Utilization of urea and molasses for dairy cattle feeding. 2. Urea-molasses supplement for lactating dairy cattle grazing improved pastures in Uganda

Mugerwa, J.S.; Lawrence, M.P.; Christensen, D.A.

East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal 39(3): 228-239


ISSN/ISBN: 2313-450X
Accession: 000258934

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2. In Uganda an urea and molasses diet and a commercial dairy ration were each given to 20 first-lactation Friesian heifers. Ten cattle in each group were fed at 100 or 110% of estimated energy requirements from calving onwards. The urea diet was maize meal 26, maize bran 20, molasses 20 (100% DM), cottonseed meal 26, urea 2.1 and minerals plus vitamins 5.9%. Composition of the commercial dairy ration was not known. Cows were individually fed according to yield of 4% fat-corrected milk (FCM). Pasture of Chloris gayana, Setaria sphacelata, Brachiaria ruziziensis and Panicum maximum at 1158 m above sea level was stocked at 3 cows/ha and was fertilised with N, P and K. Pasture DM and intake were estimated monthly from January to August. Digestibilities of the different concentrates, by sheep, were similar. In the first 8 weeks total milk yields with urea and molasses and with the commercial diet at 100% of requirements were 6437 and 6220 kg and at 110% were 6772 and 6439 kg. From 9 to 16 weeks cows given urea tended to yield more milk with lower fat content. Difference between diets declined over the 24 weeks of test and overall yields of FCM tended to be higher on commercial concentrate. Over 8 months the average crude protein of pasture was 13.9%, lignin was 4.67%, DM intake was 1.80% of bodyweight and mean digestibility of DM was 54.2%. Intakes of Ca and P from pasture met requirements. Intake of total digestible nutrients from pasture was insufficient for maintenance in 5 out of 8 months but protein was inadequate for 1 month only. On average pasture provided 81.4% of energy and 141.9% of protein requirements for maintenance.