Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Research Article
Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 9(8): 1283-1291
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Don Viet Nguyen1,2*, Ngoc Bich Thi Tran1,2, Me A Vang3, Huyen Thanh Thi Le1, Giang Truong Thien Nguyen1, Quang Hung Nguyen4, Melanie Blanchard5, Andrew Bailey6, Stephen Ives7

1National Institute of Animal Science, Bac Tu Liem, Hanoi, Vietnam; 2Excellent Research Team, Faculty of Animal Science, Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Gia Lam, Hanoi, Vietnam; 3Tay Bac University, Son La city, Son La, Vietnam; 4Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry, Thai Nguyen city, Thai Nguyen, Vietnam; 5SELMET, CIRAD, UMR-SELMET, Montpellier 34398, France; 6Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania, Locked Bag 1375, Launceston, TAS 7250, Australia; 7University College, University of Tasmania, Locked Bag 1354, Newnham, TAS 7250, Australia.

Abstract | The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the substitution of maize silage (MS) for urea-treated rice straw (URS) in feedlot diets on finishing performance and body conformation traits of culled local Yellow cows; and to develop prediction equations for live weight (LW) of local Yellow cows using these body measurements. Twelve non-pregnant local Yellow cows (74.8 ± 23.6 months of age) were blocked by weight into 4 groups and then randomly allocated to one of three roughage treatments: 30% fresh maize + 70% URS (DM basis) (Control); 30% fresh maize + 40% URS + 30% MS (LMS); 30% fresh maize + 20% URS + 50% MS (HMS). Cows were individually supplemented with concentrate (1.1 kg DM/100 kg LW) and had free access to mixed roughage and water throughout the 12-week feeding trial, after a 2-week adaptation. Maize silage inclusion significantly increased daily feed intake and average daily gain (ADG) (P < 0.05). Moreover, the roughage containing 30% MS recorded the lowest feed conversion rate (7.8) and the highest final body condition score (3.43). However, LW and body measurements were not affected by the substitution (P > 0.05). Positive and significant correlations between LW and body measurements were observed. Regression analysis between chest girth (CG) and LW resulted in an equation with adjusted an R2 value of 82.0%. The multiple regression, which included CG, body length (BL) and withers height (WH) yielded the most reliable equation (adjusted R2 = 87.4%). The results indicate that MS can be a good alternative roughage source for feedlot culled local Yellow cows during winter in Northwest Vietnam. It is highly recommended that smallholder farmers raising non-pregnant Yellow cows use the regression equation: LW = 3.39 CG - 249 for prediction of LW in the absence of weighing scales.

Keywords | Feed intake, Average daily gain, Feed conversion rate, Chest girth, Body condition score.