ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 65 Number 3
Observations on the mineral content and nutritive value of diets fed to village ruminants in the Indonesian districts of Bogor (west Java) and Pamekasan (Madura, east Java)
Practices adopted by farmers in feeding ruminants were examined in villages typifying high and low rainfall areas of Java, and the forages utilized were analysed with particular emphasis on essential dietary minerals. A wide range of material is used as feed, although diets are largely based on roughage derived from hand-harvested native grass from non-cultivated land, and crop by-products such as rice straw and maize stover. Banana and bamboo leaves are also widely fed as small proportions of the diets. Significant quantities of feed of higher quality are also available from the leaves of leguminous and non-leguminous trees, the tops of cassava, sweet potato and bean crops and, to a much lesser extent, various weeds and herbs usually harvested in association with the native grasses. Analyses of the feeds revealed that deficiency of Na, and of Cu in large ruminants are the mineral nutrition problems most likely to occur. The provision of supplementary Na is recommended as a routine, and further work is required on the extent and responsiveness of the potential Cu problem; in the east Java villages this may be influenced by the occurrence of two Cu-concentrating weeds that warrant more investigation. One of the major limitations to animal production associated with these diets, however, appears to be a shortage of digestible energy.
Keywords: Mineral content; Nutritive value; Ruminants; Indonesia