Abstract: Fourteen lactating Holstein×Zebu cows (450±28 kg) were used to evaluate the effect of supplementing forage tree foliage on Foliage Dry Matter Intake (FDMI), milk yield and milk composition. Cows were milked once daily and calves suckled twice a day. Animals grazed guinea grass and received 2 kg sun-cured foliage. Supplements were: BA (100% Brosimun calicastrum), LL (100% Leucaena leucocephala), LB (50% L. leucocehpala+50% B. alicastrum), LP (50% L. leucocehpala+50% Piscida piscipula), LG (50% L. leucocehpala+50% Guazuma ulmifolia), LPG (33.3% L. leucocehpala+33.3% P. piscipula+33.3% G. ulmifolia) and BPG (33.3% B. alicastrum+ 33.3% P. piscipula+33.3% G. ulmifolia). Mixtures were prepared simulating the likely intake of these species in the area. There were differences in FDMI (p< 0.05), with higher intakes for LB (1648 g DM day 1) and lower intakes for LP (1112.8 g DM day 1). There were no differences in saleable milk yield (p>0.05). Higher milk intake by the calf (MIC) was found in LL (2.6 kg day 1) (p< 0.05) than in LB or LP (1.9 kg day 1). The highest total milk yield was for LL (6.1 kg day 1) and the lowest, for LPG (5.1 kg day 1) (p< 0.05). No effect was found in milk composition (total solids, protein and fat). Milk urea levels were similar amongst treatments. It can be concluded that the use of tree foliage as a supplement in Holstein×Zebu cows, does not affect milk composition, but MY improvements might be limited by energy supply.
A.R. Bobadilla-Hernandez , L. Ramirez-Aviles and C.A. Sandoval-Castro , 2007. Effect of Supplementing Tree Foliage to Grazing Dual-Purpose Cows on Milk Composition and Yield. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 6: 1042-1046.