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Effect of feeding hydroponics maize fodder on digestibility of nutrients and milk production in lactating cows

Authors:
  • ICAR-Directorate of Poultry Research (ICAR-DPR) Regional Station, Bhubaneswar

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Hydroponics maize fodder of 7 days growth was fed to 6 dairy cows divided into two equal groups (BW 442 kg; avg. milk yield 6.0 kg). Animals were offered 5 kg concentrate mixture and ad lib. jowar straw along with either 15 kg fresh hydroponics maize fodder (T-HF) or conventional napier bajra hybrid (NBH) green fodder (T-CF) for 68 days. The hydroponics maize fodder (HMF) had higher CP (13.30 vs 11.14, %), EE (3.27 vs 2.20, %), NFE (75.32 vs 53.54, %) and lower CF (6.37 vs 22.25, %), TA (1.75 vs 9.84, %) and AIA (0.57 vs 1.03, %) than NBH. HMF intake was low (0.59 kg DM/d) than NBH (1.19 kg DM/ d) by the cows. However, the DMI (2.05 and 2.17%) was similar in both the groups. Digestibility of CP (72.46 vs 68.86, %) and CF (59.21 vs 53.25, %) was higher (P<0.05) for cows fed HMF. The DCP content (9.65 vs 8.61, %) of the ration increased significantly (P<0.05) due to feeding of HMF; however, the increase (P>0.05) in the CP (13.29 vs 12.48, %) and TDN (68.52 vs 64, %) content was non-significant. There was 13.7% increase in the milk yield of T-HF (4.64, kg/d) than the T-CF group (4.08 kg/d). The feed conversion ratio of DM (2.12 vs 2.37), CP (0.29 vs 0.30) and TDN (1.45 vs 1.52) to produce a kg milk was better in the T-HF than the T-CF group. There was higher net profit of Rs. 12.67/- per cow/d on feeding HMF. It can be concluded that feeding of HMF to lactating cows increased the digestibility of nutrients and milk production leading to increase in net profit.
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Green fodder is an essential component of the dairy
ration, otherwise the productive and reproductive
performance of the dairy animals is adversely affected.
Therefore, for a sustainable dairy farming, quality green
fodder should be fed regularly to the dairy animals (Naik
et al. 2012a). However, the major constraints in production
of green fodder by dairy farmers are unavailability of land
for fodder cultivation due to small land holding size, scarcity
of water or saline water, labour required for cultivation
(sowing, earthing up, weeding, harvesting etc.), requirement
of manure and fertilizer, more growth time (approx. 45–60
days), fencing to prevent fodder crops from wild animals
and natural calamities etc. Further, the non-availability of
quality fodders round the year aggravates the constraints
of the sustainable dairy farming (Naik et al. 2013a). Due to
the above constraints in the conventional method of fodder
cultivation, hydroponics technology is coming up as an
Present addresses: 1Senior Scientist (Animal Nutrition), ICAR
Research Complex for Goa, Old Goa-403402, Goa (pknaikicar
@gmail.com); 2Manager, Goa State Co-operative Milk Producer’s
Union Limited, Curti, Ponda, Goa (rbdhuri@rediffmail.com);
3Senior Scientist, Eastern Regional station, NDRI, Kalyani, West
Bengal (drmkarunakaran@gmail.com); 4Principal Scientist,
Regional Centre, CARI, Bhubaneswar (bkswain_icargoa
@rediffail.com); 5Director, ICAR Research Complex for Goa,
Old Goa (narendraprataps@yahoo.co.in)
Indian Journal of Animal Sciences 84 (8): 880–883, August 2014/Article
Effect of feeding hydroponics maize fodder on digestibility of nutrients
and milk production in lactating cows
P K NAIK1, R B DHURI2, M KARUNAKARAN3, B K SWAIN4 and N P SINGH5
ICAR Research Complex for Goa, Old Goa, Goa 403 402 India
Received: 23 July 2013; Accepted: 5 March 2014
ABSTRACT
Hydroponics maize fodder of 7 days growth was fed to 6 dairy cows divided into two equal groups (BW 442 kg;
avg. milk yield 6.0 kg). Animals were offered 5 kg concentrate mixture and ad lib. jowar straw along with either 15
kg fresh hydroponics maize fodder (T-HF) or conventional napier bajra hybrid (NBH) green fodder (T-CF) for 68
days. The hydroponics maize fodder (HMF) had higher CP (13.30 vs 11.14, %), EE (3.27 vs 2.20, %), NFE (75.32
vs 53.54, %) and lower CF (6.37 vs 22.25, %), TA (1.75 vs 9.84, %) and AIA (0.57 vs 1.03, %) than NBH. HMF
intake was low (0.59 kg DM/d) than NBH (1.19 kg DM/ d) by the cows. However, the DMI (2.05 and 2.17 %) was
similar in both the groups. Digestibility of CP (72.46 vs 68.86, %) and CF (59.21 vs 53.25, %) was higher (P<0.05)
for cows fed HMF. The DCP content (9.65 vs 8.61, %) of the ration increased significantly (P<0.05) due to feeding
of HMF; however, the increase (P>0.05) in the CP (13.29 vs 12.48, %) and TDN (68.52 vs 64, %) content was non-
significant. There was 13.7% increase in the milk yield of T-HF (4.64, kg/d) than the T-CF group (4.08 kg/d). The
feed conversion ratio of DM (2.12 vs 2.37), CP (0.29 vs 0.30) and TDN (1.45 vs 1.52) to produce a kg milk was
better in the T-HF than the T-CF group. There was higher net profit of Rs. 12.67/- per cow/d on feeding HMF. It can
be concluded that feeding of HMF to lactating cows increased the digestibility of nutrients and milk production
leading to increase in net profit.
Key words: Cows, Digestibility, Feeding, Fodder, Hydroponics, Lactating, Maize, Milk, Nutrients
alternative to grow fodder for farm animals (Sneath and
Mclntosh 2003, Naik et al. 2011a, Naik et al. 2012b, Naik
et al. 2013b). However, only a few reports are available on
the feeding value of the hydroponics green fodder to dairy
animals in India (Reddy et al. 1988, Pandey and Pathak
1991). Therefore, an experiment was conducted to find out
the effect of feeding hydroponics maize fodder on
digestibility of nutrients and milk production in lactating
cows.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Production of hydroponics maize fodder: Hydroponics
fodder maize was produced in a hydroponics chamber
measuring about 25 ft × 10 ft × 10 ft with a daily production
potential of 600 kg fresh hydroponics maize fodder and
equipped with automatic sprayer irrigation of tap water.
Clean seeds of maize (Zea mays) were soaked in tap water
for 4 h and were then distributed in the greenhouse trays
with a seed rate of 7.6 kg/ m2. On first day, the trays
containing the soaked seeds are put on the top most rows
of the rack and then every day these are shifted to their
respective below rows till they reach the down last row on
seventh day. Inside the green house, the plants are allowed
to grow for 7 days and then on eighth day, these are
harvested and fed to the dairy animals.
Experimental animals, feeding and management: Six
August 2014] FEEDING OF HYDROPONICS MAIZE FODDER TO LACTATING COWS 881
73
dairy cows (avg. BW 442 kg; avg. milk yield 6.0 kg) were
divided into 2 equal groups on basis of their body weight
(mean BW 449.12 kg and 435.48 kg) and daily milk yield
5.92 kg and 6.08 kg). All the animals were kept in well
ventilated, clean cement floored shed. A standard
conventional concentrate mixture (CM) containing maize
grain 35, rice polish 25, soybean meal 15, cotton seed cake
22, mineral mixture 2 and common salt 1 parts by weight
was prepared. All the animals were offered daily 5 kg CM
along with ad lib. jowar straw and 15 kg hydroponics maize
fodder (T-HF) or conventional green fodder (napier bajra
hybrid, CO-3) fodder (T-CF) harvested on 45 days of
growth, to meet their nutrient requirements (Ranjhan 1998)
for a period of 68 days. The daily ration was offered twice
daily in equally divided doses, while clean drinking water
was made available ad lib. throughout the experiment.
Milking of the animals was performed twice daily at 6.00
am and 3.00 pm by machine milking.
Digestion trial: At the end of the feeding period, a 6-d
digestion trial was conducted on all experimental animals.
During the digestion trial, the feeding schedule of the
animals remained the same as earlier. The feed residues
after 24 h consumption of each animal were weighed to
determine the daily feed intake. Faeces were collected
quantitatively from the animals immediately after
defecation.
Recording of data and analytical procedures: The feed
offered and residues left were recorded daily. The body
weight changes of the experimental animals were recorded
at fortnight intervals. The daily (morning and evening) milk
yield of the animals was recorded and the feed conversion
ratio was calculated as ‘kg intake per kg milk production
per day’. The feeds and fodder offered were analyzed for
proximate principles (AOAC 2000). The data were analyzed
statistically for the test of significance (Snedecor and
Cochran 1994).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Chemical compositions of feeds and fodder: The nutrient
contents of the concentrate mixture is as per the BIS
specifications of the compounded cattle feed (Table 1). The
compositions of the conventional NBH (CO-3) green fodder
and jowar straw were within the normal range and similar
to the reports of the earlier workers (Naik et al. 2013c).
The HMF looked like a mat of 20–30cm height consisting
of germinated seeds embedded in their white roots and green
shoots (Naik et al. 2011a, Naik et al. 2013b). The increase
in weight of the hydroponics maize fodder than the seed
weight on fresh basis was 5.5 folds. The DM content (on
fresh basis) of the hydroponics maize fodder was slightly
higher than the conventional CO-3 green fodder and the
hydroponics barley fodder reported by Reddy et al. (1988).
However, Dung et al. (2010b) observed 3.7 times increase
in the fresh weight of the 7-d hydroponics barley fodder
with DM% of 19.7%. According to Sneath and Mclntosh
(2003), various commercial hydroponics fodder producers
claims yields of 6–10 times with DM% from 6.4–20; while
trial yields range from 5–8 folds. Naik and Singh (2013)
reported that yields of 5–6 folds on fresh basis (1 kg seed
produces 5–6 kg HMF) and DM content of 11–14% are
common for HMF; however, sometimes the DM content
up to 18.3% was observed as in the present study. The
hydroponics maize fodder had higher CP, EE, NFE and
lower CF, TA and AIA percentage than the napier bajra
hybrid (CO-3) green fodder. Earlier, Naik et al. (2012b)
also reported higher CP, EE and NFE; and lower CF, TA
and AIA percentage in hydroponics maize fodder than the
conventional maize fodder. In hydroponically produced
barley fodder, CP content of 16.3% (Snow et al. 2008) and
14% (AI-Ajmi et al. 2009) were reported by the earlier
workers. Sneath and Mclntosh (2003) reviewed the
composition of sprouted barley and reported that the CP
ranged from 11.38 to 24.9%. As per Pandey and Pathak
(1991), the artificially grown barley fodder had 14.69% CP,
3.18% EE and 78.55% total carbohydrate. Similarly, Reddy
et al. (1988) observed 13.72% CP, 16.33% CF, 3.72% EE,
62.12% NFE and 0.17% Ca and 0.48% P in the artificially
grown barley fodder and concluded that it was superior to
certain common non-leguminous fodders, but comparable
to leguminous fodders.
There was no difference (P>0.05) in the DM intake of
concentrate mixture and jowar straw between the groups
(Table 2). Although nonsignificant, there was reduced intake
of hydroponics maize fodder than the CO-3 green fodder
by the animals, which lead to lower (P<0.05) total roughage
and DM intake in T-HF group than the T-CF group.
However, the DM intake per 100 kg BW was similar
(P>0.05) in both the groups. The roughage: concentrate ratio
Table 1. Chemical composition (on % DM basis) of feeds and fodder
Parameters Concentrate Conventional Jowar straw Hydroponics
mixture napier bajra hybrid maize fodder
green fodder (CO-3)
Dry matter (on fresh basis) 92.40 15.12 89.84 18.30
Crude protein 21.68 11.14 3.40 13.30
Ether extract 4.83 2.20 0.84 3.27
Crude fiber 8.39 22.25 34.19 6.37
Nitrogen free extract 58.27 53.54 52.43 75.32
Total ash 6.83 9.84 9.14 1.75
Acid insoluble ash 1.16 1.03 5.32 0.57
882 NAIK ET AL. [Indian Journal of Animal Sciences 84 (8)
74
in T-HF group (48: 52) was lower (P<0.05) then the T-CF
group (52: 48). Pandey and Pathak (1991) reported
voluntary intake of 50.38 kg fresh hydroponics green
fodder/ d, which supplied 7.13 kg DM and concluded that
DM intake is a limiting factor on sole feeding of
hydroponics green fodder. Lower DM intake associated with
the feeding of hydroponics green fodder has also been
reported by the earlier workers, which may be due the high
water content of the hydroponics green fodder that might
have made it bulky leading to limited DM intake by the
animals (Fazaeli et al. 2011). Reddy et al. (1988) used
artificially grown barley fodder vs NB-21 (10 kg/d) as a
constituent of the ration of the milch cows and observed
similar DM intake (2.74 vs 2.84, kg/100 kg BW) and
roughage: concentrate ratio (65: 35 vs 63: 37) in both the
groups. It was observed that sometimes, the animals took
the leafy parts of the hydroponics green fodder and the roots
portions are left (Reddy et al. 1988), which can be avoided
by mixing the hydroponics green fodder with the other
roughage components (chopped straw or conventional green
fodder) of the ration.
There was increase (P<0.05) in the digestibility of CP
and CF of the cows due to feeding of hydroponics maize
fodder; however, the increase (P>0.05) in the digestibility
of DM, OM, EE and NFE was nonsignificant (Table 2).
Reddy et al. (1988) also observed significant increase in
the digestibility (%) of DM, OM, CP, CF, EE and NFE and
concluded that the increase in the digestibility of the
nutrients may be due to the tenderness of the fodder due to
its lower age. According to Shipard (2005), sprouts are the
most enzyme rich food on the planet and the period of
greatest enzyme activity in sprouts is generally between
germination and 7 days of age (Chavan and Kadam 1989).
Another reason of the increase in the digestibility of the
nutrients due to feeding of hydroponics maize fodder may
be its high enzyme activities. Pandey and Pathak (1991)
reported that the digestibilities of the nutrients of the
hydroponics green fodder are comparable to the highly
digestible legumes like berseem and other clovers. The DCP
content of the ration increased significantly (P<0.05) due
to feeding of hydroponics maize fodder; however, the
increase (P>0.05) in the CP and TDN content was
nonsignificant. The improvement in the nutritive values (CP,
DCP and TDN, %) in T-HF may be attributed to the high
digestibility of the nutrients of the ration. Reddy et al. (1988)
observed higher (P<0.05) DCP% and TDN% in the
artificially grown barley fodder based ration than the NB-
21 based ration and suggested that the former ration is
optimum to meet the production requirement of the lactating
cows.
There was 13.7% increase in the milk yield of T-HF
group than the T-CF group due to feeding of hydroponics
maize fodder, which may be due to the higher DCP and
TDN content of the ration (Table 3). Similar to this
experiment, an increase of 7.8% in milk production was
observed in cows fed ration containing hydroponics barley
fodder (Reddy et al. 1988). The feed conversion ratio (FCR)
in terms of DM, CP and TDN was better in the T-HF group
than the T-CF group. It is reported that the hydroponic
sprouts are rich source of nutrients and contain a grass juice
factor that improves the performance of livestock (Finney
1982). The DM required per kg milk production also
reduced by 11.6% on the ration containing artificially grown
fodder (Reddy et al. 1988). Pandey and Pathak (1991) fed
artificially grown barley fodder ad lib. to lactating crossbred
cows and concluded that the mean daily intake of CP, DCP
and TDN are higher than the maintenance requirement, but
lower than the total requirement for maintenance and milk
production; therefore, for maintenance, hydroponics barley
fodder should be fed; but for high yielding cows,
supplementation of adequate quantity of concentrate is
necessary. The cost of the feed/d (P<0.05) and feed cost
Table 2. Effect on dry matter intake and digestibility of
nutrients and nutritive value
Parameters T-HF T-CF
Mean BW 435.48±40.83 449.12±23.58
Dry matter intake (kg/day)
Concentrate mixture 4.62 4.62
Green fodder 0.59±0.08 1.19±0.43
Jowar straw 3.64±0.39 3.89±0.49
Total roughage* 4.23±0.43 5.08±0.57
Total DM* 8.85±0.43 9.70±0.57
DM intake/ 100 kg BW 2.05±0.10 2.17±0.17
Roughage: concentrate ratio* 48: 52±2.69 52: 48±2.97
Digestibility (%)
Dry matter 65.39±1.54 61.15±0.38
Organic matter 68.47±1.37 64.19±0.66
Crude protein* 72.46±0.84 68.86±1.13
Ether extract 87.69±1.35 82.05±0.64
Crude fiber* 59.21±0.41 53.25±0.73
Nitrogen free extract 70.47±2.44 67.37±1.02
Nutritive value (%)
CP 13.29±0.53 12.48±0.54
DCP* 9.65±0.49 8.61±0.52
TDN 68.52±1.03 64.00±0.78
*Significantly different (P<0.05).
Table 3. Effect on milk yield, feed conversion ratio and
economics of feeding
Parameters T-HF T-CF
Milk yield (kg/day) 4.64±1.21 4.08±0.11
Feed conversion ratio (kg feed/ kg milk yield)
DM 2.12±0.40 2.37±0.08
CP 0.29±0.06 0.30±0.00
DCP 0.21±0.05 0.20±0.01
TDN 1.45±0.27 1.52±0.05
Economics of feeding
Cost of feed 144.88±4.55 137.51±5.02
Feed cost/kg milk production 34.98±7.14 33.69±0.53
Cost of milk (@ ` 36/kg) 166.92±43.73 146.88±3.85
Net profit/animal/day 22.04±40.98 9.37±2.08
*Significantly different (P<0.05).
August 2014] FEEDING OF HYDROPONICS MAIZE FODDER TO LACTATING COWS 883
75
per kg milk production (P>0.05) was higher in the T-HF
group (` 144.88 and Rs. 34.98) than the T-CF group
(` 137.51 and ` 33.69). The higher cost of the hydroponics
maize fodder (` 4/kg) than the conventional green fodder
(` 1.50/kg) might be the reason for the higher cost of the
feed in the T-HF group than the T-CF group (Naik et al.
2012c). The cost of milk increased non-significantly
(P>0.05) in the T-HF group (` 166.92) vs than the T-CF
(` 146.88) group, which led to the higher net profit of `
12.67/ cow per day due to feeding of hydroponics maize
fodder. Reddy et al. (1988) also reported that the cost of
feed per kg milk production increased by 20% on the ration
containing artificially grown fodder; but in spite of the cost
variations, it was concluded that being superior fodder than
NB-21, it could be a good feed component of high yielding
cows stationed in hilly areas. A farmer at Mandrem village
in Pernem Taluka of Goa also observed that on daily feeding
of 10 kg hydroponics fodder maize per cow, 1.0 kg
concentrate mixture per cow per day was saved and
experienced enhancement of approximately 1.0 litre (from
8 litres to 9 litres) milk per cow per day, earning additional
net profit of ` 10/ cow/ day (Anonymous 2012).
It can be concluded that feeding of hydroponics maize
fodder increased the digestibility of nutrients, milk
production and net profit in lactating cows.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors are thankful to Indian Council of
Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi; Rashtriya Krishi
Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Govt. of India and Goa State Co-
operative Milk Producer’s Union Limited, Curti, Ponda,
Goa for providing financial support to conduct the study.
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... Green fodder is a natural diet for livestock (Jemimah et al., 2018) and sustainable farming largely depends on regular supply of quality green fodder Naik et al., 2014). Productivity of dairy animals are negatively affected due to serious crisis of green fodder supply worldwide (Jemimah et al., 2018). ...
... Average 14 cm height was found at 8 th day of production which was 12 cm higher than that of the day 1. This finding agrees with Naik and Singh (2013) and Naik et al. (2014). Plant height generally depends on types of grain and the hydroponics fodder appearances like a mat of 11-30 cm height consisting of germinated seeds embedded in their white roots and green shoots after end of the germination period of about 8-days (Snow et al., 2008;Dung et al., 2010b;Naik et al., 2011;Naik et al., 2014). ...
... This finding agrees with Naik and Singh (2013) and Naik et al. (2014). Plant height generally depends on types of grain and the hydroponics fodder appearances like a mat of 11-30 cm height consisting of germinated seeds embedded in their white roots and green shoots after end of the germination period of about 8-days (Snow et al., 2008;Dung et al., 2010b;Naik et al., 2011;Naik et al., 2014). The present findings were highly collaborated with Morgan et al. (1992) and Bautista (2002) who observed a significant variation in dry weight (DW) and wet weight (WW) of the hydroponic fodder. ...
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This study was conducted to investigate the changes in morphology, biomass yield, chemical composition and production cost of Hydroponic Wheat Fodder (HWF) with the advancement of growing days. The HWF was cultivated at low cost sprouting house at the Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) Dairy Farm, Mymensingh, Bangladesh. Firstly, wheat grains were collected, washed and then soaked in tap water for 12 h. Thereafter, grains were wrapped with a gunny bag for 24 h for germination. Then, grains were spread out in trays and irrigated using tap water up to 8 th day morning. Biomass yield, morphological, nutritional parameters and cost of production were determined daily from each of the eight batches (day, 0 to 8) in the sprouting house. An increasing trend was seen in biomass yield, plant height, root length and root number of HWF with the days of advancement and found highest on 8 th day (p=0.000). Biomass yield was increased 6 times during this 8 days cycle. On the contrary, a decreasing trend was observed in cost of production (0-5 th day) and found lowest (BDT. 5.00) value in day 6 th-8 th (p < 0.001). A strong positive (r=0.891-0.989) correlation exists between biomass yield and morphological features (p < 0.001). Whereas, cost of production negatively (r=-0.857-0.946) correlated with biomass yield and morphological parameters (p < 0.001). The dry matter content of HWF reduced (p <0.001) gradually from day 0 to 8. The crude protein, ether extracts and minerals (calcium, phosphorus and magnesium) content of HWF increased positively from day 0 to 8 but nitrogen-free-extracts and organic matter declined (p < 0.001) gradually. However, morphology, biomass yield, chemical composition and production cost of fodder were similar between the days of 7 to 8. Finally, farmers might grow HWF up to 7-8 days as a new source of livestock feed.
... The average fodder plant heights were 15.34, 16.34 and 16.14 cm under 2, 3 and 4h watering intervals, respectively. The mean value of plant height for current study is in the range of values reported by Dung et al. (2010b), Naik et al. (2011) and Naik et al. (2014) who have indicated that depending upon the landraces of grains, the hydroponic fodder looks like a mat of 11-30 cm height by the end of the germination period of about 8-days. In contrary to the above, plant height recorded in current study was lower than values (18-20cm) reported by Al-Hashmi (2008). ...
... t/ha) than on the 8 th day (23.14 t/ha) could be due to activation of chloroplasts for photosynthesis that in turn reduce accumulation of DM, because photosynthesis commences around day-5 when the chloroplasts are activated and this does not provide enough time for DM accumulation around day 5 (Dung et al., 2010b). Apart from inconsistency exhibited between 6 th and 8 th day the result is in agreement with finding of (Fazaeli et al., 2012;Naik et al., 2012;Naik et al., 2014), who have indicated the DM content of fodder is decreased from 89.7% to 13.4% as harvesting date progressed. This decrease in DM yield at 12 th date could be due to the decrease in the starch content because during sprouting, starch is catabolized to soluble sugars for supporting the metabolism and energy requirement of the growing plants for respiration and cell wall synthesis (Fazaeli et al., 2012;Naik et al., 2012;Naik et al., 2014). ...
... Apart from inconsistency exhibited between 6 th and 8 th day the result is in agreement with finding of (Fazaeli et al., 2012;Naik et al., 2012;Naik et al., 2014), who have indicated the DM content of fodder is decreased from 89.7% to 13.4% as harvesting date progressed. This decrease in DM yield at 12 th date could be due to the decrease in the starch content because during sprouting, starch is catabolized to soluble sugars for supporting the metabolism and energy requirement of the growing plants for respiration and cell wall synthesis (Fazaeli et al., 2012;Naik et al., 2012;Naik et al., 2014). ...
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Significant fodder production cannot easily be realized mainly due to the pressure on land for the production of staple food crops to feed the ever increasing human population in Ethiopia. To meet the parallel increasing demand for green fodder, one of the alternatives is hydroponic fodder to supplement the meager pasture resources. A study was conducted at Wollega University to evaluate the effect of watering interval, harvesting dates and landraces on fodder yield and nutritive values of three local barley landraces viz: black barley, Mosno, and white barley under hydroponic systems. All three landraces were grown for 12 consecutive days in lath house at 2, 3 and 4h watering intervals. The fodder was harvested at 6 th , 8 th , 10 th and 12 th days of growth. There were significant differences (P<0.05) among dates of harvesting on hydroponic fodder yield and yield related components of all the landraces. The highest fodder growth was observed at 12 th days after sowing, whereas the highest dry matter (DM) yield was recorded at the 6 th day of growth. The average dry matter yield for the landraces were 23.3t/ha, 18.78t/ha and 19.85t/h 2 for black barley, Mosno and white barley, respectively. The crude protein (CP) and cell wall contents were higher for sprouted barley landraces than its grain. The DM content of the barley grain was 93.6% and decreased to 91.1% for sprouted barley at 12 th day of harvesting. The 6 th date of harvesting of sprouted barley resulted in higher In vitro-dry matter digestibility. The CP content had increasing trend and remained highest on 12 th day of harvesting. Therefore, it can be concluded that watering at 4h interval had resulted in the highest biomass yield and yield related components of barley grown under hydroponic system. Among the landraces used in this experiment, Mosno was found to be best variety for green fodder biomass yield and as well for better nutritive values. The 12 th date of harvesting was identified as optimum time of harvesting for highest hydroponic fodder yield and yield related components. Sprouting barley had highest CP, cell wall contents (NDF, ADF and ADL) and ash contents compared to its grain counterpart. The IVDMD and DM percentage were higher in barley grain than sprouted barley fodder landraces. Watering at 4 h interval and harvesting at 12 th day could be recommended for applications for the production of optimum fodder with better nutritive values from hydroponically grown barley. On the basis of this finding, it is also very important to undertake feeding experiments to see dairy performances of cows and/or other feeding trials for evaluating animal performances and economic returns.
... Kaouche-Adjlane et al. [61] reported that replacing 10 kg of oat hay with 10 kg hydroponic barley increased the milk yield by 4.7% in CrossBreed Holstein cows compared to their control groups. In another study, Naik et al. [80] showed that replacing the traditional Napier Bajra hybrid with hydroponic maize fodder resulted in 13.7% increase in milk production. Sprouted hydroponic grain is an excellent source of juice factors with stable pH and simple nutrients that stimulate the appetite and nourish the microorganism in ruminants, thus accelerating these improvements. ...
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Hydroponic fodder production in controlled environment (CE) settings have gained more focus in recent years due to the shortage of agricultural land for food production and the adverse effect of climate changes. However, the operation costs and dry matter issues are the major concerns for the sustainability of fodder production in the CE. This study provides a comprehensive literature review on techniques and control strategies for indoor environments and watering that are currently used and could be adopted in the future to achieve the economic and environmental sustainability of controlled environment fodder production (CEFP). The literature indicates fodder production in the modular system is becoming popular in developed countries, and low-tech systems like greenhouse are more prevalent in developing countries. The optimum temperature and RH range between 16-27°C and 70-80% to get efficient biomass yield; however, minimal research has been conducted to optimize the indoor temperature and relative humidity (RH) for efficient and higher efficiency fodder production. Besides, the water-saving techniques and optimal lighting spectrum need to be studied extensively. Automating and monitoring in CEFP system could reduce operating costs and improve quality and yield. Overall, this industry might have great potential for livestock production. Still, more strong research needs to be conducted to answer nutritional concerns and reduce the capital and operating costs for CEFP.
... Hydroponics greenhouse requires marginal land to erect the system, i.e., 10×4.5 m land for 600 kg green fodder/day/ unit, in comparison to one-hectare land for a conventional green grass field. Reduction in the amount of land required for maximum fodder production is an asset for both regions where agriculture is difficult and in densely populated areas that lack sufficient growing space [30] . ...
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The aim of this study is to review, document and disseminate information to have better understanding of hydroponic green fodder production and utilization as livestock feed. Production of green fodder in sufficient quantities to meet the current demand has occurred as a crucial problem today. One of the methods to overcome this problem is hydroponic cultivation of green fodder as animal feed. Hydroponics green fodder production encompasses the growing of plants without soil but with little water or nutrient-rich solution in a greenhouse using high-cost hi-tech or low-cost devices for a short duration. Different fodder crops can be used for this system based on the environmental conditions, cost and availability of seeds. Green fodder produced by the hydroponic system is highly palatable, digestible, nutritious, safe, healthy and environmentally friendly and can be fed suitable for all types and categories of animals. It has a meaningful advantage in water use efficiency, reducing space and time, constant supplying of quality fodder, increasing fodder yield, reducing forage loss, less labor required and economic feasibility against conventional/traditional methods.
... The higher final body weight and overall body weight gain and average daily gain of the kids in the hydroponic fodder fed groups might be due to the presence of antioxidants, bioactive enzymes and other ingredients in the hydroponic fodder (Naik et al. 2014) which directly acts as a catalyst for the complete digestion of protein, fats and carbohydrates leading to increased animal growth (Alshaadi and Al-Zubiadi 2016). The highly soluble protein and amino acids in response to the early plant growth and enzymatic transformations of sprouted grains are also responsible for the improved digestibility in animals (Chung et al. 1989). ...
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In arid and semi-arid areas browse species such as Acacia saligna is a leguminous shrub was considered one of the principal feed resources, barley straw one of agriculture wastes produced in a large amount but they have low nutritive value, so several treatments were applied to ameliorate the utilization of acacia and barley straw. The present experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of sprouted barley grains on acacia pruning and barley straw as media and mixture of them. Forty-four Barki ewes were randomly divided into four equal groups (11 ewes each). Ewes of the first group were fed a control diet of berseem hay and CFM, the second group (D1) was fed ad libitum a diet contained sprouted barley grains on barley straw with CFM, the third group (D2) was fed ad libitum a diet contained sprouted barley grains on acacia pruning with CFM, and the fourth group was fed ad libitum a diet contained sprouted barley grains on mixture of similar amounts of both barley straw and acacia pruning with CFM. Ewes fed the three experimental fodders recorded higher (P< 0.05) dry fodder intake (g/h/d) than those fed control diet. Digestibility of CP for lactating Barki ewes was not affected by the type of roughage while the values of DM, OM, CF, NDF and ADF digestibility were (P< 0.05) higher with sprouted barley seeds (D2, D1 and D3) than those fed the control diet. Also, total digestible nutrients (TDN%) showed higher (P< 0.05) improvements forewes fed D2 followed by control diet, D3 and the lowest was D1. However, There were insignificant differences between treatment groups in digestible crude protein (DCP%) values. Nitrogen balance … Research Journal of Animal and Vetrinary Sciences 2018 June; 10 (1): pages: 35-46 DOI: 10.22587/rjavs.2018.10.1.5
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In the recent past agriculture as a profession is losing its charm among the farmers. This has been attributed to several reasons; important among them is the spiraling cost of inputs coupled with uncertainty in the price of the product. This has been aggravated by the non-availability of assured irrigation due to depletion in groundwater. This has in turn manifested as distress among the farmers in substantial areas in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala, are otherwise considered agriculturally developed areas. A couple of committees have gone into the root cause of distress and suggested that alternate income-generating opportunities can be a major remedy for such disappointment among the farming community. Animal husbandry is one such alternative available to distressed farmers. Again, the availability of quality fodder to the animals is the major impediment to the scientific management of animals because India, has only 2.4% of the world's geographical area sustains 11% of the world’s livestock population. It accounts for 55% of the world’s buffalo population, 20% of the goat population, and 16% of the cattle population. This has put an unbearable burden on our natural vegetation. Azolla, hitherto used mainly as green manure in paddy has tremendous potential to meet the growing demand for fodder among the small farmers taking up animal husbandry.
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This study aimed to identify the chemical composition of hydroponic maize fodder (HMF) from two varieties of maize grains (popcorn and feed corn). A completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications was used in which popcorn was irrigated with clean tap water (T1) and nutrient solution (T2); feed corn irrigated with clean tap water (T3) and nutrient solution (T4). Seven-days green fodders were sampled for chemical analysis. The crude protein (CP) content was the highest at 7.48% in T4 compared to popcorn (P<0.05) and T3 (P>0.05). Treatment 3 showed the highest dry matter content as 94.42% (P>0.05) and organic matter content observed as 98.29% especially compared with T1 (P<0.05). The neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) contents of feed corn were insignificantly different, but T3 was observed as 67.66% and 41.55%, respectively, which were higher than T1 (P<0.05). Although feed corn had better nutritional value than popcorn, popcorn showed a 7% higher germination rate than feed corn (P<0.05). As a result, the total yield of 1.5 kg hydroponic maize fodder per kg feed corn was lower than popcorn (2.5 kg per kg grains). Hence, popcorn was used to grow HMF with the open-air hydroponic system. HMF showed better feed nutritive composition than conventionally planted Napier grass. A lower concentration of indigestible fiber (P<0.05) and a higher concentration of crude protein (12.28%) was observed in HMF compared to CP in Napier grass (7.22%) (P<0.05). In conclusion, the open-air hydroponics system can be an alternative method among smallholders by replacing conventionally planted fodder.
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A study was envisaged to highlight the existing dairy farming practices and to analyze the constraints of the dairy farming in Goa. A total of 66 farmers were selected randomly from different talukas of Goa, which covered around 1,170 dairy animals. Only 8% farmers had dairying as the primary occupation and majority (74%) of the farmers had agriculture or horticulture as the primary occupation. Based on the number of milch animals 51.5, 27.3, 16.7 and 4.5, per cent farmers were marginal, small, medium and large, respectively. The wet average and herd average were 7.62 kg/day and 5.79 kg/day. Among the ingredients of the home-made concentrate feeds, ground maize and cotton seed cake were most preferred. Majority of the dairy farmers were using naturally grown karad grasses only during rainy season. Among the un-conventional feeds, spent brewers' grains were mostly used. It can be concluded that there is need of awareness programmes on scientific feeding practices and interventions are needed in the traditional feeding practices of the dairy animals to make the dairy farming a more profitable venture.
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Ten crossbred dairy cows (avg. BW 276.80± 11.51 kg) were divided into two groups i.e. control group (CG) and treatment group (TG) of five animals in each to find out the effect of feeding green fodder maize as replacement of concentrate mixture on their performance. The animals of CG were offered daily 4 kg concentrate mixture (CM) along with 1 kg fresh green fodder maize and ad lib. jowar straw; while in TG, 50% of the CM as offered in the CG was replaced by 20 kg fresh green fodder maize. The total DM intake in both the groups was in the range of 10.20-10.33 kg/day, and was similar (P>0.05) between the two groups. There was difference (P < 0.05) in roughage: concentrate ratio of the total rations in CG (61.27: 38.73) and TG (80.36: 19.64). The milk yield (4.83 vs 4.87 kg/day) and 4% FCM yield (4.41 vs. 4.12 kg/day) of the animals of the CG was similar (P > 0.05) to TG. There were no differences (P >0.05) in the milk compositions i.e. fat (3.49 vs 3.01%) and SNF (8.88 vs 8.51%) content of milk between the two groups. There was no difference (P>0.05) in the CP% of the diets. The DCP content of the CG (6.59%) was however higher (P<0.05) than that of the TG (5.36%); but the TDN content of the TG (62.21%) was higher (P < 0.05) than the CG (57.18%). The net cost (Rs.) of feed in TG (97.53) was lower than me CG (125.74). Based on the 4% FCM yield, the cost of milk was similar in both the groups. There was higher net profit of Rs. 17.99 per animal per day due to replacement of concentrate mixture by green fodder maize. It was concluded that dairy cows yielding around five kg milk daily, 1 kg concentrate mixture can be replaced by 10 kg green fodder maize without affecting the daily milk yield.
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The studies reported in this research examined the nutrient profile of barley grain when it was sprouted hydroponically. Following sprouting, the measurement of animal response at experimental level and also in a commercial setting was performed in order to test the hypothesis that sprouting gives rise to hydroponic sprouts that give higher animal responses. In first part of the experiment, barley gram was sprouted hydroponically for a duration of 7 days. Daily sampling of the sprouts was done to assess DM concentration and also to determine the nutrient concentration on day 7 in comparison to the unsprouted gram. Results showed a 21.9% loss in DM from the original seed after sprouting for a period of 7 days. A loss of 2% GE was recorded after comparing the sprouts with the original grain. The CP, ash and all other minerals except potassium were lower in concentration on a DM basis in the barley grain than in the sprouts. This was considered to be a reflection of a loss in DM after sprouting causing a shift in concentration of these nutrients. The second phase of the experiment involved in sacco degradation of hydroponic barley sprouts and the unsprouted grain in the rumen of Merino sheep. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in in sacco degradation when unsprouted grain was compared with hydroponic barley sprouts. It was concluded that the loss of 21% DM followed by a lack of difference in in sacco degradability disproved the presence of any advantage of sprouts over the original grain.
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In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries, where water is a major limitation in crop production, using alternative water resources such as tertiary treated sewage effluent (TTSE) is one way to produce crops, especially fodders which consume sizeable share of the limited irrigation water. Barley (Hordium vulgare L.) is a popular fodder in the region with good adaptability to wide range of climate and soil. A laboratory experiment was conducted during 2009 using complete randomized design with four replications in order to evaluate yield, water use efficiency (WUE) and quality of barley fodder irrigated with TTSE under hydroponic system. Barley seeds of a commercial grade with good viability (80-85%) were sterilized with 20% sodium hypochlorite solution to control fungal growth. Seeds were sown in stacked trays in a temperature controlled room. Trays were irrigated daily with either tap water (T1), or tap water mixed with TTSE at 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% (T2 to T5) and with TTSE only (T6). Plants were harvested 9 days after sowing. Plant height, green and dry fodder weight, the germination percentages and the amount of water used were recorded. Representative fresh green fodder samples from each treatment were oven-dried at 70 o C for 48 hrs and analyzed. Crude protein, Crude fiber CF, acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and lipid concentrations were determined. Results indicated that germination percent and yield of barley increased as the concentration of TTSE in irrigation water increased, however, the increase in WUE was not significant. Proximate chemical analyses indicated that there was no significant effect of treated sewage effluent on moisture, CF, NDF, ADF, or fat (ether extract) of the barley fodder. It was concluded that barley produced by TTSE maintained all its fodder quality and that it can be produced commercially for feeding livestock.
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This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of barley green fodder produced by hydroponics system on the performance of feedlot calves. In a completely block randomized experiment, 24 cross bred (Holstein × Local) male calves were assigned randomly to one of the two treatments (diets) that were either control (grain barley) or hydroponic barley green fodder (BGF) that was included to provide 22.8 percent of the total diet on dry matter basis. Seed grade barley was grown in a hydroponics chamber system where the growth period was adjusted for 6 days. Body weigh gain was not significantly different between the treatments, but the animals that had received the control diet had higher (P< 0.05) dry matter intake than those fed BGF diet. There was a tendency (P= 0.199) toward differences in feed efficiency due to dietary treatments. From economical point of view, feed cost increased up to 24 percent when the calves were offered BGF, because of the costly production of hydroponics green forage. Although the mass production of fresh fodder was about 4.5 times per kg of barley grain, this was due to water absorption during germination and growth period. Nevertheless, the dry matter obtained was less than the initial barley grain and further dry matter losses were found in the green fodder. These findings suggest that green fodder had no advantage over barley grain in feedlot calves, while it increased the cost of feed.
Cereals and legumes are the foodstuffs for most humans and animals and have been throughout recorded history. To extract “maximum nutrients for minimum costs,” the seeds of those plants have usually been treated by germinating, fermenting or selectively heat treating to increase the amount or availability of nutrients.
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Hydroponically grown wheat, barley and oats were examined for their ability to remove nutrients from aquaculture wastewater. Wheat, barley and oats seeds were germinated in water in a hydroponics system. The seedlings then received wastewater from an aquaculture system stocked with Arctic charr. During the experiment, the crops grew rapidly and fairly uniformly and showed no signs of mineral deficiency although fungal growth was evident. The average crop heights and yields at harvest were 19.0, 25.5 and 25.2 cm and 64, 59 and 42 t ha1 for wheat, barley and oats, respectively. The hydroponically grown wheat, barley and oats were able to significantly reduce the pollution load of the aquaculture wastewater. The TS, COD, NH4+-N, NO2-N, NO3-N and PO43-P reductions ranged from 53.3 to 57.7%, from 55.7 to 78.7%, from 76.0 to 80.0% from 85.1 to 92.9%, from 62.1 to 79.3% and from 74.1 to 93.0%, respectively. The compartments containing barley produced the highest quality effluent, which was suitable for reuse in aquaculture operations. The average TS, COD, NH4+-N, NO2-N, NO3-N and PO43-P concentrations and pH of the final effluent from the compartments containing barley were 442, 64, 0.50, 0.02, 5.89 and 0.61 mg L1 and 6.65, respectively. The nutritive value of the three wastewater grown crops was assessed to determine the suitability of using the plants as a component in fish feed. The three terrestrial crops meet the energy, fat, Ca, Mg, P, Na, S and Mn dietary requirements of aquatic animals, exceed the carbohydrate, crude fiber, Cl, K, Cu, Fe, Se and Zn requirements of fish and shellfish and do not contain sufficient amounts of protein to meet the dietary requirements of fish and shellfish. The crops will require supplementation with a high protein source that contains low concentrations of carbohydrates, crude fiber, Cl, K, Cu, Fe, Se and Zn. Common protein sources that could be used for supplementation included fishmeal, bone meal and blood meal.