The potential of ensiled browse/maize forage mixtures of calljandra, gljricidia and leucaena for dairy cattle feeding
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The potential of ensiled browse/maize fodder mixtures of Callianc/ra calothyrsus, Gliricidia sepium or Leucaena leucocephala for dairy cattle feeding was assessed in five experiments. Experiment 1 examined the fermentation characteristics, and the effect of fermentation on the chemical composition and rumen degradation of the browses and maize silage. Maize silage fermented best with higher (P $ 0.05) levels of lactic acid (4.98% DM) and lower (P $ 0.05) pH values compared to browse silages. The level of NH3-N (% Total N) was higher (P $ 0.05), in maize silage than in browse silages. Degradation of dry matter, organic matter and nitrogen was highest with Gliricidia followed by maize, Leucaena and Calliandra was least degraded. Fermentation increased rumen microbial protein synthesis with Gliricidia, Leucaena and maize forage but not with Calliandra. Experiment 2 assessed the fermentation characteristics, chemical composition and rumen degradation of ensiled browse/maize fodder mixtures in proportions of 0 to 50% browse (DM basis). Butyric acid and lactic acid levels and pH were low at all levels of browse addition. The levels of NH3-N were lower (P $ 0.05) with browse addition levels above 10% indicating less proteolysis with higher levels of browse addition. Maximum degradation of OM, OM and N occurred at 10 - 20% levels of browse addition. Estimated RMP synthesis consistently decreased with higher levels of Calliandra and Leucaena addition to the silage, but increased with higher levels of Gliricidia addition.