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Heat stress amelioration measures in lactating Nili-Ravi buffaloes: Effect on body weight changes, dry matter intake, milk production and economics

Kalyan Sundar Das*, Jitendra Kumar Singh, Ghansham Singh, Raman Malik and Parminder Singh Oberoi1
Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes,Regional Station-Bir Dosanjh, Nabha, Patiala-147 201, India

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The aim of the present study was to find out the effect of heat stress amelioration on body weight changes, dry matter intake, milk yield and economics in lactating Nili-Ravi buffaloes during hot-dry (HD; April to Mid June) and hot-humid (HH; Mid June to August) seasons under tropical climate. Forty two Nili-Ravi lactating buffaloes were uniformly divided into two groups of twenty one in each considering their lactation number, stage of lactation, body weight, dam’s milk yield and milk yield in current lactation. The control (T0) group buffaloes were kept in separate shed without any nutrient supplementation and modification in microclimate and management. The treatment (T1) group was supplemented with niacin, yeast, edible oil in feed and provided curtains and mist fans in the shed, and altered feeding time, frequency and type of ration. The overall mean body weights in control and treatment group buffaloes were noted to be 517.4 kg and 523.4 kg, respectively. Under HD and HH seasons, mean body weights at different fortnights in treatment group buffaloes were 515.6 kg and 531.1 kg, respectively. In control group, the respective values were 512 kg and 522.7 kg. Although the body weights were higher in treatment than control group, there were no statistically significant differences between two experimental groups. The overall mean daily total dry matter intake (TDMI), dry matter intake through concentrate (CDMI), dry matter intake through dry fodder (DFDMI) and dry matter intake through green fodder (GFDMI) were noted to be 13.04, 4.21, 1.02, 7.92, 14.13, 4.24, 1.17 and 8.65 kg in control and treatment group buffaloes, respectively. Under both seasons, treatment group buffaloes consumed more dry matter than control group throughout the experimental period. The values were also differed significantly (ranged from P<0.05 to P<0.0001) between two groups. The overall mean values of fortnightly total milk production were 103.2 kg in control group and 121.5 kg in treatment group. Throughout the period, treatment group buffaloes produced more milk than control. Milk production was also significantly (P<0.0001) differed between control and treatment groups under two seasons. The daily average additional input cost per buffalo was maximum 22/- and additional income per buffalo was minimum 35/-. Therefore, the net profit was around 13/- per buffalo per day. The input: output ratio was calculated to be 1:1.59. It can be concluded that the use of such types of housing, nutritional and management interventions in the form of one package not only helps to maintain body weight but also increases dry matter intake and favours economic milk production in lactating buffaloes through reducing heat stress during hot-dry and hot-humid seasons in tropical climate.
Body weight, Dry matter intake, Economics, Heat stress amelioration, Lactating buffalo, Milk yield.
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