1. Effect of replacing maize fodder with maize silage on feed intake, digestibility and milk yield of early-lactation Nili Ravi buffaloes

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Rafiuddin . Jalees Ahmed Bhatti, Muhammad Qamer Sha Muhammad Saadullah, Hamid Mustafa Mehtab Ahmad, Muhammad Akbar Nasar Rehmanullah Khan Asghar Khan


The objective of current study was to assess the effect of replacing maize fodder with maize silage on productive performance of early-lactation buffaloes. Sixteen primiparous Nili Ravi buffaloes in early lactation (40±10 days in milk), with similar milk yield were randomly divided into 4 treatment groups (4 animals /group). Feed was offered ad libitum as a total mixed ration (TMR) with forage to concentrate ratio of 60 to 40% on dry matter basis. The dietary treatments included control (MFA; maize fodder 60% of TMR), MS20 (20% maize silage + 40% maize fodder), MS40 (40% maize silage + 20% maize fodder), and MSA (maize silage 60% of TMR). Treatments continued for 90 days. The results revealed that highest dry matter intake was recorded in MFA (17.99 ± 0.06 kg/d; mean ± SE) and lowest in MSA (16.22 ± 0.07). Similar pattern was observed for crude protein, neutral detergent fiber and acid detergent fiber intakes. Dry matter digestibility was highest in MFA (64.49 ± 0.54 %) and lowest in MSA (60.17 ± 0.75). Daily milk yield was significantly (P<0.05) higher in MFA (8.97 ± 0.12) followed by MS20 (8.61 ± 0.09), MS40 (8.45 ± 0.10), and MSA (8.31 ± 0.07). The MFA and MS20 groups had lower fat (6.76 ± 0.10 and 6.76 ± 0.11 %) compared to MS40 and MSA (7.18 ± 0.14 and 7.17 ± 0.12 %). In conclusion, the buffaloes fed on TMR with lower silage levels performed better than buffaloes on higher silage levels.

Keywords: Buffaloes; Digestibility; Maize silage; Milk yield


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