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Hamed Mohamed Gaafar
M. M. El-Nahrawy
Sh. H. Mohamed


Twelve lactating buffaloes in the 3rd to the 5th lactation, weighing 550-650 kg, after 8 weeks of calving in complete switch-back design with three treatments, were used in the study. Each group of buffaloes fed one of the three rations (R) consisted of 40 % concentrate feed mixture (CFM) and 20 % rice straw (RS) plus 40 % corn silage (CS, R1) or 40 % fresh berseem (FB, R2) or 20 % CS + 20 % FB (R3). Results showed that digestibility coefficients of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP) and crude fibre (CF) as well as digestible crude protein (DCP) value were significantly (P < 0.05) higher, however, the digestibility coefficients of ether extract (EE) and nitrogen free extract (NFE), as well as total digestible nutrients (TDN) value were significantly (P < 0.05) lower for R2 compared to R1, while R3 was intermediate without significant differences. Actual and fat corrected milk (FCM; 7 %) yield were nearly similar for different experimental groups. However, buffaloes fed R1 had higher contents of milk fat and lactose, R2 had higher protein, solids-not-fat (SNF) and ash contents and R3 revealed higher total solid (TS) content (P < 0.05). The intake of DM was nearly similar for the different experimental groups. However, buffaloes fed R1 recorded significantly (P < 0.05) higher TDN intake and those fed R2 had higher DCP intake. Buffaloes fed R3 had the lower amount of DM, R2 and R3 had the lower amount of TDN and R1 had the lower amount of DCP required per one kg of 7 % FCM. Average daily feed cost and feed cost per one kg 7 % FCM were increased significantly (P < 0.05) with feeding fresh berseem compared to corn silage. Meantime, total revenue of milk yield was significantly (P < 0.05) higher with R3 compared to both R1 and R2. However, net revenue and economic efficiency increased significantly (P < 0.05) with corn silage compared to fresh berseem. The concentrations and excretion of macro and micro-elements in milk of buffaloes were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in R2 followed by R3, while R1 had the lower values. The concentrations of Ca, phosphorus (P), copper (Cu), Zn and Mn in milk of buffaloes fed corn silage were lower than the normal values.

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