Evaluation of the locally available feed resources on smallholder farms on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro
The major objective of the study was to evaluate the nutritive value of the locally available feed resources as sources of nutrients for dairy cattle on smallholder farms on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Chapter one of the thesis is concerned with the review of literature on the farming systems approach to research. A short review of literature on roughage intake by ruminants and the evaluation methods used in determining their nutritive value is provided. In chapter two, results from a preliminary feed valuation experiment are presented. Nutritive value for 77 different locally available feeds are presented and discussed. In chapter three an experiment using twenty five yearling bulls aged 1 to 1.5 years and weighing 117 - 209 kgs was carried out in an attempt to estimate voluntary dry matter (DM) intake, digestible DM intake, DM digestibility and growth rates fed on 18 feeds. The animals were randomly allocated into five groups of five animals each. Feeds were then randomly allocated to the five groups four period of 60 days in which DM intakes were measured. A digestion trial was carried out to measure the feed's apparent digestibility. Solid outflow rates in the rumen were determined using Cr-mordanted fibre. DM degradation characteristics of the feeds were determined by incubation in nylon bags in the rumen of 3 Boran steers fed on guatemala grass. Washing loss (A) was also determined. DM intakes varied from 2.2 for banana pseudostem to 4.67 kg/day for urea treated maize stover. Digestibility ranged from 549 for untreated maize stover to 767 g/kg DM for banana pseudostem and growth rate ranged from 72 for banana leaves to 279g/day for urea treated maize stover.