Track 1-07

Description

The main objective of the present study was to determine the feeding pattern and milk production of small-scale dairy farmers under semi-intensive and extensive management systems in the intermediate zone of Sri Lanka. This region is sandwiched between the Wet and Dry Zones, receives a mean annual rainfall of 1750-2500 mm, and covers an area of about 1.2 million ha. A survey was conducted with 60 farmers and data on their herd size, herd composition and breeds, management system, breeding method, milk production, feeding costs and returns of raising animals were collected. The results indicated that the majority of farmers conducted dairying as a part-time business in both semi-intensive (80%) and extensive (66%) management systems in the study area. The highest (P < 0.05) average herd size was observed under semi-intensive systems (3.7 animal units (AU)), compared to extensive systems (2.7 AU). The farmers under the semi-intensive system maintained better feeding levels compared with the extensive system. The majority of farmers in the area depended on tethering and stall feeding as their main source of animal feed. Grasses grown on roadsides, paddy fields, neighbours’ land, government estates and tree leaves were the main feed resources available for both management systems. Rice (Oriza sativa) bran and coconut (Cocos nucifera) poonac were the main concentrate feed ingredients in the study area. Jersey crosses were the most popular dairy animals among semi-intensively managed farms, whereas Sahiwal crosses were most popular in extensive management systems. The average milk production under extensive systems was significantly lower (P < 0.01) at 3.9 l/AU/day, compared to 5.4 l/AU/day under semi-intensive systems. Semi-intensive management systems also had the highest average monthly return per AU.

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Feeding Patterns and Milk Production of Small-Scale Dairy Farmers under Semi-Intensive and Extensive Cattle Management Systems in Sri Lanka

The main objective of the present study was to determine the feeding pattern and milk production of small-scale dairy farmers under semi-intensive and extensive management systems in the intermediate zone of Sri Lanka. This region is sandwiched between the Wet and Dry Zones, receives a mean annual rainfall of 1750-2500 mm, and covers an area of about 1.2 million ha. A survey was conducted with 60 farmers and data on their herd size, herd composition and breeds, management system, breeding method, milk production, feeding costs and returns of raising animals were collected. The results indicated that the majority of farmers conducted dairying as a part-time business in both semi-intensive (80%) and extensive (66%) management systems in the study area. The highest (P < 0.05) average herd size was observed under semi-intensive systems (3.7 animal units (AU)), compared to extensive systems (2.7 AU). The farmers under the semi-intensive system maintained better feeding levels compared with the extensive system. The majority of farmers in the area depended on tethering and stall feeding as their main source of animal feed. Grasses grown on roadsides, paddy fields, neighbours’ land, government estates and tree leaves were the main feed resources available for both management systems. Rice (Oriza sativa) bran and coconut (Cocos nucifera) poonac were the main concentrate feed ingredients in the study area. Jersey crosses were the most popular dairy animals among semi-intensively managed farms, whereas Sahiwal crosses were most popular in extensive management systems. The average milk production under extensive systems was significantly lower (P < 0.01) at 3.9 l/AU/day, compared to 5.4 l/AU/day under semi-intensive systems. Semi-intensive management systems also had the highest average monthly return per AU.