The Effect of Supplementation on the Growth, Of Dairy Heifers Crazed On Medium Quality Pasture under East African Conditions

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Kayongo, H.
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Feeding and management are usually the factors limiting milk production in Kenya 'rather than the animals' genetic potential (Tollersrud, 1974). The limiting factors may occur before as well as during, the productive period. Most dairy farmers 1n East Africa raise their own replacement heifers on grass without any supplementation (Musangi, 1969). Consequently heifers usually calve at 3 years of age (Kimenye and Russell, 1975), as compared to about 2 years in well fed herds (Ensmnger, 1971). A low level of feeding reduces body size, subsequent milk production and increases age at first service (Foley et aI., 1972). Although 'Overfeeding of heifers has been shown to result in some degree of inferti1lity, shorter life in the herd and calving problems (Ensminger, 1971; Foley et aI. 1972), moderate supplementation is highly recommended (Reid, 1963). Extensive studies have revealed that within each breed, the larger cows usually produce the most milk (Turk and Burke, 1963); hence the more growth and body developmen1t obtained on dairy heifers, the more likely they are to produce greater amounts of Milk.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 42 (4), p. 435-440