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Evaluation of Intercropping Maize with Cowpea for Chemical Composition and in situ Digestion Kinetics in Nili Ravi Buffalo Bulls

Muhammad Sharif, Mudassar Subhani, Shahid Ibni Zamir, Muhammad Tariq, Muhammad Riaz, Asif Javaid


The present study was planned to evaluate the effect of mixing maize with cowpea on the chemical composition of fodder and silage as well as in situ digestion kinetics in Nili Ravi buffalo bulls. Fodders with different seeding ratios (100:0, 80:20, 70:30 and 60:40 of maize and cowpea, respectively) were intercropped and denoted as maize alone (M), very high maize low cowpea (VHMLC), high maize low cowpea (HMLC) and medium maize medium cowpea (MMMC), respectively. Fodders were chopped and ensiled for 40 days. Samples of fresh fodders and silages were used for determination of chemical composition and fermentation characteristics. Silages were subjected to in situ degradability using cannulated bulls. It was observed that dry matter (DM), neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and hemicellulose were significantly higher (P<0.05) for M fodder comparison with others. Significantly higher crude protein (P<0.05) was observed in MMMC fodder and silage in comparison with. The NDF was significantly higher in M and VHMLC silages. Higher lactic acid (P<0.05) and lower pH values were observed in silage M in comparison with. Significantly higher DM and NDF degradability were observed for MMMC as compared to other silages. In conclusion, intercropping maize with cowpea resulted in higher dry matter and neutral detergent fiber degradability for medium maize medium cowpea silage in comparison with other silages. 

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