"Animal Nutrition Programme"
Animal Nutrition Programme National Agricultural Research Centre 4. Effect of feeding levels of mineral mixture on milk yield, composition and reproductive performance of lactating Nili-Ravi buffaloes Introduction and background Major feed resources are crop residues, green fodder and rangelands alongwith some supplementary industrial by-products. Crop residues are deficient particularly in crude protein and minerals. Supplementation of crop residues with concentrate, good quality fresh legume and minerals can significantly improve the digestibility, feed intake and subsequently production performance of animals. In dairy animals, Ca and P are essentially important. Ca and P requirements need to be balanced for complete lactation cycle. It is especially important to monitor the Ca and P levels during the late pregnancy to reduce the incidence of milk fever. Red water disease is also a common problem in dairy animals due to P deficiency. Na deficiency also causes infertility in animals. Mg is responsible for nerve transmission, skeletal tissue, bone formation and milk production. In micro mineral, Cu is required for reproductive performance. A significant symptom of Cu deficiency includes delayed or suppressed estrus, alongwith reduced growth rate, fragile bones and anemia. Mn is a necessary element for bone growth and skeletal development, as well as reproduction. Skeletal abnormalities such as week bones and stiff joints are signs of deficiency, as well as poor reproductive performance and reduced conception rate. Zinc is essential in the functioning of numerous enzymes. The signs of its deficiency are delayed puberty and abnormal estrus. Supplementation of minerals to dairy animals can improve milk production and improve reproductive performance. This study was conducted to determine the effect of mineral supplementation on milk production, milk composition and reproductive performance of Nili Ravi buffalo. Approach and methodology: To evaluate the effect of supplementation of mineral mixture on milk production and reproduction efficiency of lactating buffaloes, a mineral mixture was formulated and prepared according to the requirement, containing all the macro and micro minerals. Trial was conducted at LRS, NARC. Twelve lactating buffaloes of approximately same milk yield and lactation length were involved, randomly divided into 4 groups comprising three buffaloes in each. One group served as control (without supplementation) and other three were supplemented with 80, 100 and 120% recommendation of NRC dietary level of minerals and were fed for 120 days. All the buffaloes were individually fed similar ration twice a day. Milk yield was recorded daily during morning and evening. Milk samples were collected fortnightly and analyzed for total solids, fat, protein and ash. Fat corrected milk was calculated as (4% fat corrected milk = 0.4 × milk yield + 15 × fat). Results: Results of milk yield and its composition affected by minerals supplementation are presented in table 2. Table-2: Effect of feeding mineral mixture on milk production and composition NRC Requirement % Parameters Control without suppl. 80 100 120 Milk yield (kg/day) 08.00 9.32 10.50 11.75 Fat corrected milk at 4%, (kg/day) 09.66 11.49 14.00 16.60 Fat % 05.38 5.55 6.23 6.75 Total solids 15.00 15.00 15.30 16.10 Results showed that mineral mixture improved the milk yield 16.5, 31.5 and 47% with 80, 100 and 120% NRC mineral requirement as compared to control and fat composition increased (25.46%) in 120% NRC supplemented group. Fig 2 indicated the variation in daily milk yield during the experimental period. 12.50 11.00 Milk Yield 9.50 8.00 6.50 1 2 3 4 Control 8.43 8.86 7.81 6.94 80% 9.45 9.61 9.51 8.73 100% 9.58 10.88 11.19 10.46 120% 9.51 12.14 12.71 12.65 Months Mineral supplementation also enhanced the reproductive performance by inducing early oestrous and pregnancy in lactating buffaloes. At the end of experimental period all the animals were conceived in mineral supplemented groups, while in control only one animal was pregnant out of three buffaloes. Future Direction: Mineral supplementation to dairy animals reduces economic losses caused by the minerals deficiencies. Moreover, it also increases milk production, improves reproductive performance and ultimately enhances the farmer’s income. Mixture mineral mixture and mineral blocks will be available for dairy farmers through commercial sale from Feed Technology Unit.