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Liveweight gain and feed intake of weaned Bali cattle fed grass and tree legumes in West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

Dahlanuddin, O. Yanuarianto, D. P. Poppi, S. R. McLennan and S. P. Quigley

Abstract

Two experiments were conducted with weaned entire male Bali cattle (Bos javanicus) between 6 and 12 months of age. A randomised block design was used in both experiments, which consisted of four treatments (diets), with five replicates (animals) per treatment. In both experiments, the average daily liveweight gain (LWG), feed and water intake and diet digestibility were determined over 8 or 10 weeks, with chest girth and wither height measured at the commencement and end of the experiments. In Experiment 1, the treatments were fresh native grass, native grass supplemented with fresh sesbania, fresh sesbania and fresh sesbania supplemented with rice bran. In Experiment 2, the treatments were sole diets of leucaena hay, sesbania hay, moringa hay or gliricidia hay supplemented with sesbania hay. In Experiment 1, animals fed sesbania supplemented with rice bran had higher DM intake than did animals fed the other three diets. DM digestibility (DMD) was significantly lower for weaners fed the native grass diet than for those fed the other diets. Animals fed sesbania or sesbania supplemented with rice bran had a higher LWG (0.34 and 0.43 kg/day, respectively) and estimated metabolisable energy (ME) intake (0.71 and 0.80 MJ of ME/kgW0.75.day, respectively) than did animals fed native grass alone (0.03 kg/ day; 0.58 MJ of ME/kgW0.75.day) or native grass supplemented with sesbania (0.07 kg/day; 0.64 MJ of ME/kgW0.75.day). In Experiment 2, animals fed gliricidia hay had the lowest DM intake. DM intake of animals fed moringa hay was higher than that of animals fed gliricidia hay, but lower than the intake of animals fed sesbania hay or leucaena hay. DMD of the sesbania and leucaena hay diets was lower than that of the gliricidia and moringa hay diets. Animals fed leucaena and sesbania hays had a higher LWG (0.47 and 0.43 kg/day, respectively) and estimated ME intake (0.75 and 0.78 MJ of ME/kg W0.75.day, respectively) than did animals fed moringa hay (0.22 kg/day; 0.66 MJ ME/kg W0.75.day) or gliricidia hay supplemented with sesbania hay (0.0 kg/day; 0.48 MJ ME/kgW0.75.day). In conclusion, tree legumes can safely be fed to growing Bali cattle as the sole component of the diet and some of them will increase LWGs above that of native grasses, which are typically fed to Bali cattle in villages.

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