, and Tswana cows.


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