Livestock Research for Rural Development

Volume 13 Number 2, 2001

Abstracts of papers in LRRD, Volume 13,
Number 2

Comparison between some selection criteria for growth traits correlated to age at first calving in Nellore cattle

Analía del V Garnero, R J Gunski*, E B Schwengber** y R B Lôbo***  

 Departamento de Genética – Bloco C - Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto – USP – Av. Bandeirantes, 3900 – 14049-900 – Ribeirão Preto –SP.
 * Depto. de Genética - FCEQyN - UNaM - Mnes -Argentina.
 **FZVA - PUC - Uruguaina - Brasi.l e-mail:
 *** e-mail:

This study used records of Nellore cattle to estimate genetic parameters of the standardized weights at 120, 240, and 550 days of age (W120, W240, and W550 respectively), age at first calving (AFC), days to reach 160 kg (D160), and 240 kg (D240) of liveweight. The number of records (n=5522) actually used  was dependent on the valid records of AFC. The software used was the  mixed-model analysis ( MTDFREML) using the animal model. The model included fixed effects of contemporary groups (CG), classes of age-of-dam at calving and random direct and maternal genetic effects, the dam permanent environmental effect and the error. Direct heritabilities (h²a), in multiple-trait analysis between AFC and all others traits, were 0.19 (for W120 and W240), 0 .34 (for W550), 0 .09 (for D160), 0 .16 (for D240) and 0 .16 (mean for AFC). Maternal heritabilities for growth traits ranged from 0 .02 to 0 .12. Genetic correlations among AFC and the other traits had medium magnitude. Standardized weights rather than days to live weight, were the best selection criteria when heritabilities and selection response were considered.  

Key words: cattle, genetic parameters, growth traits, Nellore, age at first calving  


Chemical composition, digestibility and aflatoxin content of Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) cake produced in north-eastern Bolivia

 C W Nagashiro, A Saucedo, E Alderson*, C D Wood** and  M J Nagler** 

Animal Science Research Institute, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Technical University of Beni, Cas. 314, Trinidad-Beni, Bolivia
*Department for International Development, Misión Británica, FEDEPLE, Santa Cruz, Bolivia;
**Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, UK  Tel: +44 1634 883540;

Brazil nut cake, a by-product of small scale oil extraction, is of potential use as a dry season feed supplement for cattle in North Eastern Bolivia. A survey indicated that over 800 tonnes/year of shelled Brazil nuts are used for oil extraction and cake production in Riberalta.  Oil extraction plants were also surveyed and samples taken for the analysis of chemical composition, in vitro digestibility and aflatoxin contamination. The nut cakes varied in composition depending on the quality of the nut used and oil extraction process. Cakes had high residual oil contents (100 to 318 g/kg DM) and high protein contents (238 to 442 g/kg DM). Crude fibre contents ranged from 25 to 108 g/kg DM, the higher contents being related to the addition of rice hull in the extraction process.  The cakes were highly digestible (69.6 to 94.4%), the lower digestibilities being related to rice hull inclusion. Brazil nut cakes were found to be rich sources of protein, phosphorus and sulphur amino acids. Brazil nut cakes produced from rotten nuts (black cakes) had relatively high levels of aflatoxins and could constitute a hazard to milk consumers if fed to dairy cattle.

Keywords :      Bolivian Amazon,  Bertholletia excelsa, Brazil nut cake, chemical composition, digestibility, aflatoxins.



Influence of early weaning on yield and fat content of milk
 from dual purpose cows 

Zuleyma Piña, Jorge Combellas, Merbis Tesorero, Karin Drescher and L Gabaldón 

Universidad Central de Venezuela, Facultad de Agronomía, Maracay, Venezuela

Restricted suckling during lactation is a widespread practice in cattle managed in dual purpose systems, appreciably reducing saleable milk and its fat content. Early weaning might solve these problems, but it could reduce milk yield after weaning. An experiment was carried out to evaluate the influence of early weaning on milk yield and fat content of crossbred Brahman x Holstein cows with restricted suckling. Twenty four animals were used, machine milked twice daily and fed 2.5 kg/day of concentrate at milking. The rest of the day they grazed paddocks of Brachiaria mutica, Cynodon nlemfuensis and Digitaria swazilandensis. Calves were suckled by their dams for 30 minutes after the morning milking. Two weaning ages were compared: at 17 weeks (W17) or at 35 weeks of lactation (W35). Milk yields after 18 weeks were corrected for yields up to 17 weeks and results presented are adjusted mean yields of milk corrected to 4 % fat (FCM) between weeks 18 and 35 of lactation.  

Early weaning increased saleable FCM from 4.5 to 5.9 kg/day (P<0.05) and milk fat content from 2.4 to 3.1 % in the morning and from 3.3 to 4.4 % in the afternoon (P<0.01), but total FCM was reduced from 7.1 to 5.9 kg/day (P<0.05) and live weight gain of the calves decreased from 0.39 to 0.29 kg/day compared to animals that were not weaned during the experimental period.  All these aspects must be considered in making decisions about the appropriate weaning time. 

Key words: cattle, restricted suckling, weaning, milk yield, milk fat


An approach to ensiling conditions for preservation of cassava foliage in Cambodia 

Chhay Ty, J. Ly and Lylian Rodríguez 

University of Tropical Agriculture Foundation, Royal University of Agriculture
Chamcar Daung, PO Box 2423, Phnom Penh 3, Cambodia

An experiment was designed at laboratory scale to study the effect of time (0, 14, 28, 42 and 56 days), origin of the cultivar (Kampong Cham province and Chamcar Daung, Phnom Penh) and levels of added sugar palm syrup (2.5, 5 and 7.5% in fresh basis) on ensiling cassava foliage. Average air temperature was 27 oC, and crude protein content of both sources of cassava foliages was 18.1 and 22.2% in dry basis, respectively. 

There was no significant interactions between factors studied. The overall pH profile of the ensiled material showed a sharp drop at  14 days after ensiling ( from 6.10 to 3.73), with slight fluctuations thereafter. A significant effect (P<0.001 ) of sugar palm syrup concentration in silos on pH values was found in favour of 5% addition of the source of carbohydrates. There was a significant correlation (R2 = 0.31; P<0.001) between pH values and neutralizing capacity of the preserved  material. 

The cyanide concentration of silos exhibited a significant (P<0.001) linear dependence on time. In spite of the fact that the Kampong Cham variety had a higher initial HCN content (86 mg/kg fresh foliage) as compared to that from Chamcar Daung (73 mg/kg fresh leaves), there was no differences in HCN content after 56 days of ensiling (overall value, 20 mg/kg fresh foliage).

It is suggested the use of sugar palm syrup at the level of 5% in the preparation of cassava foliage silages in Cambodia. According to results from the present experiment, HCN content is in the range of safe utilization for monogastric animals such as pigs, after 56 days of ensiling the material. 

Key words: cassava leaves, sugar palm syrup, ensiling, pH, cyanide, crude protein   


Comparison of the performance of Nigerian indigenous chickens from three agro-ecological zones

Adedokun  Sunday Adetayo and Sonaiya Emmanuel Babafunso

 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

Nigerian indigenous chicken (NIC) from three agro-ecological zones (Rain Forest, RF; Derived Savanna, DS; and Guinea Savanna, GS) were evaluated for age at first egg, egg production and egg weight, percent hen-day egg production and percent laying mortality.  Data for this work were collected over a period of 72 weeks.  A total of 579 eggs from DS and RF zones and 505 growers from DS, GS and RF were evaluated.  Data were compiled by Dbase IV and analysed using the General Linear Model (GLM) procedure of Statistical Analysis System (SAS). Agro-ecological zones, age and sex were the fixed effects in the model.  Means for each variable effect were compared using the Least-Square Analysis of Variance and Duncan option of SAS.  For all the traits evaluated, there was no significant difference  between the chickens from the three ecological zones. Hence, the Nigerian indigenous chickens from these zones cannot be said to belong to different genetic groups.

 Key words: Agro-ecological zones, bodyweight, egg production, mortality, Nigerian indigenous chicken.



Foliage from cassava, Flemingia macrophylla and bananas
compared with grasses as forage sources for goats: effects on growth rate and intestinal nematodes


Seng Sokerya and Lylian Rodriguez

University of Tropical Agriculture Foundation, Royal University of Agriculture,
Chamcar Daung, PO Box 2423, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Eight female and four male growing goats were allocated to four sources of forage which were offered as supplements to fresh brewer’s grains. The forages were:

The animals were housed in individual wooden pens (70 x 70cm area) on a raised slatted floor. The experiment began on 5 May and continued until 2 October.   All the foliages were fed at approximately 10% (fresh basis) of the liveweight of the goats, which was an offer level approximately 20% above observed intakes. The fresh brewer’s grains were received every two weeks from the brewery and were immediately ensiled in closed concrete containers. The ensiled grains were also fed at about 20% above observed intakes. Faecal samples were taken at fortnightly intervals during the last two months of the trial for determination of nematode eggs and coccidia oocysts.

Foliage from cassava supported the highest growth rate in the goats and the lowest faecal worm egg counts. Worm egg counts were highest in goats fed the natural grasses and the growth rates were some 30% slower compared with cassava. Very low growth rates were observed when Flemingia macrophylla and Desmanthus virgaturm foliages were fed.  Dry matter intakes of foliage were significantly less in the periods when Flemingia was fed compared with Desmanthus. 

It is concluded that cassava, managed as a perennial forage, has a high potential as a protein-rich feed for goats kept in a confinement system.

Key words: Goats, growth, nematode worms, cassava, banana, Flemingia macrophylla, native grasses


Digestibility and nitrogen retention in Mong Cai pigs fed sugar palm (Borassus flabiller) juice and  fresh water 
fish ensiled with rice bran and sugar palm syrup

Chiev Phiny and Lylian Rodríguez

University of  Tropical Agriculture, Royal University of Agriculture,  
Chamcar Daung, PO Box 2423, Phnom Penh 3, Cambodia

The present study aimed at testing different combinations of sugar palm syrup and cassava root as additives for ensiling fresh water fish and to determine the nutritive value for pigs of the fish silage.  Small fish  were mixed with rice bran (65% fresh fish, 30% rice bran) and six combinations of sugar palm syrup and chopped fresh cassava root (4.5 and 0.00; 3.6 and 1.1; 2.7 and 2.1; 1.8 and 3.1; 0.9 and 4.2; 0.00 and 5.2%, respectively. The mixtures were placed in plastic bottles, which were sealed hermetically after pressing the contents to remove air.  There were 4 replicates for each sampling time at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 days after ensiling. Larger quantities (about 9 kg) of the same mixtures were ensiled for 14 days and fed as a supplement to diluted (40 Brix) sugar palm syrup. Four Mong Cai male pigs  were allocated to the six diets.  The sugar palm syrup and the fish silages were mixed in the ratio of 64: 36 (fresh basis) and fed ad libitum.

The pH of the mixtures was in the range of 6.3 to 6.5 before ensiling and had fallen to 4.5 to 5.0 after ensiling for five days, remaining stable until 30 days. The average pH measured at 5-day intervals between 5 and 30 days was 4.51 for the silage with the highest proportion of palm syrup (4.5%) and was lower than for all the other silages (range of 4.96 to5.06).  All the silages were well preserved as indicated by the smell and absence of spoilage. There was no apparent effect of the different proportions of the additives (palm syrup and chopped fresh cassava root) on the apparent digestibility of dry matter and of nitrogen, or on nitrogen retention. The high values for apparent digestibility of nitrogen (range 80 to 88%) and nitrogen retention (range of 36 to 54% of nitrogen intake) indicate that the method of conservation had retained the nutritive value of the original material. 

It is concluded that ensiling small freshwater fish with rice bran (50% of the fresh weight of the fish) and either sugar palm syrup syrup (7% of the weight of the fish) or freshly chopped cassava root (8% of the weight of fish), or combinations of the two additives, is a satisfactory method of preservation which retains the nutritive value of the fish protein.

 Key words: Fish silage, sugar palm juice, pigs, digestibility, nitrogen retention



Dried rice straw-chicken litter and urea-treated rice straw as main fodder resources for local cattle in the dry season

 Tran Quoc Viet and Dao Duc Kien

National Institute of Animal Husbandry, Chem, Tu liem,
Hanoi, Vietnam

Four local cattle of 100 to 120 kg initial weight were allocated to four treatments:  100% rice straw-chicken litter (RSCL); 70% RSCL + 30% urea-treated rice straw (URS), 30% RSCL + 70% URS and 100% URS according to a Latin square design with four 56-day periods. The Rice straw was chopped to 5-10 cm length and used as litter for 600 chickens raised from one-day-old until 60 days. Every two weeks, chopped dried rice straw was scattered on top of the old layer. At the end of the 60 days, the chicken bedding was sun-dried to reach 14-16% moisture. Urea treatment was by ensiling in big plastic bags (100 kg rice straw, 5 kg urea in 35 litres water). All animals received daily 4 kg fresh cassava peel (21% DM) and 0.5 kg of a concentrate mixture (56% cassava root meal, 18% groundnut cake, 25% rice bran and 1% bone meal). The straw component of the diet was fed ad libitum.

Nitrogen and ash contents were higher in RSCL (2.89 and 20.5%) than in untreated rice straw (0.66 and 16.9) and URS (1.69 and 17.2%). NDF and ADF were lowest in RSCL. DM losses in the rumen (48 hour incubation) were 47.7% for untreated straw, 50.8% for RSCL and 62.3%for URS. DM intake, liveweight gain and feed conversion increased with increase in the proportion of URS in the diet. The best method for utilization of rice straw chicken litter appeared to be in combination with urea-treated rice straw in a ratio of 30: 70%.

Key words: Rice straw, urea, chicken litter, dry matter degradability, gas production, growth, cattle



Evaluation of nutrients of rubber seed meal in Mong Cai pigs

J Ly, Chhay Ty and Chiev Phiny

University of Tropical Agriculture Foundation
Royal University of Agriculture,
Chamcar Daung, PO Box 2423, Phnom Penh 3, Cambodia

Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the nutritive value of Cambodian rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) seed meal either in vivo with young Mong Cai pigs or in vitro by the pepsin/pancreatin incubation procedure. The average weight of the seed was 3.29 ± 0.78 g and the proportion kernel/husk was 1.17 ± 0.40 g. The average composition of rubber seed meal was ash 3.10, NDF 53.8, crude fat 28.4 and  N 2.39% in dry basis. The cyanide content of the seeds decreased from 82.5 to 29.3 mg/kg DM in approximately 45 days of storage.

In vivo digestibility of nutrients of the feed (sugar palm syrup and dried fish) was not impaired by the introduction of either 17.8 or 40.5% of rubber seed meal in the diet. The balance of N was significantly better with 40.5% of the seeds in the diet than in rations with no rubber seed meal. Digestibility indices of rubber seed meal as estimated by difference were DM 79.4, NDF 75.0, N 83.6 and organic matter 85.5 %.

In vitro digestibility studies indicated significantly (P<0.001) higher values for N utilization in the rubber seed kernel (89.7%) than in fish meal or dried fish (81.3 and 77.2%, respectively). In vitro DM and organic matter digestibility coefficients in the husk were comparatively low, probably due to the fibrous nature of this material.

Key words: Rubber seed meal, Hevea brasiliensis, sugar palm syrup, Borassus flabellifer, digestibility, in vivo, in vitro, nitrogen, organic matter, cyanide,  Mong Cai pigs



Estimates of nutritive value of Venezuelan feed resources destined for monogastric animals

Safiyé Gonzalvo, D Nieves*, J Ly, M Macías, 
Martha Carón y Vivian Martínez

Instituto de Investigaciones Porcinas. Gaveta Postal 1, Punta Brava  
La Habana 1920, Cuba
Pr ograma de Producción Animal,
  Universidad Nacional Experimental de 
los Llanos
Ezequiel Zamora (UNELLEZ), Guanar, Venezuela   

Chemical composition and in vitro digestibility (IVND, pepsin/pancreatin) were determined on 13 feed resources found in Venezuela, grouped according to protein sources: (Phaseolus calcaratus Roxb; Earthworm meal,  Eisenia foetida; and Soya bean meal, Soja maxima L.), tree resources (Leucaena, Leucaena leucocephala; Mulberry, Morus alba; Trichanthera gigantea) and agroindustrial y byproductos (rejects from sesame,  Sesamun indicum. L; rice polishings,  Oryza sativa; sweet potato foliage, Ipomoea batatas); sugar cane leaves, Saccharum officinarum), forage groundnut, Arachis pintoi; wheat bran, Triticum vulgare; and meal made from dried rabbit intestines).

Levels of N ranged from 6.30% (Phaseolus calcaratus) to 8.43% (soya bean meal). IVND values were: 96.1% ( soya), 88.7% (earthworm meal) and 89.7% (Phaseolus calcaratus). Tree sources had N levels between  4.20% (leucaena) and 3.12% (Trichanthera gigantea) and and IVND of 66.0% (leucaena) and 30.1% (Trichanthera gigantea). Agroindustriales subproductos  had 1.15% N (sugar cane leaves) and 3.87% (wheat bran) and IVND of 79.4% (rabbit intestine meal and wheat bran) and 33.9% (sweet potato foliage).

Levels of crude fibre and NDF were poorly related to IVND values (-0.55 and -0.38, respectively).

Key words: Feed resources, tree leaves, protein meals, agroindustrial byproducts, nutritive value, in vitro nitrogen digestibility


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