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Title: Nutritional interventions on dairy performance and profitability in Kenya
Authors: Sakwa, Boniface Nabuko
Keywords: Nutritional interventions
Issue Date: Apr-2020
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: Use of conserved forages and proper ration formulation have great potential to bridge the gap in dairy nutrition and reduce seasonal variations in feed availability and milk yield. This study aimed at determining effects of various fodder conservation and ration formulation interventions on dairy performance in North rift, Central and Eastern regions of Kenya. Twelve farms from each intervention i.e. use of maize train and baled silage, production of silage with support from Service Provider Enterprises (SPEs), and ration formulation using Rumen8 software were compared with twelve control farms for each intervention, making a total of 72 purposively sampled farms. Objective one involved chemical analysis and in-vitro degradability of feed ingredients used in different intervention, while objective two and three involved the use of questionnaire to collect data on dairy performance and income over feed costs. The data was analysed using multi-linear regression model to assess the relationship between independent variables (interventions) and dependent variables (dairy performance). The data was subjected to analysis of variance using the General linear model of statistical Analysis system (2002). The Significant means was separated using least significant difference at 5%. Results from chemical analysis of feed ingredients showed that dry matter content of maize silage varied between the maize train and service provider enterprises silage (34.9% vs 32.33% respectively) P<0.05. In-vitro degradability potential at 48 hours showed baled maize silage being highly degraded 40.5% while SPEs silage had the least degradability (34.7%). Both proximate analysis and in-vitro degradability results showed no significant differences among concentrate ingredients within the same group from different interventions. Farms using Rumen8 software had better performance with average daily milk yield of 24.3kg/cow in North rift region compared to those using maize train/baled and SPEs silage (17.2kg/cow and 14.3kg/cow). The interactions between different interventions and regions, grazing systems, and farm sizes did not have an effect on milk yield at P>0.05. Average cost of feed production was high in farms using Rumen8 software (KES 28.85/litre) and lowest in SPEs farms (KES 18.46/litre). Income over feed cost was higher in farms using Rumen8 software formulated diets (KES 24.59/litre) and lowest in farms using SPEs feeds (KES 16.47/litre). It is concluded that use of maize train and baled silage and Rumen8 software developed diets are ideal for sustaining feed availability in dairy farms to reduce seasonal milk fluctuation and for increased farm income.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Agriculture

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