Kaur cattle are local cattle that have been maintained by the natives of the Kaur district in Indonesia for a long time. Most local cattle are maintained in the field all day and therefore, consume only natural grass. The maintenance system of Kaur cattle is currently done in the wild and Kaur cattle are more resistant to local diseases and parasites1.
The use of oil palm fronds as forage for ruminants in an integrated beef cattle-oil palm system would be beneficial in reducing production costs and increasing income2. The nutritive value of oil palm fronds is suitable as a source of forage for ruminants.
To stimulate growth, supplementation with high nutrient supplements is needed. Researchers conducted a new study in which they made a new supplement known as sakura block which is a urea multi-nutrient block that is formulated from local feedstuffs that supports energy, nitrogen and other nutrients3.
The purpose of the new study was to evaluate the effects of oil palm frond and Marsh Bristle Grass combinations plus sakura block on the performances of Kaur cattle. It was hypothesized that the combination of oil palm fronds and Setaria sp., grass plus sakura block would result the highest performance of Kaur cattle4.
Experimental results showed that the treatments significantly increased (p<0.05) dry matter and organic matter intake. Kaur cattle that were given 50% oil palm fronds (P2) had 29.5% higher dry matter intake compared to P0 cattle. P1 or P2 cattle had 15.4 or 35.4% higher organic matter intake compared to P0 cattle, respectively. An increase in intake was due to the oil palm fronds, which had a higher content of dry matter and organic matter compared to marsh bristle grass.
The study demonstrated that oil palm fronds could be beneficial for substituting Setaria sp., grass. The combination of 50% Setaria sp. and 50% oil palm fronds produced the highest average daily gain because of higher nutrient intake and higher digestibility. Thus, farmers could use this formula for feeding their beef cattle that are maintained under oil palm plantations.
The experimental results showed that the feeding treatments significantly improved body weight gain. The P1 and P2 cattle had a higher body weight gain than P0 cattle. The high dry matter content of the oil palm fronds supplemented with sakura block in P2 may contain more suitable nutrition for the growth of micro-organisms in the rumen compared to the other treatments.
The study will help researchers uncover the critical areas of the integrated beef cattle-oil palm system (the combination of Setaria sp. planted under oil palm plantations and the use of oil palm fronds as forage) that many researchers were not able to explore. Thus, a new theory on the integrated beef cattle-oil palm system may have been arrived at.
Oil palm fronds, Setaria grass, sakura block, performance, Kaur cattle, digestibility, in vivo technique, multi-nutrient, ruminants, integrated beef cattle-oil palm system.
- , 2016. Bengkulu province in figure 2016. Statistics of Bengkulu Province, Bengkulu, Indonesia.
- Russelle, M.P., M.H. Entz and A.J. Franzluebbers, 2007. Reconsidering integrated crop-livestock systems in North America. J., 99: 325-334.
- Zarah, A.L., I.D. Mohammed and F.I. Abbator, 2014. Rumen degradation characteristics of multinutrient blocks in semi-arid region of Nigeria. Prod., 16: 25-30.
- Jarmuji, U. Santoso and B. Brata, 2017. Effect of Oil Palm Fronds and Setaria sp. as Forages Plus Sakura Block on the Performance and Nutrient Digestibility of Kaur Cattle. J. Nutr., 16: 200-206.