Evaluation of Processing Methods for Increased Utilization of Velvet Beans (Mucuna pruriens) as an Alternative Protein Supplement in Diets for Lactating Crossbred Dairy Cows Maintained on Smallholder Farms in Zambia
AbstractThis study aimed to evaluate processing methods of velvet beans (Mucuna pruriens) as a protein supplement in concentrates for cross-bred dairy cows on smallholder farms in Zambia. The beans were harvested by pulling entire plants after drying in the field, and divided into three portions; (i) whole crop consisting of vines, pods and grains; (ii) unshelled pods only, and (iii) grain only. Each portion was ground to pass through a 2mm screen before using it to make concentrate for the feeding trial. Prior to preparation of rations, samples from each portion were collected for determination of nutrient composition. Each ration was fed to a group of crossbreed milking cows maintained a farm to monitor performance. Chemical composition analysis showed that shelled grains had more nutrients than the pods and vines. Milking cows readily accepted all the prepared rations, and maintained constant milk production throughout the study period. None of the animals on the trial exhibited any sign of ill health.This showed that velvet beans could be fed to milking cows by incorporating ground pods with other ingredients without adversely affecting animal health or milk production.
How to Cite
Simbaya J, Mwape M, Chibinga O, Harrison S, Kanyinji F. Evaluation of Processing Methods for Increased Utilization of Velvet Beans (Mucuna pruriens) as an Alternative Protein Supplement in Diets for Lactating Crossbred Dairy Cows Maintained on Smallholder Farms in Zambia. University of Zambia Journal of Agricultural and Biomedical Sciences [Internet]. 13Jul.2023 [cited 4Dec.2023];6(4). Available from: https://journals.unza.zm/index.php/JABS/article/view/1022