Pasture Intake and Digestibility Studies with European and Zebu Cows

No Thumbnail Available
Phillips G.D
Lampkin G.H
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The digestibility and intakes of organic matter have been estimated for ten Hereford and ten Zebu cows grazing a permanent pasture. Chromic oxide in the form of impregnated paper was administered to these cows twice daily for a period of 15 days, during the last five of which faeces samples were obtained thrice daily. Digestibilities were estimated using the nitrogen faecal index technique. The data showed a slight but not significant difference in digestibility in favour of the Zebus, although calculations indicated that the sensitivity of the technique was sufficient to reveal significant differences of about 1•6 per cent. between individual animals. Both estimated digestibilities and faecal outputs determined by the chromic oxide method were used to calculate organic-matter intakes. Examination of the data for organic-matter intakes indicated that the method used was sufficiently sensitive to detect differences in intake of the order of 1'1 kg. per day between animals. Significant differences were detected between the organic-matter intakes of the Herefords and Zebus, and also amongst animals within these two types. These differences were probably mainly due to differences in body size but may also have been influenced by differences in milk yield.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 32 (125), p. 60-64