Effect of Two Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) Fodder Cultivars as Supplements on Voluntary Intake; Milk Yield and Manure Production of Bunaji Cows

J. A. Akinlade, J. W. Smith, A. M. Raji, A. A. Busari, I. O. Adekunle, M. K. Adewumi


The feeding value of fodder from two cowpea cultivars to a basal maize stover diet was investigated using fifteen lactating White Fulani (Zebu) cows. The two cultivars were IT-716 and 994-DP. Diet was constituted as 50g DM/kg live weight and each of the cultivars was supplemented at 50% of the daily dry matter requirement of individual animals. The experimental design was a complete randomize. The parameters measured included feed intake, milk yield and composition and manure production. In a separate trial, dry matter degradation of the fodder was assessed. There were no significant differences in dry matter intake of the supplements. However, the dry matter intake of stover in the control diet was higher than those on the supplemented groups.
The milk yields ranged from 887 to 1378 ml/day. Milk yield differed among treatments. Supplementation did not affect (P > 0.05) fat, protein, total solids and ash contents of the milk across the treatments. Manure productions were not significantly different among the treatments. Similarly, content of N, P and K in manure were comparable among the treatments except for N that was lower (P < 0.05) in the control group. The dry matter degradation was influenced by the fodder cultivars. The feeding of dual-purpose forage legumes residues could enhance milk production in lactating Zebu cows. This may be further increased by exploring other ways of improving feed residue utilization in the dry season.


Lactating Zebu cows; forage legume; milk yield; milk composition; cowpea; Vigna unguiculata

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