Livestock Research for Rural Development 13 (1) 2001

Citation of this paper

 

Forages commonly available to goats under farm conditions on Lombok Island, Indonesia

 

Dahlanuddin

 

Faculty of Animal Science, University of Mataram
Jl. Majapahit No 62 Mataram 83125, NTB, Indonesia
danny@mataram.wasantara.net.id

 

Abstract

 

Two surveys were conducted during the wet and dry seasons on Lombok Island, Indonesia to study feeding and management practices for goats raised under the small-scale production system. It was found that a wide range of forages was fed to goats with 40 and 30 different types being used during the wet and dry seasons, respectively. Native grasses and fodder trees, particularly Sesbania grandiflora, were the most readily available feeds and these were offered to goats both as a mixed and as the sole diet. Other fodder trees such as Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena leucocephala, Hibiscus tilliaceus and Eythrina lithosperma, and some agricultural byproducts such as cassava and sweet potato leaves, were also fed to goats but to a lesser extent. Only a very few farmers offered rice straw, the most abundantly available agricultural byproduct, to goats both during wet and dry seasons.

 

Key words: Goats, production system, wet season, dry season, feeding, management, survey, fodder trees


 

Introduction

It has been frequently recommended in the literature (Leng 1990) that ruminants in the tropics be supplemented with non-protein nitrogen and/or rumen un-degraded dietary protein, to improve the total intake and balance of essential nutrients, especially during early growth, late pregnancy and early lactation. This recommendation has been based on an assumption that the most commonly available feedstuffs for tropical ruminants are native grasses and cereal crop residues byproducts, which are very low in protein content and digestibility. However, this generalisation may not be particularly true for goats, which have a ‘selective’ feeding behavior (Devendra 1995).

 

The quantity and quality of feedstuffs available to goats is affected by season and management. Thus,  there is a need to study the types of feeds on offer and their nutrient availability, especially protein and energy, as influenced by these factors. Supplementation will only be effective when information is available on what specific nutrients are limiting in the basal diet. For instance, when there are insufficient soluble carbohydrates and / or the degradability of the fibrous fraction is low, supplementation with readily available sources of ammonia, such as urea, may not be justified.

 

Based on the above considerations, surveys on the feeding and management of goats were carried out on Lombok Island during the wet and dry seasons in 1998.

 

Materials and methods

 

Location

Lombok Island is one of the two islands of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province (115o46' East - 119o5' West, 8o10' South - 9o5' North) of Eastern Indonesia. The island is located between the islands of Bali on the west side and Sumbawa on the east.  As a part of the tropical region, the island is characterized by high ambient temperature and humidity (Table 1).

 

Table 1.  Minimum and maximum ambient temperature, relative humidity and rainfall on Lombok in 1998 (BPS 1998).

Month

Temperature ( C)

Relative Humidity (%)

Rainfall (mm)

Min

Max

Min

Max

West Lombok

Central Lombok

East Lombok

January

23.3

30.6

75

92

131

137

204

February

23.2

30.9

75

93

140

290

246

March

23.3

31.3

74

92

175

262

208

April

23.0

31.3

71

94

296

319

71

May

22.3

30.9

69

92

101

9

28

June

22.1

31.3

73

92

45

87

20

July

22.1

31.2

66

92

143

143

107

August

21.6

31.3

59

89

12

6

10

September

22.5

31.4

62

91

141

175

118

October

23.3

31.7

69

91

169

178

93

November

23.3

31.0

70

90

148

263

172

December

23.2

31.0

71

91

180

199

334

 

The island is administratively divided into three regencies; the West, Central and East Lombok, each of which consists of wet and dry areas. The wet areas are mostly used for intensive crop and animal production, while the dry areas (the northern part of West Lombok, southern part of Central Lombok and northern part of East Lombok) are allocated for plantation, seasonal crop production or extensive animal production.

 

The survey

 

Two surveys were carried out during the wet season and dry season in 1998. Each farm survey was carried out for a period of 4 months to identify the feeding and management systems applied to goats in small-scale farms, with particular emphasis on the types of feeds that were offered. The surveys involved 249 farmers during the wet season and 297 farmers in the dry season. It was planned to interview equal numbers of farmers who kept goats intensively, randomly selected as respondents from wet and dry areas of West, Central and East Lombok, respectively. However, farmers who feed goats by the “cut and carry” system are mostly distributed in the wet areas and no strict ecological differences exist in these three regencies. Farmers who keep goats on the “cut and carry” system are those who live close to, or within, the area of crop production (mostly rice farming). On the other hand, farmers keeping their goats extensively mostly live in dry land areas, where the goats graze during day time and are confined in pens at night. For these reasons, respondents for the intensive goat production system were almost all located in the wet areas or in those parts of the dry areas where there is intensive crop production system.

 

Data collected during the intensive feeding management survey were:

        Farmers’ background (main job, education, land holding and experience in goat keeping)

        Number, age, live weight and sex of goats owned.

        Diets offered to goats (including proximate botanical composition and quantities offered).

        Other related information such as secondary data on goat population and geographical and climatic conditions on the island.

 

Each respondent was visited at the beginning, the middle and at the end of each season  Data on feeding and management obtained from each visit were counted as one observation, thus there were at least 3 observations for each respondent. However, data on the farmers’ background and goat ownership for the same respondent were only recorded at any one visit. Grab samples of feeds used were taken for proximate analyses.

 

Results and Discussion


Background of respondents
 

The educational background: 51.2% did not go to school or did not complete elementary school, 39.4% completed elementary school, 6.1% completed junior high school, 2.4% completed senior high school and only 1% had graduated from university.

 

The primary jobs: 48.8% worked as farm labourers (or were land-less farmers), 36.0% as crop (mainly rice) producers, 4.0% as village traders and the rest (11.2%) were fishermen, crafters, drivers, civil servants or retired army officers.

 

The goat keeping experience: 32.7% had just started raising goats, 13.1% had 6 to 12 months experience, 13.5 % had 1 to 2 years experience, 17.2 % had 2 to 3 years experience and 23.6 % had more than 3 years experience.

 

The land holdings: 47% held 0.1 to 0.25 ha, 35.0% held 0.25 to 0.50 ha, 12.8% held 0.50 to 1.00, and only 5.1 % held more than 1 ha of land. Most of the respondents that had land were the crop growers.

 

Goat ownership

Table 2. The average numbers of adult, young and newborn goats owned by a farmer under the intensive feeding system

 

Mean

SE

Min.

Max.

Total

4.4

0.16

1

35

Newborn1)

0.9

0.07

0

9

Young2)

1.1

0.08

0

15

Adult3)

2.4

0.09

0

12

1) = 0-3 months old, 2) = 3-12 months old, 3) = >12 months old

  

 

Table 3. Proportion of the farmers in each goat ownership category

Category (No of goats owned)

Farmers (% in each category

1

13.0

2

21.9

3

14.5

4

14.7

5

9.5

6

7.8

7

4.8

8

3.5

9

2.4

10

3.2

More than10

4.7

 

 

The average numbers of goats (4.4) owned by farmers on Lombok (Table 1) were higher than the national average of 3.5 heads per farmer, reported  by Suradisastra (1993). However, Sutama et al (1993) reported higher values of 5.0 and 6.3 goats/farm for Sumatra and Java, respectively.  There was a wide range in goat ownership (from 1 to 35 goats per farm). However, the majority of respondents (more than 64%) kept from 1 to 4 goats, while those keeping more than 4 goats represented only 36% of total respondents (Table 3). A considerable numbers of respondents (13.0%) kept only one goat. A small flock size is what characterizes the "small-scale" or "back-yard" farm, generally referred to in describing the Indonesian goat production system. Sudjana (1993) suggested that 99% of small ruminants in Indonesia are raised by small-holders.

 

Systems of rearing

 

The extensive rearing system was common practice in the dry areas of the island (mostly in the highlands in the northern part of the island), and in seasonally neglected rice fields such as in the dry areas of south Lombok. The intensive rearing system, on the other hand, was mostly observed in areas of crop production.

 

In the extensive system, goats might graze on communal grazing areas during the daytime and kept in pens at night. Alternatively, goats were allowed to graze from early in the morning to midday and then again late in the afternoon. Goats were also allowed to browse/graze on the roadside or scavenge around the village. In the latter case, a neck bar was put on the goats to prevent them from entering gardens or rice fields. In the more intensive system goats were confined in pens or simply tethered in the backyard all times. The forages were provided by hanging them upside down or putting them in a rack attached to the pen.

 

In both systems, goats were mostly kept within or very close to villages. For security reasons, pens were located in the farmer’s backyard or in some cases annexed to the house. In some cases, the goats were owned collectively by a group of farmers in a village and kept in a communal pen. Pens were mostly in poor condition; the floor was not usually raised. Faeces and urine were often left in the pens and there was insufficient drainage.

 

Feeding management during the wet season

There were 42 types of feeds that were available to goats during the wet season. The most common forages, which were given as the sole diet, were native grasses and Sesbania grandiflora (59 and 43% of total observations, respectively). These two forages were also the major component of the mixed diets. The most common mixed diets offered were mixtures of sesbania and native grasses in various proportions. 

 

Table 4. Forages fed to goats on Lombok Island during the wet season of 1998 (values indicate number of observations).

Feedstuffs

Fed as single diet

Fed as mixed diet

Total

Native grasses

69

208

277

Sesbania grandiflora

43

230

273

Lannea grandis

1

86

87

Shrubs

0

72

72

Jackfruit leaves

0

65

65

Leucaena leucocephala

1

62

63

Hibiscus tilliaceus

0

45

45

Banana leaves

0

30

30

Gliricidia sepium

0

23

23

Ceiba petandra

0

20

20

Erythrina lithosperma

0

18

18

Cassava leaves

0

17

17

Water spinach

0

14

14

Maja leaves *

0

6

12

Maize stover

0

11

11

Sweet potato leaves

0

11

11

Ketapang leaves *

0

10

10

Peanut stover

2

8

10

Delichos spp

1

4

8

Mango leaves

0

7

7

Soyabean straw

0

7

7

Kesambi leaves *

0

6

6

King grass

0

5

5

Snakebean leaves

0

5

5

Greenbean stover

0

5

5

Jarak leaves *

0

4

4

Are leaves *

0

4

4

Ancak leaves *

0

3

3

Beringin leaves *

0

3

3

Oles leaves *

0

3

3

Rice straw

0

3

3

Maize peels

0

2

2

Gatep leaves *

0

2

2

Seropan leaves *

0

2

2

Cassava peels

0

2

2

Kelor leaves *

0

1

1

Tamarindus leaves

0

1

1

Beluntas leaves *

0

1

1

Jambu leaves *

0

1

1

Rice bran

0

1

1

Total

117

1017

1134

* Local names

In some areas, highly nutritious feeds such as Leucaena leucocephala were not used as animal feed. This was because goat keeping is mostly conducted within or near villages, and was considered secondary to other jobs such as crop production or village trading. Some farmers were also reluctant to feed Leucaena due to temporary aversion by goats. This temporary aversion may be due to the fact that the goats have never been exposed to such a forage (Nolan et al 1995). However, farmers misunderstood it as a permanent aversion. A longer adaptation period is thus suggested to allow sufficient time for both rumen microbes and the host to get used to the forage.

 

Feeding management during dry season:

The types of feedstuffs available to goats during the dry season (Table 5) were very similar to those available during the wet season, except that more tree leaves were fed during the dry season. During the wet season, native grasses ranked first in the number of observations, but they were second to Sesbania grandiflora during the dry season. The reduced availability of native grasses during the dry season (probably due to the reduced rainfall) was reflected in increased use of tree leaves and agricultural byproducts.

 

Tree leaves such as those from Leucaena leucocephala and Gliricidia sepium were more frequently fed either as single diets or as mixed diets during the season. Similarly, more agricultural byproducts such as sweet potato leaves, peanut stover and bean leaves/stover were fed to goats during this period. Under tropical conditions, especially during the dry season, ruminants are believed to be increasingly dependent on abundantly available agricultural crop residues such as cereal straws, which are high in fibre but low in dietary protein and digestibility. Leng (1990) suggested that strategic supplementation with protein-rich material should be applied to improve the quality of such feeds. However, the results of the dry season study showed that only a few farmers fed the so-called low quality diets to the local goats. Bakrie (1996) has suggested that  "the quantity of forages is not a problem in Indonesia, it is the quality of the feed which appears to be very poor and supplementation is considered necessary".

 

The farmers also confirmed the suggestion of Devendra (1995) that goats are very selective in feeding. For this reason, farmers would not feed "averted" feeds to their goats and instead tried to provide the most preferred ones, even at the cost of traveling further to obtain the feeds or they planted them wherever possible (such as on rice field banks or as fences).

 

Despite the fact that rice straw is abundantly available in most parts of the island, it was not used as a goat feed, even during the dry season when the availability of native grasses tended to decline. This is contrary to popular believe that rice straw becomes an important ruminant feed, especially during the dry season. Limited interviews during the survey suggested that the farmers’ avoidance to feeding rice straw was due to the aversion of goats to the straw. This aversion or rejection of rice straw by goats was most likely for metabolic reasons. In a previous experiment with local goats where rice straw was fed as the basal diet and supplemented with various ratios of kapok seed and copra meal (Dahlanuddin 1997), it was observed that the digestibility of the straw was so low that most goats lost weight at the rates of -5 to - 22 g/d.  

Table 5. Forages fed to goats (as single diet or as a component of mixed diet) on Lombok Island during dry season of 1998 (values indicate number of observations).

Feedstuffs

Fed as single diet

Fed as mixed diet

Total

Sesbania grandiflora

310

208

518

Native grasses

101

169

270

Leucaena leucocephala

43

60

103

Sweet potato leaves

31

69

100

Lannea grandis

4

53

57

Gliricidia sepium

15

32

47

Shrubs

3

38

41

Jackfruit leaves

3

27

30

Peanut stover

9

18

27

Hibiscus tilliaceus

3

22

25

Banana leaves

5

15

20

Water spinach

2

18

20

Dolichos spp

2

14

16

Greenbean stover/straw

9

6

15

Maja leaves *

0

14

14

Gasingan leaves

2

10

12

Snakebean leaves

1

10

11

Centrosema spp

0

11

11

Soybean straw

0

10

10

Cassava peels

1

8

9

Ceiba petandra leaves

0

8

8

Rice bran

0

8

8

King grass

3

4

7

Banana peels

0

7

7

Maize stover

0

5

5

Are leaves *

2

3

5

Bikan leaves *

0

5

5

Total

549

852

1401

*  Local names

 

Chemical composition of selected forages

Except for native grasses, the crude protein content of the selected forages was generally high (Table 6).

 

Table 6. Nutrient composition of several forages commonly available to goats on Lombok Island (CP, Crude protein; EE, Ether extract: CF, Crude fibre; all on DM [dry matter] basis DM)

No.

Forages

%DM

%CP

%EE

%CF

%Ash

1

E. Lithosperma

32.20

20.20

2.31

37.23

11.65

2

Lannea grandis

27.05

18.37

2.01

38.88

13.77

3

Ceiba petandra

24.53

19.17

4.80

40.40

19.75

4

Shrubs (mixed)

19.28

18.45

8.21

35.11

18.08

5

Native grasses

26.34

6.01

2.08

35.12

15.82

6

Acalypha caturus

24.71

16.51

4.62

28.68

18.28

7

Water spinach

14.69

16.12

2.55

24.60

18.14

8

Hibiscus tilliaceus

23.14

15.75

3.79

46.52

18.15

9

S. grandiflora

19.76

29.05

5.19

17.78

21.48

10

L. leucocephala

23.03

26.80

5.19

17.78

18.52

11

Snake bean leaves

15.02

27.08

4.32

29.14

18.95

12

Centrosema sp

27.09

22.75

2.96

22.22

20.00

13

Delichos sp

14.38

19.08

4.52

45.86

12.78

14

Jackfruit leaves

35.65

14.58

2.90

31.88

30.43

15

Cassava leaves

23.82

18.15

5.19

20.00

21.64

16

Sweet potato leaves

14.48

18.15

4.44

21.48

21.74

17

Gliricidia sepium

27.00

24.50

3.0

20.8

13.1

 

Conclusions and recommendations

The types of diets offered to goats on Lombok Island during the wet season ranged from native grasses alone, various mixtures of grasses with other feeds such as tree leaves, shrubs or agricultural by-products such as cassava leaves and peanut stover or mixtures of tree leaves in various proportions, or Sesbania grandiflora alone. The feeds available during the dry season were almost the same as those during wet season. However, protein-rich tree leaves and agricultural wastes such as peanut stover and sweet potato leaves were more frequently fed to goats during the dry season. Despite the intensive efforts on improving nutritive value of rice straw as ruminant feed in Indonesia, only few farmers fed the so-called low quality roughage to goats.

 

It can be predicted from the proximate nutrient composition of available forages that when grasses are fed as the single diet, they will not be able to provide sufficient nutrients for production. Feeding mixtures of two or more forages (as was frequently observed) will theoretically be able to meet nutrient requirements of the local goats. Feeding high protein leaves from legume trees such as Sesbania grandiflora or Leucaena leucocephala would seem to be not economical as there may be an excess of protein that will be wasted. However, accurate measurements of nutrient supply in controlled feeding trials are necessary to assess the actual intake and balance of nutrients provided from the available forages.

 

Acknowledgment

 

The study was funded by the International Foundation for Science (IFS), Sweden,  (Research grant: B/2723-1).

 

References

 

Bakrie  B 1996 Feeding management of ruminant livestock in Indonesia. In. Ruminant Nutrition and Production in the Tropics and Subtropics  (Editors: B  Bakrie, J  Hogan, J  B  Liang, A  M  M  Tareque and R  C  Upadhyay). Monograph No. 36. ACIAR Canberra.

BPS  1998  Nusa Tenggara Barat in Figures. UD. Cita Darmayani, Mataram, Indonesia.

Dahlanuddin  1997  The role of bypass protein in improving the intake and utilization of dietary nutrients by ruminants in the tropics. PhD Thesis. University of New England, Armidale, Australia.

Devendra  C  1995  Tropical legumes for small ruminants. In: Tropical Legumes in Animal Nutrition. (Editors: J P F D'Mello and C  Devendra). CAB International. Pp 231 - 246.

Leng  R  A  1990  Factors affecting the utilisation of 'poor-quality' forages by ruminants particularly under tropical conditions. Nutrition Research Reviews. 3:277-303.

Nolan  J  V, Hinch  G  N  and Lynch  J  J  1995  Feeding behaviour and nutrient intake in ruminants. Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition in Australia.  pp.129-135.

Soedjana  T  D   1993  Economics of raising small ruminants. In. Small Ruminant Production in the Humid Tropics. (Editors: M Wodzicka-Tomaszewska, S Gardiner, A Djajanegara, I M Mastika   and T R Wiradarya). pp. 336-368. Sebelas Maret University Press.

Suradisastra  K   1993  Social aspects of goat and sheep production. In. Small Ruminant Production in the Humid Tropics. (Editors: M Wodzicka-Tomaszewska, S Gardiner, A Djajanegara, I M Mastika   and T R Wiradarya). pp. 336-368. Sebelas Maret University Press.

 Sutama  I  K, Putu  I  G  and Wodzicka-Tomaszewska M  1993  Improvement in small ruminant productivity through more efficient reproduction. In. Small Ruminant Production in the Humid Tropics. (Editors: M Wodzicka-Tomaszewska, S Gardiner, A Djajanegara, I M Mastika   and T R Wiradarya). pp. 336-368. Sebelas Maret University Press.

 

Received 15 December 2000

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