Azolla as a Green Feed Supplement for Crossbred Cows in Bhilwara District of Rajasthan

C.M. Yadav and B.S. Bhimawat

Abstract


An on-farm trial  study  was carried  out to  evaluate  the  effect  of  Azolla (Azolla pinnata)  as  a  green supplement  in  the  diet of  crossbred cows.  Twenty crossbred   cows of 2nd to 4th lactation were randomly distributed   to two    groups.  The  first  group (n=10)  in  addition   to  the  regular feeding   schedule   were supplemented    with  40g  of  area   specific  mineral   mixture  (ASMM)  and  the  second   group  (n=10),  in  the addition to ASMM  were  fed   fresh   Azolla @ 2.0kg/cow/day. The chemical analysis of Azolla showed that  it was a  good source of protein  (21.9%) and  the  most  of  the  minerals, the concentration of  the calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulphur  were  1.4,  1.1,  0.74, and  0.21 per cent respectively,  while  those  copper, zinc,  iron, magnesium, cobalt,  and  iodine  were 22, 31, 755, 130, 4.5,  and  32 ppm, respectively. Milk yield was improved in cow’s supplemented azolla (Av. 8.8 vs. 8.0 lit./cow/day) with marginal increases on 10.0 per cent. The milk composition (SNF and Fat) did not differ significantly between both   the groups.  Feeding   fresh Azolla enhanced the milk production resulting   in a net profit of Rs. 4.4/cow/day. It is concluded that Azolla can be used as a valuable green feed supplement, particularly under low  input  livestock   production  system.


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