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Feeding of lactating buffaloes

The lactating animals must receive sufficient nutrients to supply the nutrient secreted in their milk, and for maintenance. If their nutrient needs are not met, they will not reach their optimum milk production capacity. Dietary energy is the most limiting factor in milk production. Milk production increases gradually, reaches peak at 42- 56 days after calving, and the peak is maintained for next 70 days. It declines gradually thereafter from 126 to 305 days. If the level of milk production is reduced during the early part of lactation below the potential level, the yield during the remainder period will also be adversely affected. In high yielding buffaloes usually there is high drainage of energy in milk and dry matter intake capacity is limited in early lactation. Inadequate energy intake in early lactation leads to loss of body weight and delay in initiation of post calving estrus cycle. Generally, ovarian cycle ceases when buffaloes loose 15 to 24% of body weight. Thus utmost care should be taken so that they are not underfed during early part of their lactation. The lactating buffaloes in their first and second lactation continue to grow and thus additional 20 &10% of maintenance requirement should also be provided in first and second lactation, respectively.

The lactating buffaloes of 450 Kg body weight can be fed following any of the four type of ration presented on Table 4 depending on availability of feed and fodders.

  Table 4 Some calculated rations for a 450 Kg lactating buffalo (Kg/d)

Milk yield , (Kg/d;

7% fat)    

 Ration

Conc. mix/

cake/grain 

(Kg/d;

90% DM)

straw/

kadbi

(Kg/d; 90% DM)

legume fodder (Kg/d; 15% DM)      

Cereal

fodder

(Kg/d;

20% DM)

6

a

CM, 2.7

8

15

--

b

CM,5.5

6.4

--

--

c

CM, 2.2

--

--

40

d

--

8.5

30

--

-

8

a

CM, 3.7

8

15

--

b

CM,6.4

7.5

--

c

CM, 3.3

--

--

40

d

--

8.0

40

--

-

10

a

CM, 4.8

7

20

--

b

CM, 7.3

7.6

--

--

c

CM, 4.4

--

--

40

d

--

7.6

50

--

-

12

a

CM, 5.6

8.3

20

--

b

CM, 8.5

8.3

--

--

c

CM, 5

--

--

45

d

G, 1.0

7.6

50

--

-

14

a

CM, 6.5

7

20

--

b

CM, 9.8

8.2

--

--

c

CM, 6.2

--

--

45

d

G, 1.0

7.60

60

--

-

16

a

CM, 7+

G, 1.7

7

20

--

b

CM, 10.9

9.3

--

--

c

CM, 7.5

--

--

45

d

G, 2.1

8.2

60

--

CM, concentrate mixture containing 20% CP and 70 % TDN; G, grains like maize or jowar.

 Adapted from Paul et al.(2008)

For every 50 Kg increase or decrease in body weight from 450 Kg  a) 350 g grain or b) 1 Kg straw or c) 3 Kg berseem or d) 2.5 Kg cereal fodder has to be increased or reduced accordingly. For buffaloes in first lactation additional 1 Kg grain or 5.5 Kg cereal fodder or 7.5 Kg legume fodder should be fed to support 300-350 g average daily growth. Similarly, buffaloes in their 2nd lactation should be fed additional 0.5 Kg grain or 2.7 Kg cereal fodder or 3.7 Kg legume fodder to support 120-200 g average daily growth.

Example of some standard concentrate mixture containing about 20% CP and 70% TDN are presented in Table 5.

Table 5 Example of some standard concentrate mixtures (20% CP & 70% TDN)

Ingredients

Proportions(Kg per 100Kg)

CM1

CM2

CM3

CM4

CM5

CM6

CM7

CM8

Maize/jowar

30

10

--

35

--

25

30

20

Barley/oat

--

30

38

--

40

--

--

15

Deoiled rice bran

30

9

--

15

20

25

15

30

Wheat bran

--

20

22

10

--

15

15

--

Groundnut cake (deoiled)/

Soybean cake (deoiled)

30

21

--

--

--

--

15

--

Sunflower cake (deoiled)

--

10

--

15

--

--

25

--

Mustard cake(deoiled)

--

--

40

25

40

35

--

--

Cottnseed cake (undecorticated)

10

--

--

--

--

--

--

35

CM = concentrate mixture

contributed by S.S Paul and Sunesh