The banana plant as cattle feed: digestibility and voluntary intake of different proportions of leaf and pseudostem

Ffoulkes, D.; Preston, T.R.

Tropical Animal Production 3(2): 114-117


Accession: 000766617

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The 4 zebu bulls of about 200 kg bodyweight were in a 4 X 4 Latin square trial with periods of 2 weeks. Digestibility was studied in the 2nd week of each period. Zebus were fed twice daily on chopped banana pseudostem with banana leaf, either of those in the proportion 100, 67 or 33% of the mixture on DM basis, that is, 100, 50 or 20% on fresh basis. Before the 1st daily feed the zebu were given molasses with urea 16 g/kg fresh weight of stem and molasses 30 g/kg leaf, so that all diets had equal N; all zebus got 60 g minerals daily. Apparent digestibility of DM was for the diet with leaf 65.18 and with stem 75.43%, a significant difference. The diet with 33% stem on dry basis tended to be more digestible than the leaf diet. Voluntary daily intakes of DM and of digestible DM both decreased linearly with increasing proportion of stem, significantly with each increase of stem for intake of DM; intake of digestible DM was significantly less with 100% stem than with none or 33%, and with 67% stem than with none. Daily intakes of DM as percentage bodyweight fell by about 15% with each increment of stem. Formulae are given for these linear decreases.