Existing feeding practices, nutrient availability and reproductive status of dairy cattle and buffaloes in haridwar district of uttarakhand
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An investigation was conducted in four villages, two each from Roorkee and Laksar tehsils in Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, to find out the existing crop-livestock production system, macro nutrients status in feeds and fodder and feeding practices. Fifteen farmers under three major categories on land holding basis i.e. landless (0 acre), small (2–5 acres) and large (>5 acres) from each village were selected. A benchmark survey was conducted through common questionnaire in order to collect the information on farmers’ family size, land holding, cropping pattern and irrigation facilities as well as livestock population, milk yield, feeding pattern along with mineral mixture and salt supplementation and reproductive status of the animals. Land holding, livestock holding and family size were the main factors influencing the nutritional status of the animals. Total cultivated area from selected villages owned as 41.7 and 58.3 per cent by small and large farmers, respectively. Main crops cultivated during kharif season are paddy, maize, sorghum, cowpea, etc, while during rabi season wheat; Berseem, etc. are the major crops. Most of the farmers used to prepare home made concentrate mixtures by blending locally available concentrate ingredients such as soybean cake, mustard cake, toria (lahi), gram chunni, wheat bran, wheat grain, deoiled rice bran, etc. and provided it to their animals in the form of sani (blend of concentrate, wheat straw and green fodder sprinkled with water). Complete feed block (CFB) and cattle feed (pellet) were purchased from the market and mostly fed to milch animals by the farmers of Roorkee tehsil. Wheat straw was the sole roughage used during all seasons along with available green fodders and almost all farmers used it as a basal fodder. Livestock (cattle and buffaloes) of 40 to 50 per cent farmers of the target area were found with different reproductive problems such as anoestrus (8.51 and 6.87% in animals of Laksar and Roorkee tehsil, respectively), repeat breeding (11.35 and 5.84% in animals of Laksar and Roorkee tehsil, respectively. Animals of surveyed area exhibited a deficiency in DM, DCP and TDN intake. In view of the scarcity of greens and high cost of concentrates, use of unconventional feeds with supplementation of mineral mixture may be beneficial to improve the nutritional status of the animals. There is further scope for improvement in production by feeding the animals as per the recommended standards.
Farmers, Livestock, Nutrients, Reproductive problems..