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Range Management and Agroforestry
Year : 2020, Volume : 41, Issue : 2
First page : ( 188) Last page : ( 199)
Print ISSN : 0971-2070. Online ISSN : 2249-5231.

Forage based feeding systems of dairy animals: Issues, limitations and strategies

Mahanta S.K.1*, Garcia S.C.2, Islam M.R.2

1ICAR-Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute, Jhansi-284003, India

2Dairy Research Foundation, University of Sydney, Camden-2570, Australia

*Corresponding author mahantask@rediffmail.com

Online published on 18 February, 2021.


The key problem in high producing dairy animals with forage/pasture based diets is getting adequate net energy intake to meet the requirements of animals, besides methane emissions. Hence efforts should be made to improve the efficiency of feed utilization including energy and protein. Feed conversion ratios (FCR) of the energy and protein in feeds consumed by animals vary depending on species, production systems, feed type and products. Non-ruminants are most efficient on the basis of total food produced from total feed intake, but dairy cows and other ruminants return more human food per unit of human edible feed consumed because most of their feed resources are obtained from materials that cannot be consumed directly by humans. The values on human edible FCR for energy (0.15 to 0.93) and protein (0.07 to 0.71) were comparatively low in dairy cows of India than Australia, indicating relatively more use of human edible sources of feeds (cereal grains) in dairy cows of developed countries to maximize the production as well as profit. But keeping in view the food security at global level, efforts should be made to improve the human edible FCR so that a dairy cow can produce more edible milk energy or protein than it consumes as feed, which requires substitution of concentrate feeds/cereal grains by high quality forages.



Australia, Dairy animals, Feeding systems, Forages/pastures, India.


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