A new cattle feed introduced

Published : 10:28 am  March 30, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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by Vasantha Chandrapala, Ampara

Cattle farmers in the Eastern Province were introduced to a new form of cattle feed that could be used during the dry season.
At a programme held at Uhana by the Animal Control Department of the Province farmers were provided with a solution to provide food for cattle during the dry season. Close to 50 farmers participated in the programme.
“The new cattle feed, a mixture of left over grass, hay and corn plants could be mixed with molasses and honey which are then fermented for 14 days before being fed to the cattle. The mixture has a long shelf life and can be kept for more than two years,” officials said.

The food they said was not very expensive to produce and was very nutritious, ensuring the cows provided enough milk even during the dry season.

A cattle farmer R. P Mahinda Kumara said feeding cattle during the dry season was the biggest problem they faced. “We used to let them roam around but we cannot do so any more as the cattle eat everything on their way. The bigger problem is if we don’t give them enough food, the amount of milk we get is reduced and it is not good for the cattle as well,” he said.
J. G. R Teshan said the new method was a cost effective way of storing much needed food for the cattle. “Its  easy to make and it is also cheap. We have some control of the cattle during the dry season because of it,” he said.

Some farmers had even sold their cattle as they could not control or feed the cattle during the dry season, another cattle farmer A. M Wijeyrathna  said.  “If we don’t feed them properly then we cannot get enough milk. This affects us economically,” he said.
The monsoons, A. Indrani Premalatha said, was the only time the cattle could be fed properly. “We can get about five litres from each cow during that time, but sometimes in the dry season we get nothing and maintaining the health of the cows is difficult,” she said.

Veterinary surgeon of the area, Dr. (Mrs.) Krishna Hasanthi Vellapilli said there were close to 2,500 cows in the area.  “This area is well known for milk production.  However, the biggest problem we have is the scarcity of food. With this method we can use everything that we throw away, like the grass and hay and even the left over corn trees to make this feed. Its nutritional value only increases as time goes by and the cattle don’t need to have to consume much of it either,” she said.