Dear Kirti,Hello Sir
Pasture can be a major source of feed for dairy cows.
Energy and protein supplies are the most essential components in animal nutrition and these components are often the critical limiting factors to animal production.
Most of the tropical grasses (either native or improved pastures) have metabolisable energy values ranging from 7.0 to 11.0 MJ/kg DM when cut between 2–8 weeks and energy concentrations for natural forages were found to be similar (7.1 to 10.1 MJ ME/kg DM).
Broadleaved species and ferns also have higher metabolisable energy values and their crude protein and crude fibre was superior to natural grasses.
U can select
Grasses: Brachiaria, Digitaria, Panicum, Setaria and Pennisetum
Legumes: Centrosema pubescens, Desmodium ovalifolium, Pueraria phaseoloides and Leucaena leucocephala
Cows grazing tropical pastures require about 10 to 12 hours a day of grazing to satisfy their nutritional needs.
Grazing animals are able to choose their own forages. Grazing cows tend to produce more milk and obtain better reproductive performance than stall-fed cows.
In areas where dairy cattle are kept near a pineapple factory, palm oil mill, sugar-cane plantation or in any major agriculture operation from which crop by-products are plentiful, a complete year round feeding system involving these by-products could be established. By-products do not provide a balanced feed on their own, being either excessive or deficient in certain minerals, but they are good roughage with high metabolisable energy. They may be available or harvested only in a certain period of the year, mostly approaching the dry season when shortage of green forage is experienced.
Besides the agriculture by-products, the conservation of feed in the form of silage or hay may be another alternative.
Using forage as a basic diet, supplementary feeding of formulated by-products, may possibly be able to maintain full milk production throughout the year.