Modelling the effect of supplementing elephant grass with lablab and desmodium on weight gain of dairy heifers under stall-feeding system

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Tibayungwa, F.
Nabasirye, M.
Mugisha, J. Y. T.
African Journal of Agricultural Research
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This study reports on a simulation growth model developed to predict daily gain (DG) of dairy cattle heifers. The model input parameters are gross energy (GE), ash, crude protein (CP), organic matter digestibility (OMD), dry matter (DM), protein degradation variables and heifer initial body weight. Results from the simulation model show that at low levels of CP in elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) there is improved DG when supplemented with desmodium (Desmodium spp.) or lablab (Lablab purpureus) but as the CP in elephant grass increases there is reduced benefit from supplementation and at CP ³ 100 g/kgDM there is no improvement in DG due supplementation. Supplementation with either lablab or desmodium at same percentage of diet had similar effect on DG. It is concluded that these two forage legumes could improve heifer growth, consequently reducing the time from weaning to mating weight of heifers in smallholder dairying where the CP content of elephant grass is low.
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African Journal of Agricultural Research
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