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Animal Products
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2000;13(1): 60-67.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2000.60    Published online January 1, 2000.
Livestock Production under Coconut Plantations in Sri Lanka: Cattle and Buffalo Production Systems
M. N. M. Ibrahim, T. N. Jayatileka
A survey involving 71 cattle and buffalo farming households under coconut plantations was carried out in three districts (Pannala, Bingiriya and Kuliyapitiya) with the aim of assessing the status of livestock farming. Also, 24 households (eight from each district) were visited monthly for period of one year to collect information on feeding practices. Apart from milk, animals were reared for selling, draught, bio-gas and for manure. Due to difference in system of management of cattle and buffaloes, manure from buffaloes (46%) was more frequently used for coconuts than that from cattle (10%). Majority of cattle were improved breeds (temperate origin) or their crosses, as compared to buffaloes (mainly indigenous). The most predominant management system was tethered grazing during the day, and stall feeding during the night. Coconut land (own or others) and paddy fields were the major grazing areas for the animals. The grass from coconut land was lower in crude protein (8.2%) and digestibility (48%) compared to those from paddy fields (12.1 and 57%, respectively). Of the 288 rations analysed, grass was included in 280 of the daily rations for cattle as compared to 251 for buffaloes. Straw was more commonly included in mixed rations for buffaloes (137 out of 288) than for cattle (53 out of 288). The frequency of use of straw for buffaloes was high in Pannala (75 out of 137 cases). There was wide variation among the improved breeds of cattle and buffaloes in milk production (2 to 9 litres/day), lactation length (6 to 10 months) and calving interval (13-21 months).
Keywords: Coconut Plantations; Cattle and Buffaloes; Feeding Practices

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