Leucaena as a source of protein and roughage for milking cows given high levels of molasses/urea

Gaya, H.; Hulman, B.; Preston, T.R.

Tropical Animal Production 6(2): 189


Accession: 000921544

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Five Friesian cows were fed for 120 days on fresh Leucaena leucocephala at 2.5% of liveweight daily, molasses (containing 2.5% urea) at 2.5% of liveweight, cottonseed oilmeal at 250 g daily and minerals. Performance was very poor, both in terms of milk yield and composition, and the cows lost on average 173 g bodyweight daily. The calculated daily intake of metabolizable energy (ME) was 107 MJ which, together with the mobilization of body reserves gave a total availability of 120 MJ daily. After deducting 45 MJ for maintenance, the ME for milk production was 75 MJ, sufficient for a yield of 15 kg daily. The actual daily yield of 4 kg milk with 2% milk fat accounted for only 13% of the ME available above maintenance, compared with the accepted standard of about 60%. Monthly daily milk yield of 5 Friesian cows fed L. leucocephala and molasses with 2.5% urea both at 2.5% of liveweight, 250 g cottonseed meal/day and minerals for 120 days ranged from 3.25 to 4.92 kg with an av. milk fat content of 2%. Cows lost 173 g liveweight/day. Estimated efficiency of use of ME for milk production was 13% compared with the accepted standard of 60% and indicated either that the products of digestion of a high molasses diet are used very inefficiently for milk production or that the feeding system disturbed intermediate metabolism.