Production and conservation of fodders
- During the kharif season, Bajra and Jowar were attempted as fodder crops. In upland terraced area, bajra and jowar yielded 385.2 and 291.5 qtl/ha fresh fodder at 60 days of harvesting with DM contents of 30.27 and 27.05% respectively.
- During the winter season, attempt has been made to grow the best quality of leguminous fodders in the upland terraced area. Berseem and Lucerne yielded 62, 113 and 87, and 50, 94 and 131 quintal/ha green fodder (fresh basis) in three cuts respectively at Animal Nutrition Farm.
- In the field receiving the washings/drainage from the dairy cattle shed, mixed/inter cropping of mustard, oats and berseem has been attempted. Mustard fodder was harvested (single cut) and the oats and berseem were harvested subsequently after every 30 days period. The fodder (fresh basis) yields were 270 qlts/ha for mustard, 140 and 225 qtl/ha for oats and 89 and 113 qtls/ha for berseem in second and third cut respectively.
- Maize fodder (29.75% DM) with common salt (0.5%, fresh basis) has produced good quality silage for feeding of ruminants during the lean period. Local grasses (~25% DM) can be ensiled with use of common salt (1.5%), maize flour (2%) and lactobacillus culture under the conditions of Meghalaya. Presently, attempt has been made for silage preparation from broom grass.
Improvement of ruminant and non-ruminant productivity by strategic supplementation of nutrients and feed technology:
- Supplementation of legume fodder to the level of 15% in green grasses increased the nutritive value and subsequently increased the milk yield without affecting the fat content.
- The performance evaluation of dairy unit under institutional set up over a period of eight years revealed that dairying can be a successful and sustainable alternative for the lively improvement of the farmers in the region.
- An Average Daily Gain (ADG) of 779g was attained in HF crossbred calves by strategic supplementation of concentrate @ 1.75 to 2.25% of body weight to meet the growth demand along with mixed green grass in rainy season and paddy straw in winter as sole source of roughage.
- Chopped paddy straw and concentrate based complete mash ration feeding improved the feed intake, nutrient digestibility and growth in cattle. It has also reduced the feed refusal. Feeding complete feed blocks (CFB) having 1:1 roughage to concentrate ratio, with chopped and ground paddy straw to crossbred HF lactating dairy cattle resulted in an increase in the daily average milk production and intake of DM, with a smaller reduction in the digestibility of nutrients.
- Feeding maize kadabi in the form of complete feed block (CFB) increased the palatability and growth in crossbred calves.
- In lactating cattle, feeding complete feed blocks (CFB) having chopped maize kadabi was better than CFB having chopped paddy straw, but grinding of maize kadabi was not beneficial for feeding in form of CFB.
- Average milk yield performance of HF crossbred cows in different lactations was recorded in the dairy herd. Observations from 1st to 4th lactation revealed that lactation yield (305days yield) increased linearly from 3371 liters in first lactation to 4620 liters in the fourth lactation while average daily milk yield increased from 11.1 liters to 15.1 in respective lactations.
- Incorporation of ficus leaf meal in the rice straw based complete feed block (CFB) increased the palatability in the growing Assam hill goats.
- Fodders from soybean and rice bean can be fed along with broom grass for improving the nutrient intake and digestibility in goats.
- Male and female Assam local goats attained an ADG of 61.67g and 48.61g respectively under stall-feeding on seasonally available green grasses and tree laves along with supplementation of 125-175g concentrate (16% CP and 65% TDN) per animal per day. The economical slaughter weight 14-15kg is suggested for better chevon quality.
Local feed resource based feeding:
- Locally available herbs like banana pseudo-stem, alocacia, squash etc. were evaluated for feeding ruminant as well as in swine. Preliminary study did not reveal benefit on their incorporation in growing pig diet. Isonitrogenous (14% CP) diets containing with or without chopped and cooked (3:1 w/v, with water for almost 1.5 to 2.0 hr) squash fruit, banana pseudo stem, alocacia stem with leave and sweet potato vine at 17, 25,33 and 25%, respectively replacing 20% of rice polish in concentrate feed resulted ADG (g/d) of 336 and 452.
- The feed intake and growth rate in post-weaned piglets was greatly influenced by their weight at weaning even though age at weaning was similar for all the piglets.
- Broken rice could be incorporated up to 25% level in the ration of grower-crossbred pigs without any adverse effect on growth rate and nutrient utilization.
- Boiled sweet potato tuber (SPT) can be fed to crossbred piglet to the level of 60% of total dry matter intake for better growth rate and nutrient utilization. Feeding different cultivars of SPT (Pusa safed, Kokrajhar red and Sankar) in piglets revealed that the growth performance of piglets was similar for all the cultivars and hence it was concluded that types of sweet potato or its flesh color did not have any significant effect on growth performance in pigs. These cultivars were grown and tubers were harvested after 140 days. Sankar cultivar was better in terms of dry matter, digestible energy (DE) and protein yields and it can be used as good energy resource for animal feed in this region. SPT based feeding in pigs, increased the fat thickness. The pork was softer and better in quality on account of acceptability due to improved flavor and taste. In finisher pig ration the SPT as local feed resource may be used at a level of 70% of total DM intake with ADG-612 g/d and FCR-4.08 without affecting the thickness of back fat.
- Incorporation of poor quality rice bran available in the local markets in swine rations decreased the growth performance of piglets. With good quality of rice polish at 50% level (CP 16% and DE 3000 Kcal/kg) in the diet, CB pig gained 72.16 and 136.50 kg body weight in 160 and 300 days respectively.
Use of feed additives and probiotics
- Supplementation of phytase enzyme @ 1 lakh unit/100kg feed based on 50% good quality rice polish was sufficient for proper utilization of phosphorus. It resulted in better growth rate during the grower stage. However during finisher stage, sweet potato tubers and good quality rice polish based ration may be fed without supplementation of phytase enzyme. Supplementation of Phytase enzyme @ 2.0 lakh unit/ 100kg feed in the pig diets containing 70% good quality rice polish provided better growth performance (ADG 423g/d with FCR of 3.11) as compared to supplementation @ 1.0 lakh unit/100kg feed containing 50% good quality rice polish (ADG 452g/d with FCR of 2.97). Field data from the farmers of Ri-Bhoi district also revealed that 12.81% more ADG was observed in CB pigs fed with phytase @ 20g/100kg feed. Phytase supplementation in the traditional swine ration also improves the growth performance in the village conditions.
- Supplementation of DL-methionine @ 50g/100kg feed of crossbred piglets significantly increased growth (7.95%) during weaning period.
- Alvizyme plus is a combination product of enzymes, live microbes and yeast which was supplemented in the diets of day-old Vencob broiler chicks concentrate level. Supplementation of Alvizyme @ 100g/100kg (21% CP) increased 5.4% growth rate and it also resulted 2.5% reduction in feeding cost.
- Performance of broiler chicken was not influenced by supplementation of ginger; garlic and turmeric powder at 0.25% level, although there was a scope of lowering the serum cholesterol levels. Supplementation of different commercially available mineral mixtures in broiler diets indicated that cost of the mineral mixture was crucial in overall cost of production, as the performance of birds was not affected by the type of mineral used in the diet.
- Supplementation of isolated Lactobacillus strain of fecal origin in the diets of vanraja chicks improved the performance and with addition of Saccharomyces sp., further improvement is observed.
- Legume fodders like soybean up to 50% DM requirement in ration of rabbits can provide ADG of 17g and can reduce cost of production substantially.
- The production performance of indigenous fowls (Miri, Naked neck and frizzle fowl) under intensive rearing conditions was not economical under intensive system. Productive and reproductive traits on three types of indigenous fowls viz. Miri Bird, Naked Neck and Frizzle Feathered of Northeastern region of India were evaluated under intensive, semi-intensive and extensive rearing systems. The overall production performance of Naked Neck fowls was better than the other two types of fowls and only the extensive system of rearing was found to be economical.
- Twelve potential wild edibles were studied for their nutritional and anti-nutritional factors. Dry matter content differed greatly in wild edibles with high levels of crude protein (10.25 –25.91 g %). The other nutrients like ether extract (fat), total minerals (ash) and fiber were also present in reasonable quantities. Similarly, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C were high in most of the wild edibles.
- On scientific feeding of livestock and poultry, imparted training to various stake holders including farmers and state government officials through lectures, demonstrations etc. We are rendering services to the farmers and state government by providing root slips/stem cuttings of grasses and tree fodders.