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The survey part of this study was conducted to assess urban and peri-urban dairy production systems, major constraints and opportunities, available feed resources and feeding systems in and around Assela, Bishoftu, Holetta and Sululta towns, Oromia regional state, central highlands of Ethiopia. Overall, 160 dairy farmers (40 from each site) were randomly selected for individual interviews using a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire. The feeding trial part was carried out in Bishoftu using twelve late pregnant crossbred dairy cattle, grouped into three dietary treatments in randomized complete block design (RCBD) to evaluate the effect of different concentrate rations supplementation from late gestation to early post-partum on milk yield, milk composition, early post-partum blood plasma metabolites, reproductive performances and fertility. The treatments were T1 (hay with noug seed cake, wheat middling, and wheat bran), T2 (hay with noug seed cake, wheat middling plus ruminant premix) and T3 (hay with noug seed cake, wheat middling, and ruminant premix plus commercial dairy concentrate). In all groups, feeding was started 21 days before calving and continued up to 90 days in milk and rations formulation was according to cow’s requirements and stage of production. The data were analyzed using Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences software version 20. The survey results showed that, the highest educational level (diploma and above) was from Bishoftu town and the age group of most of the respondents was 40-59 years. Ninety five percent of respondents from urban Bishoftu, 90% from urban Assela, 65% from urban Sululta, 55% from peri-urban Holetta areas reported stall feeding as the primary feeding method. Artificial insemination was the main breeding system in all (100%) of peri-urban Bishoftu, 90% of urban Bishoftu, 80% of urban Assela, 65% of urban Holetta, 60% of peri-urban Holetta and 50% of urban Assela. The higher average daily milk yields were 11.7, 11.2 and 10.8 liters in urban and peri-urban Bishoftu and urban Sululta, respectively. The longest average age at first service (29.3 months) and age at first calving (38.3 months) intervals were in peri-urban Assela. The number of services per conception was 1.4 and 1.3 in urban and peri-urban Assela and these were lower than 1.65 and 1.85 in urban and peri-urban Bishoftu. The longest average calving to conception interval (168.0 days) was in peri-urban Assela. The average calving intervals 14.9 and 13.9 months from peri-urban Assela and Sululta were relatively longer than the respective urban areas.In peri-urban Bishoftu (85%), Holetta (80%) and urban Bishoftu (70%) and peri-urban Sululta (70%) less milk price relative to feed cost was the main marketing problem. High feed cost was the major constraint of peri-urban Bishoftu (55%), Sululta (55%) and urban Bishoftu (50%). In peri-urban Assela water scarcity was the main constraint following high feed cost. randomly selected household respondents were involved in the study. Key informants working in each beer factory and survey locations in the country were also considered for the study. Household respondent and key informant interview were the kind of survey methodologies employed to conduct the field study. Data from the household based survey was collected using a pre-tested fully structured checklist. The result showed that brewery spent grain also called brewer’s grain (BSG) and brewer’s spent yeast (BSY) were the major byproduct feeds produced by all beer factories in Ethiopia. There were in total 12 factories producing an estimated 26722.8 tons BSG (DM basis) and 360,758.1 hectoliters (hl) of BSY in 2016 G.C. Roughage feeds consumed by a lactating crossbred cow was estimated at 3.5 kg, d-1, with higher intake (P<0.05) recorded for cows in Sebeta district. Similarly, daily concentrate, BSG, mineral salt, and total DM intakes were also found to be higher (p<0.05) for lactating cows in the Sebeta district. According to the view of the respondents, heavy reliance and long term feeding of BSG could bring about feedrelated metabolic, productive and reproductive problems in dairy cattle. These were: reproductive and metabolic disorders, and blindness in newly born calves. Moreover, a third of all household respondents across the studied districts claimed to have observed milk with less fat yield (P<0.05). Soaking of salt treated fresh BSG in cold water, sun drying and ensiling in that order of importance were the most commonly used local BSG conservational practices and showed great variation (P<0.05) across the surveyed districts. Some 77.3% and 61.4% of smallholder dairy farms in the Sebeta and Debre Birhan districts had better access to BSG supply compared to farms in the Bedele district (P<0.05). Contrary to this, the factory gate price per quintal of dried BSG was much cheaper for farmers in Bedele, medium and costly for farmers in Debre Birhan and Sebeta districts, respectively (P<0.05). On the other hand, the study also had two lab-based studies aimed at investigating the effects of aerobic and anaerobic conservation practices on nutritional compositions and fungal load dynamics of fresh and BSG samples conserved according to local storage practices. Accordingly, in the first 3X3 factorial experiment, an attempt was made to determine an optimum storage durations for fresh BSG samples conserved under varying aerobic storage duration and temperature conditions. Thus, under local conditions, it would be safe to store and feed fresh BSG provided that it is stored for less than 6 and 2 days at 15°C and 20°C, respectively (P<0.05) without being exposed to aerobic deteriorations. In a second lab-based trial where local conservation practices identified from the survey study have been evaluated for their major proximate compositions, digestible organic matter in the dry matter (DOMD), in-situ crude protein (CP) and dry matter (DM) degradability characteristics, and fungal load dynamics using the model for a completely randomized design. The ensiling technique outperformed (P<0.05) the remaining local conservation practices of soaking and sun drying techniques. Lastly, an in-vivo trial was conducted using eight early lactating crossbred cows (50% BXF) with a major objective to identify and recommend optimum level of ensiled BSG that iso-nitrogeneously replaced increasing levels of cottonseed cake (0, 33, 66 & 100%) from on-station used dairy formula feed. A 4X4 Double Latin Square design was used to analyze the data set generated from the feeding and digestibility trials. It has been observed that ensiled BSG has fully (100%) replaced cottonseed cake from the dairy formula feed substantially improving (P<0.05) total ration’s apparent digestibility for DM, CP, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF), daily milk yield and milk production efficiency. However, associated to lower estimated metabolizable energy (EME) intakes, heavy reliance on BSG based diet should be balanced for dietary energy rich feedstuffs and roughage sources rich in short and medium chain fatty acids to avoid sustained body weight loss, lower milk fat, and total solids.


PhD Thesis


apparent digestibility, brewery spent grain, fungal, household