Natural fermentation of straws (FWS): Natural fermentation of cereal crop residues with urea developed, standardized and critically evaluated in long-term trial (6 month ad lib feeding). Wheat straw and urea (96.5:3.5) moistened to 40% stacked for 9 day (FWS) could meet the basal energy and protein requirement for maintenance of adult ruminants and partly the production requirement of buffalo calves (6-9 months). A 396 day lactation trial revealed that ad lib feeding of FWS with low protein concentrate resulted in higher milk production without any adverse effect on the quality of milk and conception rate in buffaloes. It was concluded that production can be economised (60-65 paise/kg milk) by feeding FWS and about 60-70% oilseed cakes can be spared for feeding to non-ruminants. The NPN rich non-conventional feedstuffs like deep stacked poultry litter or uromol bran could be incorporated in the concentrate mixture and fed along with FWS without any adverse effect on the nutrient utilization, health or productive performance of buffalo calves. The process has universal application on all cereal straws, stovers and millet stalks. Natural fermentation eliminates pathogenic microorganisms. The farmers under field conditions have readily accepted the technology.
Microbial treatment: Forteen different lignolytic fungal strains were tried for upgrading the nutritive value of straws with minimum pre-treatment without exogenous nutrients, except Coprinus cinereus which required N and P exogenously, and Cythus stercoreus; Phellinus linteus; Philophora hoffmannii and Heterobasidion annusium were observed to be the most effective. The increase in in sacco DM and CP degradability upto 5-10 days was associated with linear increase in DM loss in all the cases. In order to achieve the optimum degradability with minimum nutrient losses, the fermentation should be stopped within 6-8 days.
Forest grasses and tree leaves of kandi area as livestock feed:
Samples of forest tree leaves (20 species) and grasses (10 species) of semi-hilliy arid zone of Punjab state were evaluated for their nutritional worth. In vivo evaluation of leaves revealed that leaves of Melia azedarach, Morus alba and Leucaena leucocephala supplemented with mineral mixture and common salt could be fed as a complete feed to ruminants. It was concluded that the leaves of Morus, Ehretia, Grewea, Melia azedarach and Leucaena had great potential as livestock feed. The wild grasses like Taraxacum and Sancharum showed great potential as livestock feed
Agro-Industrial byproducts and wastes as livestock feed:
Cannery wastes like Sarson saag waste contains 14.5% protein and is a good source of water-soluble sugars (6%). The digestibility of nutrients in SSW was found to be comparable to that of conventional green fodder-A. sativa. The SSW was highly palatable, showed excellent effect on the health of the animals and can be fed as complete feed.
Vegetable wastes: The nutritional worth of vegetable wastes like cauliflower leaves, cabbage leaves, pea pods and pea vines was assessed in comparison to conventional green oats fodder in bucks. The cabbage leaves, cauliflower leaves and pea pods served as excellent source of nutrients for ruminants and can economize the production of animals.
Spent straws: The wheat and rice straws available after harvesting edible mushrooms viz. Agaricus bisporus, Pleurotus ostreatus or Volvariella diplacea currently used as soil conditioners can be incorporated in the ration of ruminants. The spent straw usually have low nutritive value than original straw except the Agaricus bisporus harvested spent straw which has 5.5 - 6.0% DCP and 30-55% TDN. It can also serve as a maintenance ration for an adult ruminant if supplemented with 200 gm corn grains.
Spent coffee grounds (SCG): A waste after extraction of instant coffee is being used as fuel in kilns. Inspite of promising chemical composition (12.5% CP; 15.6% EE; 31.3% cell solubles), it had very low in vitro DM degradability, nitrogen solubility and pepsin degradability. Natural fermentation of SCG with urea-wheat-straw resulted in poor utilization of nutrients as compared to FWS indicating that even fermentation could not improve its quality, appears to be unsuitable as feed ingredient for livestock.
Non-conventional straws: Straws of 4 different fodder crops viz., shaftal, Berseem, alfalfa and rye grass were evaluated on 16 male buffaloes for their nutritional worth. The CP and NDF content varied between 6.4 to 8.7% and 65 to 81%, respectively. It was concluded that all the straws could be fed exclusively to adult ruminants without any deleterious effect on the health of the animals. These straws had much better nutritive value than conventional straws/ stovers /stalks like that of wheat, rice, maize, pearl millet etc.
Processing and evaluation of poultry excreta: Different methods (sun drying, ensiling, deep stacking and solar drying etc.) were tested for the elimination of pathogens. Deep stacking was most effective, technically feasible, economical and applicable under field conditions. It eliminated the pathogens from poultry litter within a week. The processed poultry litter/poultry dropping can be incorporated in the concentrate mixture at 30 to 40% (N-basis) depending on the production status of the ruminant.
Particle size of cereal grains and their utilization in ruminants:
Intact cereal grains are poorly colonized in the rumen. Wheat and corn grains were, therefore, crushed and sieved through screens of different pore sizes. The excretion of undigested cereal grains in faeces increased with the increase in particle size of the grains. The study conclusively revealed that the cereal grains should be crushed and sieved through screens of 1.5-2.5 mm pore size for achieving the best nutrient utilization with minimum loss of energy in the faeces.
Effect of total mixed ration (TMR) on the performance of calves/milch cattle:
Different total mixed rations were developed for different categories of ruminants. The feeding system showed no significant, beneficial effect on the different N-fractions in the rumen, blood profile, nutritive value of diets or the daily live weight gain of calves, except for the labor cost. A lactation trial conducted on 20 multiparous crossbred milch cows revealed significantly higher digestibility of OM and NDF in TMR as compared to conventional feeding system, but did not have any impact on milk yield or its composition except that lactose content was significantly high in milk of animals fed TMR. Adoption of TMR instead of conventional feeding system could save the labor and economize dairy rations by providing every bite full of nutrients.
Impact of bypass nutrients:
The impact of feeding roasted soybeans on the productive and reproductive performance was assessed on 15 lactating crossbred cows. The daily DMI was comparable but, milk production was considerably higher in group fed roasted soybean diet as compared to other groups. The reproductive performance of animals was improved significantly in roasted soybean fed group.
A field study was conducted to assess the effect of bypass fat on the lactating crossbred cows producing more than 10 kg/d milk. The experimental group received 150g/d rumen inert fat (calcium salts of rice bran fatty acids) for 180 days. The daily milk yield was improved by 1.13 kg/d in fat supplemented group. The milk protein, lactose and SNF were also higher in supplemented group where as milk fat, milk urea-N and urinary purine derivatives were similar in both the groups. The final body weight was higher in experimental group as compared to control (551 vs. 508 kg) though the difference was non-significant.
Fractionation and evaluation of protein supplements for ruminants:
Amongst the various (sixteen) protein supplements evaluated the corn gluten meal proved to be a good bypass protein supplement, for high yielding dairy animals. The RUP of CGM can be efficiently utilized in the small intestine of such animals.
Role of herbal feed additives:
Herbal feed additives (9) used, either individually or in combination, revealed that digestibility of nutrients and availability of ME from the substrate were improved when supplemented with either bharingraj, kutki or jeera @ 0.4% of the substrate (wheat straw). The effect of herbal feed additives revealed that the activities of fiber degrading enzymes improved significantly when the diet was supplemented with kutaki picorrhiza (kutki) as compared to un-supplemented diet or diet supplemented with other herbal feed additives. It was concluded that herbs like Asparagus racemosus, Leptidenia reticulate, Kutaki picorrhiza or Eclipta alba could be used for improving the productive performance of ruminants.
Assessment of nutritional status of cattle:
A survey was conducted in different agro climatic zones of Punjab state with respect to the feeding practices followed in order to assess the nutritional status of livestock. It revealed that most of the animals in different agro climatic zones of Punjab state were fed highly imbalance ration. The dairy farmers were advised to use balanced complete feed as per the physiological status and production potential of the animal, and to take special care during transition phase, to get maximum profits with minimum inputs.
A study was taken to assess the nutritional status of crossbred animals in the central plane zone of Punjab (50 farms in each Ludhiana and Moga district). The energy intake (TDN) was around 10% lower than the requirement where as the protein intake was as per the requirement. About 94% farmers offered mineral mixture. It was concluded that crossbred cows in central plane zone were healthy and high producing (Average milk yield;16 l/d) and farmers offered good quality diet rich in macro and micronutrients.
Feeding during transition phase:
Feeding of limiting nutrients during transition phase in high yielding animals was carried out. Three ME levels i.e. 100, 110 and 120% of NRC each at 24, 32 and 40% RUP, supplemented with or without niacin, vitamin E and biotin. Pregnant crossbred cows (30; 42 days prior to parturition) randomly divided into 6 equal groups on the basis of parity, previous lactation yield and body weight were offered either LELP, MELP, MEMP, HELP, HEHP or HEHP with vitamins. All the animals received the respective feeds starting 40 days before parturition till 100 days after parturition. The daily DMI was higher (P<0.05) in HEHP and HEHP with vitamins than rest of the groups. The milk yield/d was highest in HEHP group, the energy or protein level supplemented with vitamins did not have any significant impact on daily milk yield, but improved the reproductive performance of the animals.
Nutritional status of animals in peri-urban dairy complexes:
The study was taken up to assess the nutritional status of dairy animals in 5 peri-urban dairy complexes in Punjab State of India. The animals of FDC had the lowest and that of Ludhiana dairy complex (LDC) had the highest body weight (478 vs. 572 kg). The healthy animals of LDC produced highest milk. The area allocated per adult cattle unit was only 42-55% of the recommended area of 11.25 m2. The CP and EE content in the diet of animals was less than the recommended level to the extent of 28 and 30%, 17 and 32%, 22 and 38%, 13 and 26%, 12 and 4% respectively in JDC, ADC, FDC, LDC and HDC. The milk urea nitrogen (MUN) was lowest in animals of FDC (8.1mg/dl) and highest in animals of HDC (20.8mg/dl). About 24, 14, 64, 83 and 50% of the dairy houses of JDC, ADC, FDC, LDC and HDC, respectively, offered DM less than the requirement. Only 3.6% of the dairy houses of FDC and 25% of the dairy houses of LDC offered mineral mixture to their animals, while mineral mixture was not offered at all in JDC, ADC and HDC. It was concluded that most of the animals in peri urban dairies were underfed.
Strategic supplementation to reduce enteric methane emission:
The present study was undertaken to estimate the enteric methane production from different conventional and non conventional concentrate feed ingredients, leguminous and non leguminous forages (Single and multicut), poor quality crop residues, fruit, vegetable and cannery wastes, concentrate mixtures, complete feeds and to assess the impact of the on the productive performance of buffalo calves. The methane production was lowest in cotton seed cake followed by corn gluten meal and tomato pomace (TP). Methane production ranged from 24.8 ml/g DM (bajra) to 35.2 ml/g DM (maize). The relative contribution of methane to total gas production was lowest in shaftal (17.3%) and highest in berseem (18.9%). The capability of straws to produce methane during fermentation in the rumen was observed to be lowest for rice straw (RS) and highest for maize stovers. The bajra-RS complete feed produced 23.8% higher methane than that produced when bajra alone was used as roughage. Methane production was lowest when high level of concentrate (50%) was used. It was concluded that enteric methane production could be reduced considerably by formulating the complete feed containing maize, bread waste, cotton seed cake, TP, corn gluten meal, spent brewers grains, deoiled rice bran, green bajra and rice straw, without impairing the productivity of the animals
Urea molasses multi-nutrient blocks (UMMB):
The conventional ingredients like oilseed cake, starch and molasses used in the UMMB were replaced with waste bread (WB) and tomato pomace (TP) and spent sugar syrup (Amla muraba industry) and their nutritional worth was assessed on buffaloes. The CP and EE content of different UMLs was comparable. The daily intake of block varied from 1.08 kg (CB) to 1.84 kg (TPB). The N retention was higher (P<0.05) in animals offered UMMB as compared to control group. It was concluded that WB and TP could be incorporated into UMLs without any adverse effect on palatability, nutrient utilization, rumen metabolites or health of animals.
Protein and energy requirements of WLH egg type starter chicks, Satlej strain of layers and IBL – 80 broilers were evaluated. Different levels of protein at different levels of energy were fed at various stages in both egg and meat type birds.
Egg type starter chicks:
22% protein and 2700 Kcal/kg ME
Satlej strain of WLH layer:
16% protein and 2700 Kcal/kg ME
IBL – 80 broiler:
22% protein and 2600 - 2800 Kcal/kg ME
hot humid and winter season.
1.0% calcium and 0.5% available phosphorus is required during
0-2 weeks 27% protein and 2800 Kcal/kg ME
3-5 weeks 24% protein and 2900 Kcal/kg ME
Substitutes of fish meal
Vegetable protein supplements: Combinations of vegetable protein supplements were evaluated to reduce the dietary fish meal from the broiler ration. The results of growth performance indicated that 25and 50% fish meal can be reduced by feeding GNE: MC: SBM: SF in the ratio of 31:48:6:15 and GNE; MC: SBM in the ratio of 46:48:6 respectively.
Liver meal and meat meal: Studies on the effect of feeding liver meal and meat meal on the growth performance of egg type and meat type starter chicks were undertaken. Growth performance of egg type chicks and meat type chicks showed that liver meal can be used up to 5.55 and 4.33% respectively replacing 75% of the fish meal nitrogen of control diet. However, meat meal can be included in egg type and meat type chicks up to 4.2 and 3.3% respectively replacing 50% of the fish meal nitrogen. Both liver meal and meat meal can be incorporated up to 2-3 % in layer rations replacing fish meal.
Alternate sources of phosphorus viz single super phosphate (SSP) and rock phosphate were evaluated to replace di calcium phosphate (DCP) in the rations of egg type chicken. SSP could replace DCP completely in the diets of egg type starter, growers and layers without affecting the growth and productive performance. However, RP could replace 60% DCP phosphorus.
Use of feed additives
Probiotics: Studies were conducted to see the effect of incorporating the various combinations of promising strains of probiotics (lactobacillus, streptococcus and saccharomyces) in the diets of broilers and egg type birds. The results indicated that feed consumption in layers with probiotic supplementation was more and the pullets fed probiotics matured earlier. A positive effect on egg production and egg weight was also observed.
Fibrolytic enzymes: Experiment was conducted to see the effect of enzyme supplementation in increased fiber levels of broiler diets. The results of growth performance of broilers showed that fiber level can be increased to 8% by supplementing fibrolytic enzymes.
Phytase: Enzyme phytase was used to reduce the inclusion of DCP in broiler diets and to make use of phytate phosphorus available from plant origin feed sources. The results indicated that supplementation of 600 units of phytase/kg diet reduced the dietary requirement of non phytate phosphorus to 0.3% there by saving DCP by 1.0 -1.3 kg per quintal.
Herbal feed additives: Experiments were conducted on broilers to see the effect of supplementing jiwanti and bhringraj on the growth. The data indicated that each herb alone at dose rate of 40g/q gave significantly better growth. Combination of Jiwanti and bhringraj at two different doses fail to improve the weight gain and feed efficiency as compared to control.
Use of byproducts:
Poultry droppings: Recycling of poultry droppings as poultry feed ingredient was tried by subjecting these sun dried dropping to various treatments like autoclaving and fermentation with different strains of fungi. These treatments significantly improved the nutrient digestion and metaboilsable energy. Fermentation of poultry droppings significantly reduced crude fibre and uric acid in poultry droppings which improved their net protein utilization and gross protein value. Feeding trials showed that fermented poultry dropping can be incorporated up to 15% in the broiler ration however autoclaved poultry droppings can be added up to 10%.
Leather meal: A byproduct of tannery industry is a rich source of protein, can be incorporated in broiler diet up to 4% replacing soybean meal.
Guar korma: A byproduct of Gum industry was incorporated at different levels in broiler diets to study its inclusion level without and with enzyme supplementation. Results indicated that guar korma can be included in broiler diet up to 5% without supplementing enzyme whereas when enzyme was supplemented its inclusion can be increased up to 10% in broiler rations.
Ice cream cone waste: Broken and misformed ice cream cones were evaluated in broilers as energy supplement replacing maize. Replacing 25% maize did not have any adverse effect on the performance of broilers.
Pig grower ration should contain 18 and 16% CP in summer and winter seasons respectively.
Simple and multiple regression equations were derived between chemical component and biologically determined DE and ME values of feed ingredients used for poultry and pig feeding.
Alternate energy and protein supplements
Various experiments were conducted to evaluate the alternate protein and energy and protein supplements. The results indicated that following byproducts can be included at the doses given below
Triticale can replace 100% maize in growing and finishing pigs.
Ground paddy can be incorporated up to 40% in the rations of growing and finishing pigs.
Spent coffee ground can be incorporated in finishing pigs up to 10%.
Brewers spent grains can be safely incorporated up to 15% in growing and finishing pigs.
Biogas slurry can be added in pig ration up to 10%
Prot-o-liv can replace 50% fish meal in pig grower ration
Inactivated yeast can be included in growing pig ration at the rate of 15%
Guar meal (toasted) can be used in the diet of growing pigs