Effects of Replacement of Formulated Concentrate Mix with Cowpea (Vigna Unguiculata) Hay on Feed Utilization, Milk and Milk Composition of Lactating Horro Bred Cows Fed Natural Grass Hay

Tesfaye Mediksa


The experiment was conducted at Bako agricultural research center with an objective to evaluate the replacement effect of formulated concentrate mix with cowpea hay in the daily ration of lactating Horro cows fed natural grass hay. Five cows of same milk yield, body weight, age of lactation, but differing parities were arranged in 5x5 Latin square design. The animals were provided with natural grass hay based diet adlibitum and supplemented with cowpea hay 0 % (T1), 25 % (T2), 50% (T3) 75% (T4), 100% (T5) to replace concentrate mix. Results of chemical analysis of the experimental feeds indicated that cowpea hay had comparable nutritive value with concentrate mix. The daily dry matter (DM) and crude protien (CP) intake were significantly (P<0.05) differ among the treatments with the highest intake observed when cows were fed 50% cowpea hay (T3). Apparent DM digestibility of T3 (60.65%) was higher (P<0.001) than T5 (47.18%).  The milk yield were significant differences among the dietary treatments with lower mean milk yield recorded in T4 and T5 as compared to T1, T2 and T3. This implies that cowpea hay can replace up to 50% concentrate mix without any significant reduction in milk yield. Therefore, cowpea hay can be replace a concentrate diet up to 50% of replacement without significant reduction in milk yield and live weight of lactating cows fed a basal diet of natural grass hay.

Keywords: Digestibility, Local breed, Intake and Milk quality

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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