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JAHP_MH20170213060241-R1_Kumar et al

 

Research Article

 

 

Feeding and Milking Management Practices Adopted by Indigenous Cattle Farmers in Thar Desert of Rajasthan

 

Sunil Kumar1, S. Subash2*, Rameti Jangir3

1, 2 Dairy Extension Section, SRS of ICAR-NDRI, Bengaluru-560030, India; 3 NAU Navsari, Gujrat, India.

 

Abstract | The present study was conducted with selection of three major indigenous cattle breeds viz. Rathi, Tharparkar and Sahiwal from Bikaner, Jodhpur and Sri-ganganagar districtsof Rajasthan with the samplesize of 180 respondents, rearing at least one selected indigenous cattle for study the feeding and milking management practices adopted by indigenous cattle farmers in study area. It was found that level of adoption among majority of the respondents was medium and low. People are still depended on traditional feeding and milking management practices. Majority (58.3%) of the respondents preferred grazing and stall feeding system. Ninety per cent of the respondents did not feed any mineral mixture to cattle and nobody known about preservation of fodder. In case of milking management, majority of farmers (88.80%) used knuckling method of milking. Majority of the farmers were not aware about the drawbacks caused by the unhygienic milk handling which clearly indicated the lack of knowledge about the clean milk production practices at field level; moreover, farmers were not maintaining cleanliness in their house and milking premises. About 69.50 per cent of the farmers never washed or cleaned their cattle.

 

Keywords | Indigenous cattle, Respondents, Milking management, Thar desert, Rajasthan.

 

Editor | Asghar Ali Kamboh, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Pakistan.

Received | January 02, 2017; Accepted | January 24, 2017; Published | January 29, 2017

*Correspondence | Subash S, Dairy Extension Section, SRS of ICAR-NDRI, Bengaluru-560030, India; Email: subashagri@gmail.com

Citation | Kumar S, Subash S, Jangir R (2017). Feeding and milking management practices adopted by indigenous cattle farmers in thar desert of Rajasthan. J. Anim. Health Prod. 5(1): 14-18.

DOI | http://dx.doi.org/10.14737/journal.jahp/2017/5.1.14.18

ISSN (Online) | 2307-8316; ISSN (Print) | 2309-3331

Copyright © 2017 Kumar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

 

Introduction

 

Integrated crop livestock system is common in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan. Livestock rearing is an important enterprise not only for livelihood of weaker section of society but it also helps in meeting nutritional requirement of farm families in arid and semi-arid areas of Rajasthan. The cows and working bullocks bear on their patient back the whole structure of Indian Agriculture. Among various species of livestock, indigenous cattle play a vital role by providing milk for nutrition and manure as fertilizer for agriculture (National commission on cattle, 2002).The same is true even today though many significant efforts have been made since independence to revolutionize Indian agriculture. Next to agriculture, Animal Husbandry sector is the most important economic activity in Thar Desert of Rajasthan and about 90 per cent of the rural household depends upon the livestock farming as the major source of supplementary income (National commission on cattle, 2002).

 

Feeding constitutes play a vital role in cost of milk production. Indigenous cattle in arid zone are generally maintained on grazing/browsing and supplementary feeding of locally available crop residues, tree base fodder and agro industrial by-products at house hold level (Bohra, 2012). Most components have multiple purpose for example crop and tree residues have a role of animals feed while indigenous bulls are important sources of drought power. It is therefore, important that feed costs are to be kept at lowest possible level in order to make milk production profitable. Producing more milk by timely feeding of good quality ration in required quantity is ultimately profitable than feeding otherwise. Selection of proper feeding standards using right combination of feeding the adequate quantity with other related practices are some of the ways which will enable the farmer to feed his cows and buffaloes more economically, increase their efficiency and make the dairy more paying. Nutrition is one of the important aspects, which influence livestock production. Hence, tremendous research work has been done at different part of the country on the various aspects of animal nutrition (Yatoo et al., 2013). Therefore, it is very important to survey the livestock population in rural areas in respect of nutritional status of animals, which differ from region to region and district to district as per availability of crop residues and other feeds. Nutritional status of indigenous cattle is different in Rajasthan state because the availability of crop residue, dry and green fodder, plant material and feeding system have variability in state, which influences nutritional status of animals. Therefore, the present study was planned to study feeding practices adopted by dairy farmers for management of indigenous cattle.

 

Material and Method

 

The present study was conducted in Rajasthan state during the year 2015-16. Rajasthan has been divided into 33 districts and a total eight indigenous cattle breed are located in different parts of Rajasthan state. Out of the eight indigenous cattle breeds, the three important major breeds of indigenous cattle i.e. Sahiwal, Tharparkar and Rahti breed were chosen and accordingly Sri-Ganganagar, Jodhpur and Bikaner district were selected purposively based on cattle population. Further, six blocks from three districts viz, Suratgarh, Gharshana from Sri-Ganganagar; Balesar and Phlodi from Jodhpur; and Lunkarnsar and Dhungargarh from Bikaner were selected randomly and from each block one village was selected randomly and a total of 180 indigenous cattle holder were selected as a primary respondent for the present study. The data was collected with the help of semi-structure interview schedule, personal meeting with local healers, focus group discussion and direct observation in the study area to analysed feeding and milking management practices of study area. Percentage andmean were used for analysis of collected data using MS-Excel spreadsheets.

 

Results and discussion

 

Feeding System Followed in Thar Desert

 

Indigenous cattle are extensively grazed whole days though out the year in Thar Desert of the Rajasthan. On return home in the morning and evening cattle are given water and may be feed some dry fodder and on the time of milking they fed some fermented grain mash made mostly from Bajra or Barely to milking cattle. This is prepared in the morning by crushing the grain and mixing with water. The grain which used for cattle fed is may be home grown or purchased from market. Farmers mostly depended on dry fodder round the year, green fodder are available only in rainy season which is in pasture or arable land as a weed or other natural grasses. Farmers also provide some other concentrate like cotton cake, mustered oil cake and other readymade fed which are available in market. In case of lactating cattle they provide some supplement feed like boiled cluster bean, jiggery juice and boiled methi seed jiggery etc.

 

Major Fodder Plants/Trees of Thar Desert

 

Major fodder tree and plant which used as a fodder for feeding to animals during drought or scarcity of fodder have been summarized in Table 1. People stored these plant leaves like Khejri tree leaf or they used it as a daily grazing of cattle on filed after milking morning as well as evening.

 

Table 1: Plant name and their useful part used by farmers for cattle feeding

 

S. NO.

Plant name

Botanical name

Season

Part used

1.

Dhaman grass

Garuga pinnata

Round the year (rainy season)

Leaves

2.

Lucerne

Medicago sativa

March –May

Leaves

3.

Safed kikar

Acacia leucophloea

Feb-March

Leaves and pod

4.

Khejri (loong)

Prosopis cineraria

Oct-Jan.

Leaves and pod

5.

Berseem

Trifolium alexandrinum

Dec- April

Leaves

6.

Ber (Pala)

Ziziphus mauritiana

Nov– Jan.

Leaves

7.

Sewan

Lasiurus scindicus

Round the year (rainy season)

Leaves

 

Feeding Management Practices Adopted in Thar Desert

 

It could be inferred from the Table 2 that majority (58.3%) of the respondents preferred grazing and stall feeding system, followed by 41.7 per cent of them practiced only stall feeding. (Jarial et al., 2015; Das et al., 2003) also found that most of the respondents prefer stall and grazing feeding system. Migration of cattle from their place to other pasture area was found in the study area due to non availability of fodder crops during summer or drought seasons. In the case of types of fodder fed to cattle, mostly dry fodder was fed due to its availability round the year and the green fodder was available only during the rainy seasons. Majority of the respondents fed concentrate feed to cattle and 61.6 per cent people given both type of concentrate i.e. homemade and purchased, followed by 38.4 per cent of the respondents depend on only purchased feed materials. (Jarial et al., 2015) also reported that majority of the respondents fed concentrate feed to cattle. The materials used for preparing homemade concentrate feed were bajra, wheat, barley, gram grain and guar. On the whole, the respondents provided concentrate feed only to milch cattle. (Jarial et al., 2015) also found similar results of feeding concentrate to only milch animals. The average quantity of concentrate feed given was 4.9 kg /day /animal and average cost per kg of concentrate was Rs. 23.68 / kg. In the case of mineral mixture, majority (90.0%) of the respondents did not feed any mineral mixture to cattle and only 10.00 per cent of them were aware about it and fed mineral mixture to their cattle. None of farmers knew about preservation of fodder crop methods like hay and silage. In respect to calf management practices, 63.8 per cent of the respondents fed colostrum to calf after the placenta was shed, followed by 25.00 per cent fed immediately after birth of calf. (Mahla et al., 2015; Jarial et al., 2015; Das et al., 2003) also reported that majority of the respondents fed colostrum to calf after the placenta was shed. The present study revealed that most of the respondents did not have complete knowledge about good dairy farming practices including balanced feeding strategies.

 

Milking Management Practices Adopted in Thar Desert

 

Basic hygienic way of milking involves method of milking, gender of milking, practices for let-down of milk, washing of udder before milking, drying of udder after washing, cleanliness of milkman, removing of hairs near to udder and removing first stream of milk from each teat (Abdessemed et al., 2016). It could be inferred from Table 3 that, majority of farmers (88.80%) used knuckling method of milking followed by, 8.5 per cent full hand milking method and 2.7 per cent used stripping method. (Kumar et al., 2014; Mathur et al., 2010) also reported that majority of farmers used knuckling method but (Bashir et al., 2013) reported that majority of the respondents adopted full hand method for milking. It shows that, the respondents of the present study are not much aware about the benefits of the full hand milking method.

 

In respect of gender of milkmen, 53.80 per cent women were involved in milking followed by 1.6 per cent men and the rest (44.42%) was reported as both men and women were alternatively involved in milking as per their convenience. (Sheikh et al., 2015) reported similar finding of mostly women’s involvement in milking activity. The findings of the present shows that, the majority of the milking related activities are carried out by women at household level. Hence, farm women need to trained more especially in the area of clean milk production practices. In case of calf rearing practices, none of the farmers followed weaning practices for calf rearing and most (48.80 %) of the respondents adopted calf suckling practices for milk let-down followed by, 45.70 per cent adopted both calf suckling and

 

Table 2: Feeding management practices adopted by cattle farmers of Thar Desert of Rajasthan

 

Feeding management practices

S. No

Particulars

Respondents (n=180)

Frequency

Percentage

1

Feeding system

I

Grazing

0

0

ii

Stall feeding

75

41.7

iii

Stall + grazing

105

58.3

2

Type of feeding

i

Intensive

70

38.8

ii

Extensive

110

61.2

3

Grazing land

i

Own land

42

23.3

ii

Community land

112

62.2

iii

Migrate for grazing

26

14.4

4

Type of fodder

i

Green

60

33.4

ii

Dry

180

100

5

Chaffing of fodder

i

Yes

145

80.5

ii

No

35

19.5

6

Concentrate feeding

i

Yes

180

100

ii

No

0

0

7

Type of concentrate

i

Homemade

0

0

ii

Purchased

69

38.4

iii

Both

111

61.6

8

Feeding of mineral mixture

i

Yes

18

10

ii

No

162

90

9

Preservation of fodder crops

i

Yes

0

0

ii

No

180

100

10

Time of calf feeding

i

After the placenta is shed

115

63.8

ii

Immediately after birth

45

25

iii

When the calf stand on its feet

20

11.2

 

Table 3: Milking management practices adopted by cattle farmers of Thar Desert of Rajasthan

 

Milking management practices

S. No

Particulars

Respondents (n=180)

Frequency

Percentage

1

Method of milking

i

Machine

0

0

ii

Hand

180

100

2

Method of hand milking

i

Knuckling

160

88.8

ii

Stripping

5

2.7

iii

Full hand milking

15

8.5

3

Gender of milking person

Man

3

1.6

Woman

97

53.8

Both man and woman

80

44.6

4

Weaning

i

Yes

0

0

ii

No

180

100

5

Practices for let-down of milk

i

Allow calf for suckling

88

48.8

ii

Feeding concentrate + udder massaging

10

5.5

iii

Both of above

82

45.7

6

Suckling of calf

i

Before milking

22

12.3

ii

During Milking

0

0

iii

After milking

0

0

iv

Both time

158

87.7

v

Not allowed

0

0

7

Frequency of milking

i

Once in a day

0

0

ii

Twice in a day

180

100

iii

Thrice in a day

0

0

8

Drying of cattle

i

Self

157

87.3

ii

Intermittent milking

23

12.7

Status of clean milk production

1

Washing/Cleaning of milking persons hand

i

Yes

36

20

ii

No

144

80

2

Washing/ Cleaning of dairy animal

i

Daily

0

0

ii

Alternate day

0

0

iii

Once in week

55

30.5

iv

Never

125

69.5

3

Cleaning of the udder

i

Yes

180

100

ii

No

0

0

4

Removal of hair around the udder

i

Yes

0

0

ii

No

180

100

5

Removal of first two streams of milk from each teats

i

Yes

0

0

ii

No

180

100

 

udder massaging and 5.50 per cent adopted feeding conce-ntrate for let-down of milk. (Mahla et al., 2015) found that majority of the respondents adopted calf suckling practices for milk let-down. Further, vast majority (87.7%) of the respondents allowed calf for suckling both the times before and after milking, followed by 12.3 per cent allowed only before milking. (Bashir et al., 2013) also found that, majority of the respondents did not allow calf for suckling. Frequency of milking followed was generally twice a day morning and evening that is in agreement to report of (Bashir et al., 2013).

 

Majority (87.3%) of the respondents followed self-drying of cattle followed by, 12.7 per cent followed intermediate milking for drying of cattle for high milk production in next calving period. The respondents have started intermediate milking 2.5 to 3 months before next calving period of cattle. (Jarial et al., 2015) found that most of the respondents follow self-drying of cattle. In the case of clean milk production, only 20 per cent of the respondents followed washing of hands before milking. Because majority of the farmers were not aware about the drawbacks caused by the unhygienic milk handling which clearly indicated the lack of knowledge about the clean milk production practices at field level. Majority of the farmers were not maintaining cleanliness in their house and milking premises. About 69.50 per cent of the farmers never washed or cleaned their cattle, followed by 30.50 per cent had bathed their cattle weekly once in summer season and monthly once in winter season. (Jarial et al., 2015) also revealed that most of the farmers never wash or clean their cattle. Most of the people follow washing of udder with normal water before milking but (Jarial et al., 2015) reported that majority of the respondents did not followed this practice. Further, most of the respondents were not aware of removal of hair from the udder and the practice of discarding the first two streams of milk from each teat. Further, after milking majority of the respondents were not following the practice of not allowing the animal to sit soon after milking at least for twenty minutes which is very helpful in prevention of mastitis. Very less percentage of farmers were found using properly cleaned milk utensils which is very important in hygienic milking practices. Instead of using separate utensils for milking, most of them were habitual in using of utensils which were commonly used in their kitchen and most of the time they uses only normal water for cleaning of milking utensils.

 

Conclusion

 

The main resources for indigenous cattle feeding in Thar Desert of Rajasthan consisted of two categories; i.e., natural pastures, and crop residues. Most of the feed was not given to indigenous cattle at optimum level and not to optimum period of growth thus the feeding management quality is poor. Feed availability is a major constraint for smallholder farmers. Majority of the respondent in Thar Desert faced scarcity in the dry season. Farmer were not aware about the drawbacks caused by the unhygienic milk handling which clearly indicated the lack of knowledge about the clean milk production practices at field level. Majority of the farmers were not maintaining cleanliness in their house and milking premises; and they never washed or cleaned their cattle. It showed that status of feeding and milking management practices for indigenous cattle management is very poor at field level arid region of Rajasthan. Hence, it is important to enhance feeding and milking management practices of indigenous cattle through trainings and awareness programmes that ultimately increase the socio-economic status of indigenous cattle farmers.

 

Acknowledgment

 

This paper is a part of the M.Sc. thesis submitted to ICAR-NDRI Karnal (Deemed University) by the first author. The authors express their gratitude to the national dairy research institute for supporting the research. The author also grateful to the guide, other scientists, traditional healers and respondent-farmers who provided the valuable data and shared their rich traditional knowledge experience to complete this study.

 

Conflict of Interest

 

The authors have declared no conflict of interest.

 

Authors’ Contribution

 

All authors contributed equally in constructing the experimental study, collection, analysing data and preparing Manuscript.

 

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