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11. Effect of cassava leaf silage on growth performance and parasites control of local and crossbred cattle fed rice straw in the dry season

Authors: Seng Sokerya, Keo Sath, Kong Saroeun and Khieu Borin, 2005.
Full report is available at CelAgrid

Summary: An on-farm experiment was conducted in Kampong Cham and Kampong Speu provinces during 12 weeks period, started on 25 January and ended on 19 April 2005. Twenty one families were selected to participate in the project, 12 in Damber village, Kampong Cham in collaboration with the Office of Animal Health and Production, Kampong Cham and 9 in Trakiat village, Kampong Speu with the collaboration of Meada Khmer for Development (MKD). Four cattle in both villages were used as the control. The selection was based willingness to participate in the trial, training, share information with villagers. Participating families received cassava stems and other seedlings such as mulberry, king grass, Leucaena, and Sesbania grandiflora, and 10 kg of urea and plastic bags for making urea treated rice straw. In kampong Cham, they did not receive cassava stem as they had access to the leaves from their own plantation. Technique to ensile cassava leaves and to improve rice straw were demonstrated in the training.

Ten local cattle (1-3 years old), 9 males and 1 female were used for the trial in Kampong Cham while in Kampong Speu, 9 crossbred cattle, 3 males and 6 females were used. Farmers practiced their traditional feeding but with the supplementation 200g of protein from cassava leaf silage per 100kg of live weight per days. The supplement was given in afternoon after returning from grassing. Feed offer and refuse were collected and kept in the ice box prior for chemical analysis at CelAgrid. Samples of feed supplement were analysed for pH and HCN. Cattle were weighed and faeces were taken after weighing for nematode parasite egg count in every two weeks. Faecal samples were taken directly from the rectum. A mixture of two grams faecal sample and 30 ml of salt solution were filtered through a tea strainer and then examined under 10X microscopic magnification. All the egg count in both compartment of Mc Master chambers were added and multiplied by 50 to calculate an approximation of number of egg per gram of faeces.  

Abstract: Supplementation of 200g/day per 100kg live weight of cassava silage after grazing increased the live weight of cattle in both Kampong Cham and Kampong Speu provinces, while the cattle without supplementation lost 156 g/day/cattle. Live weight gain of crossbred (145 g/day/cattle) was higher than local cattle (93.3 g/day/cattle). Number of parasite egg count was reduced in both locations. The reduction was higher with local breed (195 eggs to 35.0 eggs) compared with crossbred (171 eggs to 92.0 eggs) during 12 weeks of experiment. It was concluded that the supplementation of cassava leaf silage in dry season is appropriate to improve the live weight gain of cattle and reduce nematode parasite eggs.

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