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6. Growth performance and parasite infestation of goats given cassava leaf silage (or sun-dried cassava leaves) as supplement to grazing in lowland and upland regions of Cambodia

Authors: Ho Bunyeth and Preston T R 2006.
Livestock Research for Rural Development. Volume 18, Article # 28.
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Summary: The experiment was conducted in two communities: in the lowland area (Ogna Ong village) along the Mekong river bank, and in the upland area of Pursat province, Northwest of Cambodia. The study was 3 months in the wet season, starting on August 1, 2004. Twenty four families, 12 in each of the lowland and 12 in upland areas were selected. Each farmer received 2 goats of about 4 months of age. The treatments were arranged as a 3*2 factorial with 4 replications. The main effects were: supplementation (EC: Ensiled cassava foliage, DC: Dried cassava foliage; NG: Natural grass); Region (L: Lowland, U: Upland). The goats were managed in the traditional system of free grazing (from 8.00am to 4.00 pm), with nighttime confinement in a shed with raised floors where they were offered the forage supplements ad libitum. They were vaccinated against Foot and Mouth Disease and they were also de-wormed. Every farmer planted cassava in a plot of 100m2 and additional cassava leaves were purchased from neighboring farmers and either ensiled or sun-dried in quantities sufficient to supply half the needs of the experiment. The live weight of the goats was measured every two weeks, in the morning before grazing. Intake of supplements was recorded every day and samples retained for analysis. Dry matter (DM) was determined by micro-wave radiation (Undersander et al., 1993) and N and ash by methods of AOAC (1990). Samples of faeces were taken every month directly from the rectum of the goats, for determination of faecal egg counts (FEC), according to the method of Hansen and Perry (1994).

Abstract: The experiment was an on-farm trial, conducted from 1st August to 31st October, 2004 (wet season) in two communities, one in the lowland region along the Mekong river bank and the other in an upland region in Pursat province. A factorial design (3*2) was used to compare supplements of cassava foliage in ensiled form (EC), cassava foliage in dried form (DC) and natural grass (NC). Growth rate was higher in the upland (55.3g/day) than in the lowland region (34.7g/day). Supplementation with EC (63g/day) was more effective than DC (34g/day) and NG (37g/day). DM intake with supplement of EC (349g/day) was higher than DC (201g/day) and NG (126). There was a positive relationship between growth rate and supplement intake (R2= 0.53). Faecal egg counts (FEC) were higher in goats in the lowland than in the upland region. In the lowland region there was an indication of lower FEC in goats supplemented with EC compared with DC or NG. It is concluded that cassava foliage, especially in ensiled form, can play an important role in supporting good growth performance as well as providing some protection against nematode infestation of goats at small household farming level.

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