Nutritional potential of bamboo leaves for feeding dairy cattle1(Nutritional potential of bamboo leaves for feeding dairy cattle1)

AbstractFeed shortage during the dry season in the highlands of Madagascar negatively impacts the dairy cattle productivity, as well as the farmers income. Bamboo can produce a high quantity of biomass and could be an alternative way to increase the fodder supply for cattle. The present study aimed to assess the compositional information and the optimal rate of bamboo as fodder for dairy cattle. Leaf samples from nine bamboo species were collected to determine their chemical composition and nutritive value. A feeding experiment was also conducted using ten dairy cows, over ten weeks. Bamboo leaves were mixed with maize silage in ve proportions: SIL0:BAM100, SIL25:BAM75, SIL50:BAM50, SIL75:BAM25 and SIL100:BAM0. The contents of dry matter, total ash and crude protein in the bamboo leaves were, respectively, 44.5-64.6 %, 6.68-18.5 % and 7.71- 15.4 %. In the feeding trial, the dry matter intake of bamboo leaves was 1.6-7.1 kg per day, with an average of 4.8 kg per day. The dry matter apparent digestibility of bamboo leaves was 37.4-56.4 %. The milk production reached 13.6-14.4 L per cow, per day, but there was no signi cant di erence concerning the rate of bamboo leaves in the mixed diet (p > 0.05). The introduction of bamboo leaves into the ruminants diet did not a ect their milk production. 



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