Preserved Colostrum can Replace Whole Milk
Based on research findings conducted by PCARRD-DOST and UP at Los Banos, colostrum, a dark yellow mammary secretion which precedes normal milk flow, can be preserved to totally replace whole milk in the diet of nursing calves. Replaced whole milk can then be processed for human consumption. Compared to whole milk, colostrum contains a higher amount of total solids, protein, ash, Vitamin A and riboflavin. More importantly, it carries with it the blood serum, notably immunoglobulins and serum proteins, that gives the immunity to various diseases.
A nursing cow produces colostrum for 3 to 5 days after delivery more than what its calf can ordinarily consume within that period. Unfortunately, the extra colostrum cannot be sold for human consumption because of its laxative effect. Freezing is the most effective method of storing colostrum as far as preventing the breakdown of milk fat, protein and total solids and maintaining the quality of fresh colostrum are concerned. Fresh colostrum has a sweet fresh odor, dark yellow color, smooth consistency and pH of about 6.
Corn Cobs can be Fed to Cattle
Corn cobs can be fed to cattle as forage, but these have to be treated with a chemical to make them more digestible. A research conducted at the University of Nebraska in USA showed that crossbred steers (young male cattle) fed with corn cobs treated with calcium hydroxide gained twice as much weight as those fed with untreated cobs. American cattle raisers have been feeding treated corn cobs to their animals. The commonly-used chemical, however, is sodium hydroxide, which can leave a residue that is potentially harmful to soil, animals and humans. Calcium hydroxide, on the other hand, is safer and cheaper to use in treating corn cobs as cattle feed.
Dried Poultry Manure (DPM) for Cattle Feeding
Protein concentrate is an important component of a dairy ration. However, conventional protein sources are too costly for the backyard farmer. This prompted the search for cheap sources of protein. The utilization of poultry waste as a protein source, either dried or fermented, has been the subject of investigation by several research institutions notably, the Dairy Training and Research Institute (DTRI) at UPLB, UP College of Veterinary Medicine, Bureau of Animal Industry and other research agencies. Studies showed that DPM contains about 22% crude protein and feed cost is reduced by 30% in DPM supplemented rations.
Research conducted at the DTRI-UPLB revealed that at 23% of total ration, DPM was a good supplement to rice straw for dairy cattle from yearling to the end of the first lactation. However, at 45%, DPM rendered the ration unpalatable as manifested by poor intake, hence, stunted growth of the animals. Molasses is an important indigent in rice straw-DPM ration for improved palatability.
- Poultry manure which is free from bedding materials is collected and sun dried for 3 days to reduce the moisture content to 15%. For this purpose, manure that is less than 2 months in storage is preferable.
- The dried manure is pounded and mixed with concentrate ingredients, and molasses. The resulting mixture is blended with rice straw to form a complete ration. Ingredients % dry matter:
- Rice straw 35%
- DFM 23%
- Ipil-ipil 22%
- Molasses and others 20%
Cows with Trimmed Hooves Produced More Milk
In a research study conducted in Carolina, USA corrective hoof trimming may give an added lactation to the cow. In other words, a good hoof condition is likely to result in a better milk performance for the milking cow. Walking or mating puts considerable stress on the cows hooves and legs. Herds kept in concrete-floored stalls generally suffer from excessive hoof wear. On the other hand, cows kept in surfaces that are soft often get overgrown hoofs. In either case, the animal suffers.
Sometimes the result is lameness, which according to experts may be caused by any of the following predisposing factors. Infection hits hardest when the animal has a wound. According to one professor of Purdue Univ. (USA), animals on high levels of nutrition grow more hoof, which cows on rubber mats have extremely dry hard hooves causing commercial hoof trimmers to charge more for their services. Whenever there is an indication of an incidence of foot rot, the herd should be made to walk through a foot bath containing a solution of two to five percent copper sulphate twice daily. Cows in herds that used foot baths had “better” feet-deeper heels, steeper angles and shorter claws. All these characteristics are indications of healthier, easier to manage animal feet.