How to feed cattle in resource poor situation

Cattle feeding management in Resource Poor Situations

How to feed cattle in resource poor situation
How to feed cattle in resource poor situation

  • Dairy production systems should be matched to the available resources to ensure optimal utilization of available fodder and feed resources (non conventional feed, treatment of crop residues) including the application of more balanced feeding schedules, and a better balance between the number of cattle and feed available in a certain area.
  • There is an urgent need to analyze the situation so as to suggest appropriate measures to reverse the trend and to improve milk production. The Government may initiate the conduct of a study of the livestock economy to assess the socio-economic changes and the economics of milk production that might have contributed to this trend, in the backdrop of the scarce resource availability.
  • Geographical Information Surveys are to be undertaken to identify different agro-climatic zones in the state with special emphasis on the resources availability and production potential of animals in these different zones.
  • Government may frame an implementable Feed and Fodder Policy for the state.
  • Legislation to regulate/ensure quality standards in manufacturing/selling or/and distribution, by whatever manner of compounded cattle feed, concentrates or mineral mixtures in the state should be framed under the provisions of available acts and Government must provide financial support for its efficient implementation. 
  • A fully automated central referral laboratory for nutritive analysis of feed stuffs under a functionally viable autonomous Government body is to be set up by the Government.
  • Agencies concerned should develop optimal feeding schedules for the different farming situations and agro-climatic zones in the state and extend such information to farmers. Ration Balancing Software’s (RBS) to formulate least cost rations for cattle should be utilized.
  • An integrated program incorporating cattle management, fodder production, soil conservation, milk marketing, bio gas plant and the elements of organic farming may be promoted/ launched in selected districts/areas that are better endowed.
  • Increasing fodder production and availability within the state through the intervention of co-operatives and NGO’s should be explored, as the scope for individual initiative by farmers in fodder cultivation seems rather limited. It is very difficult for the state to enforce strict land utilization laws so as to prevent the decline in the availability of dry fodder. What is more feasible will be to encourage farmers to take up fodder cultivation as a commercial program with the support of the local bodies who should also incorporate fodder production as one of their major activities in the rural development sector. New varieties like CO3 and KKM1 are found promising for commercial fodder production and marketing.
  • Fodder should be considered as a “crop” and its cultivation fully integrated into the farming system preparing perspective plans.
  • Utilization of under exploited local fodder resources should be increased for which applied research and subsequent extensions are needed.
  • Techniques to increase the nutritive quality of various roughage, which can be done by farmers at a modest cost, should be encouraged and mainly local co-operatives and other service/ extension departments, in this sector, should initiate diffusion of knowledge of such techniques.
  • Area specific formulations of mineral mixtures are to be developed assessing the mineral status, for use in the different areas.
  • Benefits of the Special Livestock Breeding Program should be provided to the calves from the weaning day itself and buffalo calves should also be enrolled in the program.
  • Cattle keeping should be encouraged in areas endowed with feed resources and input services should favor these pockets more. The terms of trade in dairy sector should be made in favor of the dairy farmers for whom the distance between the price of feed materials and price received for milk produced by him should be narrowed. For this the concept of dairy co-operative system needs to revitalized for assuring marketing of milk, generation of dairy cash incomes and supply of all inputs including quality compounded cattle feed at reasonable rates. Attempts should also be made to increase the share of cooperative sector in the quantity of manufactured feed from the present level so as to make available quality feed at reasonable prices.
  • Promoting better interaction among the partner agencies and in educating the implementing staff through awareness creation.
  • Feed manufacturers should come out with special blends like Bypass protein feed, calf starters and Type I cattle feed for those herds which are in the high input system and commercially high producers.
  • Bypass technology needs to be commercialized on a large scale, so that regionally available protein feeds can be treated and fed to animals for improving milk production.

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