Estimation of Milk Production, its Disposal pattern, Feeding Practices and Plane of Nutrition of Lactating Buffaloes in Patiala District of Punjab, India
A survey was conducted to study milk production, its disposal pattern, feeding practices and plane of nutrition of lactating buffaloes in Patiala District of Punjab State, India. The small, medium and large buffalo farmers were having 1.05, 2.36 and 4.65 lactating buffaloes; 3.44, 6.70 and 15.47 total buffaloes; 2.28, 2.11 and 5.35 total cattle, respectively, showing that buffaloes were preferred over cattle by all categories of farmers. On an average, 13.13, 14.57 and 35.35 liter/d of milk was produced per family of which, families of small, medium and large farmers consumed 40.83, 38.72 and 28.74%, respectively. Most of the farmers disposed off milk through vendors in village itself and dairy operations were largely unorganized. Berseem, jowar and bajra were the major green fodder sources and wheat straw was the major dry roughage source. Wheat and barley were the major component of concentrate mixture and only 2–4% of farmers prepared balanced concentrate mixture. Most of the farmers were feeding only one or two concentrate ingredients. Feeding of mineral mixture was not commonly practiced. On DM basis, small, medium and large farmers were feeding lactating buffaloes (per head per day) @ 4.37, 4.75 and 5.23 kg of green fodder, 3.02, 2.59 and 2.35 kg of wheat straw and 1.64, 2.48 and 2.44 kg concentrate feeds, respectively. Small, medium and large farmers’ buffalo consumed on an average 83.59, 84.73 and 87.87% of predicted DM intake and 71.76, 76.87 and 78.18% of required CP and 88.3, 91.88 and 101.8% of required TDN, respectively. There was a considerable variation in the degree of deficiency or excess in protein, energy and DM feeding across farmers. Farmers were feeding lactating buffaloes at an overall average of 92.18, 75.1 and 84.39% of TDN, CP and DM of their requirements, respectively, showing that there is a vast scope for improving buffalo productivity in the area, Therefore, farmers must be educated about the scientific feeding of lactating animals.
Feeding Practices, Lactating buffaloes, Patiala, Punjab, India, Survey, Milk production, Milk disposal.