Dahlanuddin, TB Yulianto, A Priyanti, DP Poppi and SP Quigley
Abstract. One of the constraints for improving productivity of Bali cattle in west Nusa Tenggara Province is the low growth rate of weaned calves. Results of on-station experiments showed that Sesbania grandiflora (sesbania) supplementation can significantly increase live weight gain of weaned calves. The objective of this experiment was to investigate whether sesbania supplementation can increase live weight gain of weaned calves and improve farmer income. This experiment was carried out in Tandek, Labulia Village (treatment village) and in Kelebuh and Sukaraja villages (control villages) central Lombok District from April to October 2008. A total of 21 calves (9 males and 12 females) aged 237±7 days with initial live weight of 122.3±4.5 kg were monitored in Kelebuh and Sukaraja villages (control villages). During the same period, 25 calves (13 males and 12 females) aged 237±6 days with initial weight of 108.8±4.1 kg were monitored in Tandek Village (treatment village) and fed fresh sesbania at 1% dry matter of live weight. To ensure that sesbania was fed at the recommended level, regular weighing of sesbania offered by each farmer was conducted 2-3 times per week. All calves were weighed every month to determine live weight gain. Farmers from the control villages and other villages were invited to a field day conducted in the treatment village at the end of the experiment. The results showed that sesbania supplementation significantly increased live weight gain (0.36±0.01 kg/day for calves in the treatment village compared to 0.22±0.01 kg/day for those in the control villages), increased body condition and health of the calves and improved farmer income. Weaning management and supplementation with sesbania was very easy to implement so most of the farmers participated in this study stated that they were willing to continue this feeding management.
Keywords: Bali calves, growth, early weaning, Sesbania grandiflora, Lombok