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International Tropical

Animal Nutrition Conference

Volume I

October 4-7, 2007

National Dairy Research Institute
Karnal, India

M. P. S. Bakshi
M. Wadhwa

Animal Nutrition Society of India

International Tropical
Animal Nutrition Conference

Volume I
Invited papers

October 4-7, 2007

National Dairy Research Institute

Karnal - 132001, India

M. P. S. Bakshi and M. Wadhwa

Department of Animal Nutrition
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
Ludhiana-141004, India


The Animal Nutrition Society of India, is pleased to have organized Interna-
tional Tropical Animal Nutrition Conference ‘TROPNUTRICON-2007’ at National
Dairy Research Institute, Karnal in October 2007.
The conference’s theme ‘Animal Nutrition in Tropics- Constraints and Oppor-
tunities’ has the relevance of the information to all involved in promoting improved
and affordable livestock husbandry practices to the resource- poor, throughout the
tropics. The conference would include a series of deliberations, on available feed re-
sources and their efficient use either by manipulating rumen microbes or by modifying
the activities of enzymes involved in digestion and utilization of end products at cellu-
lar level or by partitioning the nutrients for productive purposes or by processing the
feed resources to make available the nutrients or by using feed supplements or by
finding potential alternate feed resources, or by modifying the existing feeding prac-
tices/systems, from all over the world, especially from tropical countries.
The whole purpose is to have sustainable system, because Sustainability necessi-
tates getting beyond environmentalism which is a movement against pollution while
sustainability is a movement towards new actions and behaviors.
We feel confident that prudent adoption of the recommendations of this con-
ference will lead to wealth creation for many poor people of tropics, which keep live-
stock and provide them with an opportunity to escape from poverty and sustain in
clean environment. With this hope, we welcome delegates from all over the world to
We are very grateful to the participants who shared their experiences, without
their generous participation, these proceedings would not have been achieved.
The endless efforts put in by our staff especially Ms Kamal preet Kaur and Dr
Jasmin Kaur, friends and the family members is duly acknowledged.

M P S Bakshi
M Wadhwa

1. Tropical animal nutrition with emphasis on animal adaptation and products

E. R. Ørskov -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1

2. Transformation of animal nutrition education to match future need

Ashok Rathore ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6

3. Biotechnological advances in animal production

S. K. Gulati, M. R. Garg, P. L. Sherasia,
B. M. Bhanderi, T. W. Scott --------------------------------------------------------------------- 20

4. Ruminal anaerobic fungi for improving digestion and utilization of

fibrous feeds in ruminants
J. P. Sehgal and Sanjay Kumar -------------------------------------------------------------- 24

5. Bioactivity of phytochemicals in some lesser-known plants and their

effects and potential applications in livestock and aquaculture nutrition
Harinder P. S. Makkar -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 32

6. Combined strategies guarantee mycotoxin control

Devendra S. Verma ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 49

7. Nutritional challenges for poultry and pigs in the post antibiotic era
S. S. Sikka and Jaswinder Singh ------------------------------------------------------------- 53

8. Score of utilizing unconventional phophorus supplements in broilers

R. P. S. Baghel ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 65

9. Nutrition and nutrient delivery system for fish farming

Vijay Anand and G. Ramesh -------------------------------------------------------------------- 73

10. Pasture based feeding systems for small ruminant production and its
relevance in tropics
S. A. Karim and A. K. Shinde ----------------------------------------------------------------- 80

11. Sustainable intensive meat production system for goats and sheep in tropics
N. P. Singh ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 91

12. Heat stress and dairy feeding program

Jason Park ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 105

13. Code of practice on good animal feeding in relation to food safety

M. R. Garg and B. M. Bhanderi ---------------------------------------------------------------- 108
14. Metrological aspects and strategies to reduce uncertainties in
greenhouse gas emissions from livestock
Prabhat K. Gupta and Arvind K. Jha ------------------------------------------------------- 116

15. Environmental pollution and animal productivity

D. Swarup ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 125

16. Safety and wholesomeness of genetically modified crops for livestock,

poultry and aquaculture: focus on insect-protected crops in India
G. F. Hartnell and B. G. Hammond ----------------------------------------------------------- 132

17. Potential of GM plants, current status, feeding to animals and open questions
Gerhard Flachowsky --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 141

18. Efficacy of herbal feed additive for livestock

M. J. Saxena, K. Ravikant and Anup Kalra -------------------------------------------------147

19. Implications for minerals deficiency in ruminants and methods for its amelioration
C. S. Prasad, N. K. S. Gowda, D. T. Pal ---------------------------------------------------- 152

20. Strategic supplementation of minerals to livestock: An Indian perspective

Tapan K. Ghosh and Sudipto Haldar ---------------------------------------------------------163
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Tropical animal nutrition with emphasis on animal

adaptation and products
E. R. Ørskov
Macaulay Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK

It is of course possible to write books about small supply of feed every day to avoid glucose
the subject above so this paper will be a summary deficiency. In our intragastic nutrition studies we
of my own experiences of tropical agriculture and found that if cattle were fed about one third of
philosophies derived from them. energy maintenance their elevation of β-OH was
First of all we need perhaps to define what is slight (Ku Vera et al., 1989). In sheep the level of
tropical. Most people of course expect the tropics to feeding needed to avoid elevation of β-OH is lower
be hot but with varying degrees of humidity. How- (Ørskov et al., 1998) suggesting that sheep may
ever, for several years, I had a project with animal have a lower glucose requirement than cattle. An
production some 2000 m up on the slopes of elevation of β-OH signifying glucose deficiency will
Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, almost on the Equator, I can lead to excessive loss of lean tissue as reducing
assure you that at that altitude it can also be cold. equivalents required for utilization of fat are gener-
ated from the protein turnover cycle. At starvation
Adaptation to dry and hot climates with fluctu- or fasting the urine N excretion is about two times
ating supply of nutrients greater than it is when there is no elevation in β-
OH due to use of glucose precursors from the
An excellent example of an animal adapted to
protein turnover cycle. Bos indicus also has a fat
an extreme climate is no doubt the camel. Both
store in the hump rather than evenly spread subcu-
Dromedary and Bactrian camel are well adapted to
taneously to help thermoregulation during hot sea-
hot and dry and cold conditions, but in slightly dif-
sons and when there is fluctuation in the supply of
ferent ways. The camel has not only an ability to
nutrients. Bos taurus on the whole is less well
be comfortable in very hot and dry climates; it can
adapted to hot climates with fluctuating supply of
do without food and water for many days. The
dromedary at least is biochemically adapted with
an enzyme system that ensures a very low require- Sheep in hot regions with a fluctuating supply of
ment of glucose. In fact they can generate reducing nutrients have also adapted by having fat stores in
equivalent from C2 unit i.e. fat so that even at 10 d their tail e.g. Awassi sheep whose tails carry more
starvation there is no increase in blood ketones e.g. than 5Kg of fat; some sheep also store fat in their
β-hydroxybutyrate (β-OH) (Wensvoort et al., dewlap e.g. Maasai sheep in Africa. Many breeds
2001) which is unlike ruminants. When food and have a hair coat rather than wool e.g.Maasai sheep
water become available they can drink very large and many other breeds. A sleek hair coat reflects much
quantities and very rapidly convert even glucose to of the sun’s heat whereas a wool coat insulates from
fat stores (Wardeh and Dawa 2006). The most it. Goats on the whole tolerate fluctuating supply of
important fat store is in the hump so the fat is stored nutrients better than cattle since they are browsers
in a specific region which make for much easier and have access to nutrients, sometimes high quality
thermoregulations. Ruminants on the whole need a nutrients such as tree leaves, which cattle being graz-
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

ers have not. Sheep also do better than cattle as they have longer retention time of roughage and so di-
are grazer/browsers but not as selective as goats. gest it more fully. Mould et al. (1982) for instance
Apart from Bos indicus some other cattle breeds are showed that cattle in Bangladesh had a rumen vol-
well adapted to hot regions where there is not too ume amounting to about 35% of live weight com-
much fluctuation in nutrient supply e.g. Bos bantang pared to about 20% for Holstein cattle. Chinese
in Indonesia, Bos frontalis in Yunnan and indeed yellow cattle likewise can fatten on much poorer
Chinese and Vietnamese yellow cattle. diets due to higher rumen volume relative to body
weight. Buffaloes too are outstanding in this re-
spect with high rumen volume and long retention
Humid tropics
time giving generally a slightly higher digestibility of
The best adapted animal for the humid tropics roughage compared to cattle. Buffaloes are also
is undoubtedly the buffalo but under extreme con- more efficient than cattle in recycling urea to the
ditions it needs access to water or mud to assist in rumen, even purine derivatives are recycled (Thanh
thermoregulation and Ørskov 2006), and thus the N concentration in
roughages needed to satisfy the requirement of ru-
Low oxygen men microbes is less for buffaloes than cattle. This
The Yak cattle in the high Tibetan Plateau and is one area of research where more data is needed
Mongolia and the South American camelids e.g. to describe different types of animals and their
adaptation to local feeds.
Llama and Guanaco (Campero, 2006) and Alpaca
and Vicunna (Otazu, 2006) are outstanding in their
adaptation to low oxygen tension at great altitudes Nutrition and heat production
as is the Bactrian camel in the Gobi desert (Wardeh It is a fact that the main energy source for
and Dawa, 2006). The Yaks do not do well at high ruminants is the volatile fatty acid (VFA) arising
oxygen concentration in lowlands. They are also from the anaerobic fermentation of food by rumen
extremely well adapted to fluctuating supply of microbes. The utilization of energy by the animals
nutrients and also to cold winters as they have a is less efficient from VFA than for instance from
long coat of hair. Even their milk production is glucose. Ørskov et al. (1979) found that at least
related to nutrient supply. They normally have a 40% of the energy of VFA infused into the rumen
calf every two years but have virtually two summer was dissipated as heat. In addition to this the cost
lactation periods for each calf (Weiner et al., 2003). of eating and propulsion of roughage through the
They respond to nutrient supply in the second sum- gut is high so capture of metabolizable energy for
mer even though milk production had virtually productive purposes is generally less than 50%.
stopped in the winter when little feed was available. This has the effect that in hot areas the animals will
It is of course also possible that the calf has physi- often limit their intake of food according to how
ologically adapted to less demand for milk in the much of this waste heat they can dissipate even if
winter period. the quality of the feed could have enabled them to
eat more. If the need for ME is high, e.g. for milk
production by dairy cows, the animals will then be
Adaptation to low quality feed
in negative energy balance. While fat stores can be
As a generalization roughages and grasses are used during negative energy balance the consequent
of lower quality in tropical as opposed to temper- glucose requirement will be met by metabolising
ate regions. However, cattle breeds in the tropics tissue protein, which depress immunity to disease
are often adapted to this by having a higher rumen and delay ovulatory cycling activity and so prolong
volume relative to body weight enabling them to the calving interval. The consequence is that cattle
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

in tropical regions will generally have lower pro- The contrasting economic goals, the driving
duction of milk and even growth rate compared forces that distinguish the two systems, are profit
with the cattle in temperate regions as they cannot maximisation, cash generation and productivity in
sustain sufficient food intake to meet the need for the market oriented sector, and risk minimization
very high milk yield. The heat stress will limit their and stability in the social value oriented sector.
intake. If the animals are kept inside, their environ- It is most important that often the environment
ment can be controlled by air conditioning, but this is under human control in market oriented systems.
is generally not an economical option. It is of course Thus beef animals are kept in feedlots at least dur-
also possible to reduce heat stress somewhat by ing part of their lives with complete environmental
shelter and air movement. However, I have often and nutritional control so that weight gains, milk
seen differences between animals in their ability to yields etc. are similar in dry and wet seasons and
dissipate heat. I observed for instance in South in summers and winters. This has an effect on the
China Holstein cattle panting like dogs while Jersey breeding goal which is homogeneity in the market
cows were comfortably chewing their cud and in oriented sector as this increases the prediction of
Mexico Creole cattle eating comfortably and yield- profitability. The homogeneity may be achieved by
ing milk well while Holstein cattle were suffering use of tools such as artificial insemination and em-
from heat stress. bryo transfer. For the social value sector diversity
has survival value as the environment is not predict-
Animal products able but varies from year to year. It is unfortunate
In many countries including East and South- that almost everywhere animal research is focussed
East Asia livestock perform many functions; they on homogeneity and single products. This is under-
are multipurpose not single purpose. This aspect standable but not excusable because most research
was discussed by Ørskov and Viglizzo (1994) and is funded by countries with intensive animal pro-
is summarized in Table 1, with a comparison be- duction industries. The philosophical approach can
tween market oriented and single purpose systems be specialistic e.g. concentrated on one aspect of
and social value oriented and multipurpose systems. production while in the social value sector the phi-
losophy has to be holistic, as animal production is
Table 1. Comparison between single purpose system and
multipurpose system. part of a system interacting with families and with
plants and soils. University courses traditionally
System Single purpose Multi purpose
Market oriented Social value
focus on single disciplines e.g. animal nutrition, ani-
oriented mal production, animal breeding, whereas in rela-
Economic goal Profit maximization Risk minimization tion to the social value sector there should be sys-
Cash generation Family support tem disciplines. Normally statistical emphasis is
Productivity Stability and directed towards the mean and main effect but in
the social value sector there should be emphasis on
Control of Human control Environmental
environment control the variance and interactions as these concern sur-
Breeding goal Homogeneity Biological diversity vival value in an environment that varies from year
Philosophical Specialistic Holistic to year.
approach Clearly animals from the social value sector
Scientific Single discipline System discipline will not generally be able to compete with market
oriented animals on the single product for which the
Statistica Meanl Variance
emphasis Main effects Interactions latter have been selected for many years to achieve.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Generally, there is little direct transfer in that direc- Separating animals from this interaction, as by keep-
tion though it might serve to enhance genetic diver- ing them in large feedlots, is not a sustainable sys-
sity. However transfer of animals from the market tem. Animal manure becomes a polluting waste
oriented to social value oriented sector is pursued product, instead of contributing to soil fertility. Many
relentlessly by western livestock dealers pretending cities even in Asia and Africa are surrounded by
to solve problems and aid the farmer in the social intensive animal enterprises to provide meat and
value sector. Animal selected under environmental milk for the townsfolk, but the manure causes pol-
control and with high quality feed and produce a lution and the feed has to be transported from rural
single product are asked to produce and survive in areas or imported. This system causes immense
an area where the environment is not under control. environmental damage and should be stopped. The
There are plenty of examples of disasters and rela- increased demand for animal products for the cities
tively few successes. The average lifespan of Frie- should if possible be used as a tool to decrease
sian cows exported to developing countries is about rural poverty. Animal production should be en-
15 months. They have great problems and yet the couraged from rural areas where the feed is avail-
expert of so-called superior breeds continue relent- able but here our politicians have to recognise that
lessly and uncritically under the guise of aid! Nu- small farmers cannot take risks or tolerate large
tritional support can then be achieved by importa- price fluctuations. Given security it is my experi-
tion of feed but this is expensive and neglectful of ence from many countries that small farmers will
local feed resources. Beef cattle produced in west- respond by increasing animal production when the
ern temperate countries on high quality feeds are conditions are right. This has so many advantages
often, apart from growth rate, selected for high for soil, plants, people and environment in general.
carcass weight relative to live weight which essen- Organizations such as WTO must recognize this.
tially results in selecting against rumen volume. Intensive animal production closely around cities
These animals are exported as upgraded animals to promotes the very opposite, poverty, pollution and
areas where the local feed of low quality requires soil deterioration.
a large rumen volume for its intake and digestion. It
is however leaving a country very vulnerable. Inten- REFERENCES
sive poultry production in Indonesia was supported Campero, J.R. (2006) Llama and Guanaco general
by cheap feed from America. When the currency perspective. ICAR Technical Series, 11: 11-
was devalued by 80% in 1998 most of the poultry 18.
industry went bankrupt. The small farmers produc-
ing chickens from local resources survived. Vari- Ku-Vera, J.C., MacLeod, N.A. and Ørskov, E.R.
ous levels of crossbreeding with single purpose (1989) Energy exchanges of cattle nourished
animals can be attempted. It is interesting to note by intragastric infusion of nutrients. In: Energy
metabolism of farm animals. (Y. van der
that Cuba where breeding policy used to depend
Honeny and W.H. Close, eds.). pp. 271-274.
on the use of cheap feed from USSR is now reduc-
Proc. 11th Symp. Lunteren (EAAP 43), Pudoc,
ing the amount of Holstein blood in their dairy herds.
In the tropics, and elsewhere too, livestock
kept in their proper interaction with soil, plants and Mould, F.L., Saadullah, M., Haque, M., Davis, C.,
Dolberg, F. and Ørskov, E.R. (1982) Trop.
people make a tremendous contribution to resource
Anim. Prod., 7: 174-181.
management, to soil fertility, high quality food such
as milk and meat, and to security as a type of bank. Ørskov, E.R., Grubb, D.A., Smith, J.S., Webster,
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

A.J.F. and Corrigall, W. (1979). Br. J. Nur., Wardeh, M.F. and Dawa, M. (2006) Camels and
41: 541-551 Dromedaries: general perspective ICAR
Technical Series No 11: 1-10.
Ørskov, E.R. and Viglizzo, E.F. (1994) Outlook
Agric., 23: 81-89. Weiner, G., Jianlin, H. and Ruijun, L. (2003) FAO
RAP Publication 2003/2006. Regional Office
Ørskov, E.R., Meehan, D.E., MacLeod, N.A. and
for Asia & Pacific, FAO, UK Bangkok Thai-
Kyle, D.J. (1998) Br. J. Nur., 81: 389-393.
Otazu D.A. (2006) Alpaca and Vicuna general
Wensvoort, J., Kyle, D.J., Ørskov, E.R. and
perspective ICAR Technical Series, 11: 31-36.
Bourke, D.A. (2001) Rangifer, 21: 45-48
Thanh Vo thi Kim and Ørskov, E.R. (2006) Anim.
Sci., 82: 355-358.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Transformation of animal nutrition education to match future need

Ashok Rathore
Department of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Science Institute
Allahabad Agricultural Institute-Deemed University, Allahabad-211007, India

Agricultural improvement has been called the countries to start ‘extension’ service when the uni-
most difficult task, a nation can face (Sommer, versities decided to ‘extend’ their educational ef-
1975). It is difficult, yes, but not impossible. In forts beyond the university boundaries, although the
developing nations like India the system of educa- term ‘extension’ was introduced in Cambridge Uni-
tion in Animal Science in general, and animal nutri- versity. The concept was then taken up in the USA,
tion in particular, requires a fundamental revamp. particularly in the agricultural field. There, graduates
The primary focus, need to increase efficiency of were employed to work in the rural areas under the
animal production and marketing at local level; guidance of a nearby university. Their job was to
extension and adoption of existing technologies; introduce new ideas and skills to farmers. Since
applied research and empowerment of local women. then, ‘Extension’ has spread to almost all countries
There is an urgent need to integrate and re-work in the world. Many of the people in the farming
the curricula for the need of poor communities in communities are suspicious of governmental work-
rural areas. These courses (animal sciences and ers, so trust and friendship need to be built up.
animal nutrition) should be organized with integrated A practical and more realistic approach will
rural development as the over all objective and encompass such know-how as nutrition, breeding,
should avoid purely academic approaches. People feeding, management, and treatment of farm ani-
in the field are asking for support and assistance in mals (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry etc.). It
improved livestock production through improved is useless to have such information stored or locked
management encompassing improved nutrition for up in files and inaccessible theses. Practical educa-
the livestock, which sadly is frequently ignored and tion and training for the graduate and postgraduate
neglected in traditional curricula and rural develop- students, who will be working with the rural work-
ment program. ers must over come bureaucratic inertia and lack of
All too often we underestimate the time needed political will. There exists a general apathy among
to plan a good course of study. Furthermore, those the rural poor who often can see no leadership
teaching the courses should also do extension work showing them the way out of their unenviable situ-
to prevent their becoming isolated from the needs ation. These problems should be replaced with an
and problems in the farmers’ fields. What is needed; enthusiasm engendered by learning practical meth-
is practical hands-on training that supplements and ods for improvement, and inspired by those privi-
reinforces the more formal didactic approach of the leged to assist them in making headway towards
classroom. The course of study should begin by their desired targets for production. There exists “a
arousing interest and motivating the participants to serious gap in the myriads of volumes available is
try out innovation. Then it should make sure they any serious attempt to relate theories to practice
know enough to experiment successfully. Finally, it and address them to the practitioner in the field”. It
should encourage them to teach others and show would seem that practitioners do not write and theo-
them how to do it. Scotland was one of the first reticians remain in the abstractions of their theories

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

(Stoesz, 1972). It seems to be characteristics of number of undernourished people increases. Nearly

human nature that people learn more effectively from 13 million children under 5 years of age die every
mistakes, their own as well as others, than their year from preventable diseases and infections such
success. as measles, diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia or from
Village people are interested in works that re- some combination of these. According to some es-
sponds not to the general needs of the region, but timate, malnutrition is a factor in one-third of these
to their own specific needs. Having no experience cases (Table 1 and 2).
with large institutions, they tend to interpret bureau- Table 1. Major nutrition problems
cratic inflexibility as an insult, a sign of indifference,
or an ultimate Refusal of help. It is usually the case l 30 % of children under five years of age are under-
that general apathy among the rural poor is associ- l 199 million children suffer from protein energy mal-
ated with abstruse documents that are too scientific nutrition;
to be of practical use for farmers. This, along with l 40 million people suffer from vitamin A deficiency;
generally low literacy levels (Table 2) and poor skills l 2 billion people are affected by or at risk from iodine
in English language, makes it vary hard for appro- deficiency disorder;
l 2 billion people are affected by or at risk from iron
priate information and knowledge to be dissemi- deficiency anemia.
nated among farmers in rural areas.
If sufficient government funds are put in to the Table 2. Under-nutrition, basic services and poverty
proper and practical education for our students,
l 800 million people lack adequate access to food;
(who will be working with the rural farming com- l 158 million children under five years of age are mal-
munities), the reward both the farming families and nourished;
to India will be huge. Responsible government sim- l 800 million people lack adequate access to health
ply can not afford to neglect it. services;
l 1.2 billion people lack access to safe water;
There are many tools that are used in, teaching l 1.3 billion people live below poverty line
and research at our universities. One of the tools- l 2 billion people lack sanitation facilities;
the National Research Council’s (NRC) nutrient re- l 1 billion people lack adequate shelter;
quirement series represents the primary publications l 842 million adults are illiterate;
of the Committee of Animal Nutrition (CAN). These
publications have been used throughout most of this Past generation
century for research and education purposes. The Over the past few decades, at least spill over of
continued update of the reports in this series is critical agricultural technology from rich countries to poor
to our next generation of academics and scientists. countries demonstrated increased production and
Whether they are of use to farmers is highly ques- food security for many parts of the developing world,
tionable. however, recent developments in both the devel-
oped and developing world means that poor coun-
Global situation tries may no longer be able to depend, as they have
Within the next 25-30 years, the world’s popu- in the past on spillovers of new agricultural tech-
lation will increase to nearly 8 billion people. All of nologies and knowledge from richer countries, es-
that increase will occur in the developing countries. pecially advances related to enhanced productivity
The overwhelming majority of undernourished people of staple foods. And a consequence of these changes,
live in Asia and Pacific. During seasonal food short- simply maintaining their current agricultural Research
ages and in times of famine and social unrest, the and Development (R & D) policies may leave many
Chelated minerals and performance of sheep

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

developing nations as technological orphans in the can be learned from the past. First political com-
decades ahead. Developing countries may have to mitment through sustainability of public funds is
become more self-reliant and perhaps more depen- essential. Despite the transition at independence and
dent on one another for the collective benefits of successive governments of different political ideolo-
agricultural R & D and technology. gies thereafter, however, as the system expands and
Many developing countries are facing serious becomes more complex, a number of organizational
shortage of funding and institutional constraints that and management problem emerge. These problems
inhibit the effectiveness of local R & D. Together could be addressed with appropriate management
these factors may lead to serious food deficits. The leadership and willingness to learn from the past, as
number of publications that have been used by past well as from contemporary institutional develop-
generations of researchers and educators peaked in ments in education and research systems around
the mid-70s and since that time the interval be- the world.
tween revisions of the publications has increased Improved communication technology has re-
and the number of publications produced per year sulted in revisions of the reports on food-producing
has decreased. animals. These reports have evolved from static
These trends reflects the fact that the rapid documents containing tables with numerical values
pace of science produces more material that must to become more dynamic with the incorporation of
be reviewed with each revision, which requires more computer models, which should make the reports
time and resources to put in to practical use – that more useful. These days there is a need to move
is, making practical use of the extended knowledge beyond using reports and text books to educate.
at grass root level to benefit the rural communities. Now it makes sense to use hands-on education
The Indian agricultural research and education sys- and training to meet local needs, at the grass-root
tems have a long and distinguished history that level by:
evolved from a decentralized, imperial system into 1. Supplying adequate relevant materials which
a highly centralized one created to respond to the can be easily understood by local groups;
food crisis in the 1960s. With the goal of increased 2. Sufficient training of extension workers who
food production as the driving force, the system are able to communicate development infor-
grew rapidly, through both central and state fiscal mation; and
appropriations. The impacts of these investments 3. Make available reliable materials which are not
were impressive, India became self-sufficient in food, expensive.
and numerous studies have documented high pay-
offs. Deliberate action is needed:
l To ensure enabling political, social and eco-
Technology transfer nomic environment;
In the 1990s, new challenges arose, forcing l To eradicate/alleviate poverty and inequality;
changes in the organizations and funding of educa- l To pursue sustainable food, agricultural and
tion and research in India. Food security is now rural development policies;
only one of several goals of the current education l To ensure that food, agricultural trade and over-
and research system. Privatization and liberalization all policies foster food security; and
of the economy and challenges of sustainable re- l To meet emergency food requirements in ways
source management and diversification are now that encounter recovery, rehabilitation and de-
placing new demand on the system. Some lessons velopment.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Because of direct impact of the climatic Course coverage

changes and increasing population in developing It is generally agreed that payoffs to agricul-
nations, global food production and loss of arable tural education could be higher with a stronger re-
land has become one of the most urgent problems search-extension interface. The weakness of cur-
facing humanity. Should climatic alteration from rent system can be attributed to a number of fac-
greenhouse warming and enhanced ultraviolet levels tors. First, because adaptive research and technol-
impose further stress on agricultural systems, the ogy transfer is considered to be less challenging,
prospects for increased food production would few scientists and educators are attracted to it.
become even less favorable than they are at present. Second, scientists working in technology assess-
ment and transfer are disadvantaged because per-
To make animal nutrition education relevant to formance-evaluation criteria tend to emphasize the
the local need we should aim to: number of research publications. Third, most scien-
l Explain the range of livestock feeds and feed- tists lack the skills to assess farmers’ research needs
and design appropriate technologies; they also lack
ing methods available for Animal production,
operating expenses for on-farm research. Livestock
using accepted industry terminology, explain the
is one such opportunity, driven by increasing in-
role of energy foods, including the sources and
comes in developing countries, the demand for live-
functions of those foods in animal diets;
stock products- meat, eggs and dairy products is
l Explain the functions of the major nutritional increasing at a far greater rate than the demand for
group, including proteins, vitamins, minerals and staple crops.
trace elements in animal diets;
India is a tropical country, having largest live-
l Explain on-farm methods used to evaluate feed- stock wealth, with highest bovine population, and
ing including selection of feeds and feed di- second in sheep population and sixth highest in poul-
gestibility; try. India’s large livestock population, considered
l Explain the dietary value of pastures, including by some as an asset that is provided in plenty by
grasses, cereals, and other edible as well as nature, but seen by others as burden. India is pres-
non-edible plants, and their by-products for ently the world’s largest dairy producer (due to,
animal feeds; vast number of low producers-cattle and buffaloes).
l Explain the dietary value of seeds, including oil Operation flood is an Indian scheme by which about
seeds, legume seeds and their by-products and 10 million small-scale producers, producing as little
food sources for animals; as a couple of liters each day, have been integrated
into the market. However, in India many of the
l Evaluate the dietary value of fodder plants, poor farmers are land less, and many of these land-
including trees and shrubs and their by-prod- less poor are women- women constitute about 70%
ucts, as a food source in animal production, of the poorest of the poor.
determine suitable feed rations for a farm ani-
A major key to managing change is proper
mal maintenance program at a reasonable cost;
diagnosis of problems and situations, keeping in mind
l Analyze the method(s) to determine suitable that the performance of the whole is not the sum of
feed rations in a farm animal production pro- the individual parts, but is a sequence of the rela-
gram; and tionship of the performance between parts. Thus
l Explain the factors affecting the composition problems cannot be solved separately, since they
of feed ration in animal production. are interdependent. Basically farming/agriculture is
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

about human interference with nature in such a way larly important is the fact that researchers and edu-
that animal and plant products can be harvested. cators are interested in understanding tropical ani-
Yet this interference can cause serious problems to mal diseases (Rathore, 2007a) both inside and out-
the environment unless it is done carefully. side Australia, because these livestock keepers have
the same problems. The Office International des
Pro-poor innovative systems Epizootics (OIE) estimates that animal disease may
result in losses of up to 20% of production (OIE
In developing countries, a major problem is
1993). When dealing with livestock in the tropics,
how to get new ideas and technologies to poor
Australia has first-hand experience that puts re-
people. Trying to implement new ideas and tech-
searchers in a more advantageous position than, for
nologies has been expensive and traditional exten-
example, those working in Nordic countries.
sion systems have failed to help rural poor. This
TROPNUTRICON-2007 Conference will be de- Australia has developed interesting institutional
liberating into how we can organize and get com- innovations in managing research, such as the Co-
munities involved in sharing knowledge. The old- operative Research Centers Programs – build links
fashioned farmer field-school approach is now be- between industry, universities and research agen-
ing tested as a way to disseminate information about cies to achieve world-class research and innova-
livestock innovations with an emphasis on animal tion. It is attractive to consider how such innova-
nutrition. It is a technique brings group of people tions can take on a more international role. Austra-
together around a common interest such as breed- lia is closer than other developed countries to de-
ing small ruminants. The farmers request informa- veloping nation like India in South-East Asia. Aus-
tion about a particular topic or technology. They tralia has valuable experience and assets to offer
may be explicit about their concerns and what they that reach beyond trade exports. As Australia is a
want a technology to accomplish for them. The model of successful tropical agriculture, opportuni-
farmers themselves may initiate the research and ties will present themselves in areas such as training
they help shape the innovation. and consulting, with possibilities of sharing and
There are institutions, governmental as well as passing on expertise that will benefit the entire re-
non-governmental organizations and universities that gion.
can address policy and there are those that address In the future Australia’s role will probably be
technology. They have the potential to move devel- to build the livestock industry in the developing
opment along a path that is beneficial for the poor world, providing knowledge, services, genetic re-
who rely on livestock for what little income they source training. Livestock research, development
have. This, however, requires a targeted effort. It and training promising opportunities for improve-
will not happen by default. Many of the issues are ment of the lives of poor farmers, helping them step
international, are complex and require a wide range out poverty and offering broader benefits for all.
of skills indicating that collaboration must transcend Since 1971, when ‘poverty eradication’ be-
institutional and national boundaries. came the main theme of development planning,
improving livestock has been recognized by the
Australia’s role, the livestock revolution: A Indian Government as an important tool for poverty
pathway from poverty alleviation and funds were provided for develop-
The northern part of Australia is, where inten- ment and research programs. The focus of such
sive research is done on tropical agriculture. Aus- programs, however, has been improvement in the
tralia is successful in livestock production. Particu- production of livestock commodities for income
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

generation, applying the western model and assum- As a result they will be more productive and will
ing that ideal conditions would be provided. As a improve their economic base on which rural com-
result, the programs have had mixed results and munities depend, especially with regard to local food
many reports on the impact of livestock develop- production (for humans as well as livestock). The
ment programs concluded that ‘there is no clear consequential growth of the rural economies can
evidence to show impact on poverty’ and that ‘adop- lead to increased trade with other countries with
tion of western technology by the resource poor prospects of benefits flowing globally. A continuing
has been negligible’. Agriculture has changed dra- major effort in international research and education
matically especially since mid 50s. Food and fiber in agriculture and natural resource management is
productivity soared due to new technologies, mecha- required to provide for the continuing increase in
nization, increased chemical use, specialization and world population. These efforts must extend to the
governmental policies that favor maximizing pro- underlying reasons for poverty in developing coun-
duction. These challenges allowed fewer farmers tries, and to issues surrounding continuing environ-
with reduced labor, to produce the majority of food mental degradation.
and fiber in the developed nations like the U.S. and
Australia. Improving the food supply: diet modification,
It is not necessary, nor even desirable, for increasing demand for livestock and products
countries developing today to follow the same path In 2030, it is estimated that out of the eight billion
towards development as did the developed world. people in this world, six billion will be in the devel-
Previously, as countries developed, people moving oping world. That is where the population is grow-
into cities readily found employment as industrial- ing, and it will continue to grow particularly rapidly
ization was taking place on a large scale. Simulta- in Asia, where we expect 50% of that additional
neously, the number of people required to work in growth. It is calculated and widely cited that 1.2
the livestock industry was greatly reduced because billion people are living on a cash income of less
mechanization had taken over many jobs. Contem- than a dollar a day. Three-quarter of these people
porary thinking is that by bolstering and developing live in rural areas.
agricultural production beyond subsistence levels, it The proposed Animal Welfare & Veterinary
will be possible for people to support more of the Science Institute at Sam Higginbottom University
population on the land. People not able to sustain of Agriculture, Technology and Science (at
themselves on the land are drifting into cities. But Allahabad, U.P. India) recognizes the importance
people who are now migrating into cities have little of agricultural education, research and development
prospect of employment and, without jobs; they in agriculture, forestry and natural resource man-
are forced into slums - at an enormous cost to agement and will be a power-house for economic
society. We need to take such potential dangers progress in India where rural communities are de-
into account as we work out our strategies. pendent on local food and livestock production and
In order to alleviate rural poverty we need our resource management. It will be advancing India’s
future agricultural and veterinary graduates to be national interest through poverty reduction and the
better educated, but to be proactive, and well sustainable development for poor rural community.
equipped to assist rural communities. These gradu- The success of Green Revolution lay primarily
ates will be able help the rural communities by in its use of fossil energy for fertilizers, pesticides,
extension of their knowledge so that the farmers and irrigation to raise crops as well as in improved
will be better equipped to manage their livestock. seed. It greatly increased the energy-intensiveness
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

of agricultural production, in some case by 100 fold induce injury over the long term, that is, are sustain-
or more. The Green revolution was technologically able. If these technologies were put into common
suited to special circumstances: relatively level land use in agriculture, some of the negative impacts of
with adequate water for irrigation and fertilizers, degradation in the agro-ecosystem could be reduced
and in nations that could acquire the other needed and the yields of many crops increased. These tech-
resources. The green Revolution has been imple- nologies include:
mented in a manner that has not proved to be Energy intensive farming: While continua-
environmentally sustainable by better education. The tion of the rapid increases in yields of the Green
technology has enhanced soil erosion, polluted Revolution is no longer possible in many regions of
groundwater and surface-water resources, and in- the world, increased crop yields are possible by
creased pesticide use has caused serious public increasing the use of fertilizers and pesticides in some
health and environmental problems. Fossil fuels- developing countries in Africa, Latin America and
starting with oil – are now being depleted and will Asia. However, recent reports indicate a possible
not be available for a long to sustain the techniques problem of declining yields in the rice-wheat sys-
of the Green Revolution. tems in the high production areas of South Asia.
At the present time only 3, of 183 nations are And as depletion of oil and gas becomes more
major exporters of grain, the United States, Austra- severe, the production of fertilizers and pesticides
lia and Canada. With the present patterns of dis- will become too costly to sustain
tribution and consumption current food supplies Livestock management and fertilizer
appear insufficient to provide satisfactory diets for sources: Livestock serve two important functions
all. Although a recent FAO report indicates that in agriculture and food production. First, ruminant
chronic under-nutrition in developing countries has livestock convert grass and forages, which are un-
improved some what. It is generally agreed that suitable for human foods, into milk, leather/fiber,
among a number of important global changes, eco- blood and meat for use by humans. They also pro-
nomics and social well-being must improve for that duce enormous amount of manure and urine and
large fraction of the world’s people now in poverty. other byproducts useful for crop production, biogas
This includes better education, better infrastructure, and a number of innovative products.
and more and better quality food. Soil and water conservation: The loss of
Ruminant livestock like cattle, goat and sheep, productive soil has occurred as long as crops have
graze about half of the earth’s total land area (Dur- been cultivated. This loss arises from soil erosion,
ing amd Brough, 1992). In addition, about one- salinization, water-logging, and urbanization. Nutri-
quarter of the world cropland is devoted to pro- ent depletion, over-cultivation, over-grazing, acidi-
ducing grains and other feeds for livestock. About fication and soil compaction contribute as well. Many
38% of the world grain production is now fed to of these processes are caused or are aggravated by
livestock. In the United States, for example, this poor agricultural practices. Soil erosion, a problem
amounts to about 135 million tons/year of grain, of throughout the world, is the single most serious cause
a total production of 312 million tons/year. If devel- of degradation of arable land. The high rate of soil
oped countries, moved toward more- vegetable- erosion now typical of world agriculture land em-
protein diet rather than their present diets, which phasizes the urgency of stemming this loss, which in
are high in animal foods, a substantial amount of itself is probably the most threatening to sustained
grain would become available for direct human con- levels of food production. Improved conservation
sumption. There are a number of ways by which of water can enhance rain-fed and irrigated crop
cropland productivity may be raised that do not yields.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Crop varieties and genetic engineering: The produce more and safer food, especially of animal
application of biotechnology to alter certain crop origin, against shrinking animal bio-diversity and
characteristics is expected to increase yields for increased global trade.
some crops, such as developing new crop varieties There must be a livestock revolution in devel-
with better harvest index and crop that have im- oping world to meet the projected demands of more
proved resistance to insect and plant pathogen at- than double the meat and milk consumption over
tacks. the next 20 years. This demand can not only be
Maintaining biodiversity: Conserving met by an increased number of animals; increased
biodiversity of plants and animal species is essential productivity is also required to avoid degradation
to maintaining a productive and attractive environ- of natural resources.
ment for agriculture and other human activities.
The potential of indigenous breeds in develop-
Greater effort is also needed to conserve the ge-
ing countries is often inadequately documented and
netic diversity that exists in crops and animals
under-utilized. Diversity in animal genetic resources
worldwide. This diversity has proven extremely
is invaluable for future development.
valuable in improving crop productivity and will
continue to do so in the field of animal breeding and There is a need for conservation programs that
genetic improvement in the future (Rathore, 2007). increase animal productivity and maintain the nec-
Improved pest control: Because insects, dis- essary genetic diversity. Often past conservation
eases and weeds destroy about 35% of potential programs have failed. Good and simple examples
pre-harvest crop production in the world, the imple- that demonstrate effective breeding strategies, which
mentation of appropriate technologies to reduce pest take into account environmental, economic and in-
and disease losses would substantially increase crop frastructure constraints, must be developed.
yields and food supplies. Research and capacity building at all levels is
Irrigation can be used successfully to increase required to improve the knowledge of indigenous
yields, which also happens if abundant water and and alternate animal genetic resources in different
energy resources are available. The problems facing region of the developing world. The implementation
irrigation suggest that its worldwide expansion will of sustainable breeding strategies in the developing
be limited. Owing to developing shortages of water, countries will be instrumental in increasing aware-
improved irrigation practices that lead to increased ness of the roles of livestock and their genetic di-
water in plants’ root zones are urgently needed. versity.
There is need to develop and sustain partner-
Constraints and challenges for educating live- ships for international livestock research and edu-
stock industry personnel in India cation, with priorities for development –oriented
A wide range of solutions would be needed to livestock research that will increase outputs that
address the many problems that have been identi- improve the wellbeing of poor people.
fied. There is an urgent need for improved informa- However, there are a number of difficulties in
tion gathering, based on active surveillance and expanding food supplies in developing nations, some
quickly collection of reliable data. Information must of these are:
be able to be gathered and processes quickly so 1. There is a need to decrease global fossil-fuel
that it is still relevant when it is used for decision use and halt deforestation, in order to lessen
making. carbon emissions to the atmosphere. These
There is great challenge to alleviate poverty, steps are in direct competition with the need

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

to provide sufficient energy for intensive agri- Creation of public awareness and human re-
culture and for cooking and heating using fire- source development
wood. A major decrease in fossil-fuel use by No enterprise can be successful unless it is
the industrial countries would require 25 years accepted by the community. To improve the liveli-
at a minimum to implement fully, even in favor- hood and the livestock production of the under-
able circumstances. Yet a three-or fourfold privileged families, we need to understand their way
increase in effective energy services to the of life and their perceptions about the role of live-
earth’s people will be required to yield the stock in their livelihood. Human societies all over
improvements needed in the quality of life in a the world have developed social and cultural bonds
world of eight billion people. and affinities with certain species or breeds of ani-
2. Even assuming that sufficient fossil or other mals. This has resulted in the integration of certain
fuels will be available in the future to support breeds as a part of human life. Numerous religious
energy-intensive agriculture in developing coun- rituals, festivals and folklores are intimately con-
tries, several constraints appear to make this nected with native domestic animals. In some soci-
difficult. These include: the high economic costs eties ownership of certain breeds confers on their
of energy and problem associated with new owners a status symbol and authority (Sahai, 1998).
technologies. It is now globally accepted that conservation of
animal genetic resources is essential, but overriding
3. Any solution must be able to be practically economic consideration often jeopardize the attempt
applied and be appropriate for the situation in to preserve them (FAO, 1999). The population of
which it will be used. farm livestock is markedly high in relation to the
land and other resources. The overall productivity
Research and educational priorities of farm animals in India is distressingly lower than
l Crop-livestock integrated farming system; in America, Australia and Europe.
l Feed resource utilization and improvement; The multi-functionality of livestock and their
l Nutrient requirements and germplasm evalua- existence in developing countries, particularly in small
tion; holder production systems - directly link them with
poor rural communities and concern millions of
l Socio-economic analysis, policy issues and resource poor landless agricultural laborers and small
developing alternative technologies; and marginal farmers. While most of the livestock
l Genetic evaluation, biological markers and are owned by underprivileged families, reliable sta-
production and processing of quality male tistics are not available on the number of livestock
germplasm and freezing technology; owned by a family (neither for rural or urban popu-
l Development of latest diagnostics and vaccines lations). Recent statistics (Government of India 2004)
for augmenting animal health; show that on an average 25% of households belong
l Reproductive biotechnology; to the under-privileged category. According to
Vidyanathan (1988, 1989), economics of bovine
l Improved reproductive efficiency; production in relation to livelihood encompasses:
l Rapid genetic up gradation of livestock; l Bovines are mainly maintained for animal power
l Scientific exchange, training and recruitment of and milk, cattle for bullocks and buffaloes for
staffs; milk;
l Resource management (sustainable). l Buffaloes are mainly maintained for milk pro-
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

duction but more buffaloes are reared by re- where they have access to organizational sup-
source rich farmers and in feed surplus areas, port the under-privileged can adopt more ad-
compared to cows; vanced livestock production systems;
l There is strong link between milk production l Under grain fed conditions, diversified crop-
and feed availability; livestock production systems, in which live-
l Milk production can generate employment and stock and crop ‘niche’ well, together, are the
income for smallholders and landless farmers. best way to improve sustainability and liveli-
However, they need financial and institutional hoods of the underprivileged.
support and better access to feed resources
and livestock services; Livestock wealth and its contribution to the
l There is inadequacy of hard data on economic national GDP
related aspects; Over 64% of population of India lives in rural
l Requirement of bullocks is decreasing in some sector and is mainly dependent on land and ani-
areas; and mals. 69% of the farmers have less than 1.0 hector
land and 21% of farmers have between 1.0-2.0
l Buffaloes (and goats also) appear to be the
animal of the future and their population is in- hectors of land. According to 2005-2006 statistics
creasing. 50% of rural labor force is landless farmers. Pov-
erty causes pronounced deprivation in human well-
being encompassing material deprivation, poor
Women in livestock production health, literacy and nutrition, vulnerability to shocks
The role of women in livestock production and changes, and having little or no control over
varies among underprivileged groups and between key decisions.
regions. In tribal communities, women have a greater
One billion can not read or write, 1.2 billion
role in livestock production as well as in the sale of
lack access to safe drinking water, 35% of world’s
produce, while pastoral women are generally in-
poor live in India (refer Table 2). The poorest of
volved in looking after the newly born and sick
the poor often do not have livestock, but if they
animals. Amongst most of the other backward com-
acquire animals, their livestock can help them along
munities, women have a greater role with small
a pathway out of poverty. Poor people should not
animals and backyard poultry, while men manage
be regarded as burdensome to society. Rather, they
large animals (Rangnekar 1992). Within the context
represent an economic opportunity needs to be
of improving livestock production, it is crucial that
taped. India’s poverty ratio is disgracefully 28%.
women’s involvement in livestock research and
Because despite spending enormous sums, the gov-
development (R & D) is promoted.
ernment has failed dismally to provide every village
In the context of livestock development, fol- with the five basics of growth: all weather roads,
lowing are suggested: electricity, telecom, functioning schools and func-
In the under-privileged rural sector improved tioning health centers.
livestock productivity knowledge and skills of The low GDP indicates high level of ineffi-
women - and their greater involvement in livestock ciency in the agricultural sector. However, if the
production and development - will quicken the rate livestock production can be improved by selecting
of improvement both qualitatively and quantitatively; livestock with higher productivity, it will provide
people with work, more food, income, traction,
l When they are working in developed areas fertilizer and fuel; but it will also act as catalyst to
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

transform subsistence farming into higher income 2000, it had 218.18 million cattle, 93.77 million
generating enterprise, allowing poor to join the buffaloes, 57.96 million sheep, 123 million goats,
market economy. The GDP for the current fiscal 16 million pigs and 402 million poultry. India ranks
year (2006-07) in India will touch 9.2%, hitting the first in cattle and buffaloes, second in goats, third in
9.4% mark for the second successive year, bringing sheep and seventh in poultry.
close to magical double digit levels of 10%. Econo- Livestock biodiversity is a valuable asset and
mists have said ‘high growth seem sustainable in the provide insurance and buffer in adverse situations.
future’. But what is the advantage of such eco- The Indian sub-continent occupies a pre-eminent
nomic growth when our farmers in Uttar Pradesh, position in so far as its animal genetic resources are
Maharastra, Bihar and other states in India are still concerned. Over 140 breeds of livestock including
committing suicide everyday as they do not get ad- cattle (30), buffaloes (10), sheep (40), goats (20),
equate return from their produce? A liter of milk camel (4), horse (6), pigs, donkey, mule, yak and
costs same as a liter of bottled water in India. What mithun including poultry (18) have been distributed
a paradox! over the large area spread in different agro-eco-
logical zones of the country. Livestock in develop-
Policy, education, research, technologies and ing countries contributes up to 25% of agricultural
innovations GDP and 600 million rural people rely on livestock
What should we do? How can education and related activities for their livelihood.
research help? Research and education can influ- Animal production can be increased with or
ence policies in a number of ways. In India small without greatly increased feed consumption. Any of
holder dairying has become an economic story, the following scenarios or their combinations can
farmers with only a small patch of land can keep a increase animal production:
cow by zero grazing it (by utilization of agricultural l Increased use of feed;
waste and by-products), cash from this milk helps
pay school fee and provide for other needs of the l More efficient use of feed; and
family. The conventional Western approach, as l Improved animal breeds, proper management
found in many developing countries, is to enforce and animal raising techniques.
pasteurization. But about 85% of the milk in India Increased use of feed places further pressure
and other developing countries is sold raw, this means on the environment (unless new feed items can be
they are acting illegally. But they continue selling developed that will rely little on the natural re-
their raw milk, and the practice goes on without sources). However, more efficient use of feed, and
quality control. In general, people buying raw milk improved animal breeds and raising techniques, will
traditionally boil it before consuming. reduce feed use, or put in other word, will relatively
Throughout much of the developing world live- ‘increase’ feed supply. Advances in these two areas
stock are raised in mixed farming systems, where hold great potential to increase animal production
animals very often have different functions. Live- without much direct pressure on environment. For
stock activities are normally integrated into the ex- example, improving the capacity of the rumen to
isting farming systems. Animals are kept mainly for digest high-fiber diets could dramatically improve
the purpose of food security and poverty allevia- prospects of animal production, particularly in ar-
tion, which involves millions of small, landless and eas with easy access to roughages with low feed
marginal farmers. Livestock in India is character- quality. In the case of pigs and poultry, feed-rates
ized by very large numbers, across all species. In have improved by 30-50 % over the past decade,
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

in part through breeding and in parts through the Table 3. Trend in the use of cereal as animal feed, 106T
addition of enzymes to feeds. Still in mono-gastric Region 1983 1993 1997 2020**
animals, only 25-35% of the nutrients consumed
China 40-49 78-84 91-111 226
are captured in the final products. Further under- India 2 3 2 4
standing of digestive physiology and biochemistry South East Asia 6 12 15 28
can be expected to improve feed utilization in these Latin America 40 55 58 101
animals (Bruinsma, 2003). Sub-Saharan Africa 2 3 4 8
Developing world 128 194 235 444
Developed world 465 442 425 511
Access to capital and information (knowledge WORLD 592 636 660 954
and education)
(** The 2020 projections are from the July 2002 version
In most countries in Asia, Africa and Latin of the IMPACT model)
America, animal husbandry services are mainly ori-
ented towards men. Veterinary services and exten- Because of taste factors and the relatively high
sion programs and advisory services have been cost of handling perishable final products, most meat
mainly designed by men for men. Extension per- and milk will be produced where it is consumed.
sonnel are often not trained to teach technical sub- Developing countries will account for 63% of meat
jects to women or to react to their specific ques- production and 50% of milk production in 2020.
tions. We need trained women, who will have China alone will account for 31% of meat produc-
empathy to deal with this issue. tion, but only 3% of milk production. The growing
population of the world needs not only more animal
proteins and products but specific constituents, and
Trend in animal product consumption: role of
there is pressure to multiply livestock species and
livestock in the household nutrition
make improvements and conservation of dwindling
The rapid rise in livestock production in devel- resources with modern biotechnologies.
oping countries has been confronted in recent years
The potential of livestock to reduce poverty is
by dwindling grazing resources for ruminant animals
enormous. Livestock contribute to food and nutri-
and a pattern of effective demand largely centered
tional security. Animal products such as meat and
on rapidly growing mega-cities fueled by non-agri-
milk are sources of high-quality protein and certain
cultural development. The latter increases pressure
vitamins and minerals help promote general health
for rapid industrial approaches to satisfying urban
and alleviate poor growth and poor mental devel-
meat demand. Together this trends help explain the
opment. The following table highlights inadequacy
large share of non-ruminants in the production in-
of animal protein and calories available to people in
creases in both the North and the South. The feed-
developing countries (source FAO 2002).
ing of cereals to ruminants in the North has de-
clined, a consequence of increased cattle grazing.
1990 2002
This, along with the much larger increase in non- Calories Protein Calories Protein
ruminant production in the South, helps explain a Developed world 938 59.1 358.0 56.9
relatively shift to the South in the use of feed cereal. Developing world 253 14.8 87.3 21.0
China will double its consumption of meat by 2020,
while India and other South Asian countries will
lead the large overall increase in milk consumption. Training in livestock management
China dominates the overall picture in both produc- Compared to women men have easier access
tion and consumption of meat (Table 3). to technology and training, mainly due to their strong
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

position as heads of the household and greater access The experience of Andhra Pradesh in India
to off-farm mobility. In most developing countries, shows that the membership of dairy cooperatives
research and planning activities in the livestock sec- is largely dominated by men. Dairy cooperatives
tor, such as breeding, handling, feeding and health offered opportunities to men from backward com-
care, are largely dominated by men. Official live- munities to have access to benefits, emerge as
stock services are often controlled by men and leaders and gain visibility. Women only achieved
extension personal are primarily men who are not symbolic representation and little opportunities for
accustomed or trained to teach technical subjects to them to assume positions as managers, planners
women. Extension programs and educational mate- or director. In Orissa state (India) it seems that
rials are mainly designed by, and oriented towards, participation in cooperatives benefits both men and
men at present. In many societies, women’s access women in terms of marketing. But there is no
to information and training in modern livestock significant impact on increasing women’s decision
management and dairying continues to be limited and making or enhancing their leadership qualities.
even indirect. Successful training should be oriented However, in these societies women’s cooperatives
towards those household members who execute these can only be successful if the husband first agrees
tasks. Only through a carefully planned gender to his wife’s participation.
approach can livestock production goal and suc- Nobel laureate Mohammed Yunus, with his
cessful training of women and men be achieved. Grameen (Villagers’) Bank has rewritten the con-
Projects should identify and consider specific ventional rules of banking where the poor were not
socio-cultural conditions of women, their needs and regarded as creditworthy. Over the years, the bank
time constraints. Mobility of women is often limited has given loans totaling over $5 billion: small amount
and illiteracy high. Successful training can only be of collateral-free, working capital to the poor for
reached if these restrictions are considered and self employment. The repayment rate is a healthy
activities, approaches, methods and materials 98%. An internal survey by the bank showed that
adapted according to meet the specific conditions. 58% of its borrowers had moved above the pov-
Quality gender training should be practical and situ- erty line. Women have been the greatest beneficia-
ational. Resource persons should be both males ries. Yunus says “we focused on women because
and females. It is also important to consider the age we found giving loans to them always brought more
of the resource person. benefits to the family”. (“Whereas, the technol-
ogy of the experiment stations has been over-
Role of farmers’ organizations in education and rated, that of local farmers has been under-
livestock development rated).
There is little information on experience of
farmers’ organizations, their impact at the local and REFERENCES
regional level, and how they influence and impact
Bruinsma, J. (2003) World Agriculture: Towards
on gender-related issues. Farmers’ organization can
2015/2030. An FAO Perspective. Earth scan,
play a vital role in the livestock development pro-
London PP 169-170.
cess. Input-supply organizations may grow and
become centers for services such as artificial in- During, A.T. and Brough, H.B. (1992) Reforming
semination, bulls for breeding, veterinary assistance, the livestock economy, in State of the World,
milk collection and processing, and marketing of (Brown L.R. ed.). W.W. Norton & Co, New
animal and animal products. York, P 66-82.

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FAO (1999) Global strategy for the management ings of National Symposium on Role of Animal
of farm animal genetic resources – Exclusive Genetic Resources in Rural Livelihood Secu-
breed initiatives for domestic animal biodiversity rity, held at Ranchi, Jharkhand, India, Febru-
(IDAD) FAO, Rome. ary 8-9, 2007, pp 89-100.
FAO (2002) World Agriculture: Towards 2015/ Sahai, R. (1998) Domestic animals genetic resources
2030. Summary Report. FAO, Rome. of India-Biodiversity and conservation; status
reported by National Bureau of Animal Ge-
OIE (1993) World Animal health. Paris, Office
netic Resources, Karnal, India.
International des Epizootics.
Sommer. J.G. (1975) U.S. Voluntary Aid to the
Rangnekar, S.D. (1992) Women in livestock pro-
Third World: What is its Future? Development
duction in rural India. In: Proceedings of 6th
Paper 20, Washington D.C. Overseas Devel-
AAP Animal Science Congress held in
opment Council, December 1975. pp. 12.
Bangkok, Thailand. pp 271-285.
Stoesz E. (1972) Beyond Good Intentions. New-
Rathore, A.K. (2007) Endemic and emerging animal
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diseases of economic importance and their
control and action plan to alleviate rural poverty Vidyanathan, A. (1988) Bovine Economy in In-
for the poor goats and sheep keepers in India. dia. Oxford & IBH publishing Co., Pty Ltd.,
In: National Conference on Emerging Diseases New Delhi.
of Small Ruminants and their Control under
Vidyanathan, A. (1989). Research in Livestock
W.T.O. Regime held in Makhdoom, Farrah,
Economy: An overview in livestock economy
Mathura , U.P. India, February 3-5, 2007.
of India. Indian Society of Agricultural Eco-
Rathore, A.K. (2007a) Animal genetic resources: nomics. Oxford & IBH publishing Co., Pty
Conservation and improvement. In: Proceed- Ltd., New Delhi.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Biotechnological advances in animal production

S. K. Gulati1, M. R. Garg2, P. L. Sherasia2, B. M. Bhanderi2, T. W. Scott1
Faculty of Veterinary Science (B19), University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
National Dairy Development Board, Anand, India

In tropical regions there is intensive pressure In India, by-pass protein feed supplements
on land use caused by the increase in human popu- have been developed by screening protein meals
lation. This influences the type of feeding systems for their amino acid composition and then develop-
for ruminants, which are typically fed on low quality ing suitable chemical treatment procedures. Com-
roughages, some supplemental green fodder and mercial by-pass protein plants have been estab-
agricultural by-products. It is recognized that vol- lished at cattle feed plants Itola, Vadodara and
untary feed intake and digestibility of tropical grasses Godhra, Panchmahal, in Gujarat State; similar plants
are lower then temperate species. Straw based diets in other locations are currently being developed.
are commonly used in the Indian sub-continent; they Table 1 summarizes the results of feeding these R-
have a poor digestibility ranging from 28-58% and BP-protein feed supplements.
low nutritive value. This results in reduced feed Table 1. Nutrient profile of protein meals
intake, often to levels below maintenance for sub-
Sunflower meal Rapeseed meal
stantial periods, severely limiting productivity.
Natural Optimally Natural Optimally
Therefore, to overcome these deficiencies re- By-pass By-pass By-pass treated
search has concentrated on the development of feed g/kg g/kg g/kg g/kg
additives and mineral supplements specifically de- Crude protein 330 330 400 400
signed for different regions. The application of feeding RUP 99 248 160 304
systems (NRC 2001) and ration balancing programs RDP 321 82 240 96
EAA available for absorption
(Anon, 2003-2004), to assist dairy farmers in im-
Cysteine 0.73 1.84 1.95 3.71
proving productivity are in progress. Methionine 0.52 1.31 1.14 2.17
In recent years the development of rumen inert Isoleucine 1.33 3.32 2.90 5.50
or by-pass nutrient feed additives and macro/micro Leucine 2.02 5.06 6.10 11.58
Phenylalanine 1.25 3.12 2.76 5.28
mineral supplements have been a focus in India to Lysine 1.14 2.85 4.12 7.82
improve ruminant productivity. This paper will sum- Hisidine 0.67 1.69 2.01 3.82
marize some of the recent developments. Arginine 2.34 5.85 4.26 8.09
Milk response, L 8.4 9.5 8.5 9.6
Net gain, Rs/animal/d
Rumen by-pass (R-BP) proteins and amino
Cow 9.61 9.44
acids Buffalo 14.99 12.41
In designing protein and or amino acid supple- Gulati et al., 2002; Garg et al., 2005a
ments for lactating ruminants it is desirable to pro-
duce supplements with an amino acid content that Rumen by-pass (R-BP) fat
is complementary to microbial protein, which is con- There are two fundamental reasons to develop
sidered to be the best available source of essential R-BP fat and apply the technology to ruminants,
amino acids for milk synthesis. these are:-
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

l To increase the supply of bio-active essential (reduced inter-calving intervals) in buffaloes to al-
fatty acids that influence productivity, energy low a cost-benefit analysis.
balance and nutrient partitioning. 10 800
Milk Fat
l To improve the functional and nutritional prop- Total Fat Yield

erties of milk/meat fat.

Milk Fat Yield (g/d)

8 700

Milk Fat (%)

In many dairy production systems the energy
density of rations is low and the high yielding dairy 6 600

animals loose body weight heavily in the first quar-

ter of lactation. This not only affects the lactation 4 500

yield but also reduce the reproductive efficiency;

for example in India the inter-calving period in dairy 2 400
-1 0 3 6 9 12 16 22
animals is in the range 16-18 months. The use of
fat supplements is important not only for overcom-
ing the energy deficit, but is also gaining significance Fig. 1 Effect of feeding R-BP CLA on the fat content and
yield of Jaffarabadi buffalo
in relation to improving reproductive function and
fertility (Staples, 1998). The fatty acid composition The second reason to develop and use R-BP
of the fat supplement and the amount and type of fat supplements relates to the functional and nutri-
fatty acids absorbed from the small intestine appear tional properties of milk fat. Majority of the dietary
to positively influence ovarian follicular number and fats are hydrogenated in the rumen and this together
size, life of the corpus luteum and embryo survival with fatty acids synthesis in the mammary gland pro-
- the overall effect being to improve herd fertility. duce a milk, which has physically a hard fat e.g. poor
Rumen protected fat supplements containing a high spreadability of butter and perceived to be nutrition-
proportion (50-60%) of linoleic acid were used to ally undesirable because of the high proportion of
improve pregnancy rates in Hereford cattle (Wilkins saturated fatty acids
et al., 1996). The most effective procedure to protect di-
A recent development relates to the potential etary fatty supplements from ruminal hydrogenation
role of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA's) in lactat- is to encapsulate the oils in a matrix of formalde-
ing ruminants; feeding dairy cows a R-BP CLA hyde treated protein and these products contain
mixture of isomers containing trans-10, cis-12, re- about 65-85% rumen inert or protected fat (Gulati
sulted in a reduction of milk fat content, increased et al., 2005). Feeding these RP oilseeds supple-
milk production, improved tissue-energy balance and ments to lactating dairy ruminants drastically alter
nitrogen retention in cows during early lactation the fatty acid composition of milk and improves
(Shingfield et al., 2004). butter spreadability and essential fatty acid content
In recent trials, feeding a R-BP CLA mixture (see Table 2).
containing 10g /d of the trans-10, cis-12 isomer for
15 days to Jaffarabadi buffalo, reduced the milk fat Minerals
content and fat yield by 27% and 22% (8.6 vs 6.3 Supplementation of minerals helps in efficient
% and 699 vs 547 g/d, for control vs R-BP CLA utilization of absorbed nutrients and in so many other
respectively); (Fig. 1). ways, for improving growth, milk production and
Further long term studies are required to as- reproductive efficiency (McDowell, 1992). Surveys/
sess the impact of RP-CLA on energy balance, mineral mapping have been conducted by the Na-
nutrient re-partitioning, reproductive performance tional Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and other
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Table 2. Functional and nutritional properties of milk fat

Fat fed Melting Rumen by-pass bioactive fatty acids

g/d characteristics
Liquid at Liquid at C18:1 c C18:2 C18:3 C 20:5 C 22:6
50oC 200oC
Pasture - 35.3 68.3 24.1 1.3 0.7 - -
PCS 600 68.2 92.1 32.6 7.6 2.2 - -
PSFO 570 55.2 86.5 22.8 5.6 1.1 0.51 1.09
PSBLO 563 65.1 86.4 21.5 5.5 5.1
PCS-Protected canola /soybean; PSFO-Protected soybean /fish oil; PSBLA-Protected soybean /linseed oil Gulati, et al.
2005, 2002a
Indian institutes in various states (Garg et al., 2005). l uncontrolled absorption and excretion
Based on mineral deficiency in the ration of animals l higher doses to be more effective against para-
in different agro-climatic zones, area specific min- sites
eral mixture formulations have been developed. l resulting in higher costs
With the NDDB’s assistance, fourteen mineral mix- l contribute to accumulation of residues in ed-
ture plants have been set up in cooperative sector, ible tissue/milk
in the States of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kerala, Punjab, l residues in the environment
Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Studies have demonstrated that the most effi-
Pradesh (Table 3; Garg et al., 2007). cient parasite chemotherapy relies on improved
modes of drug presentation. More specifically, this
Rumen by-pass (R-BP) anthelmentics is directed to “intelligent” formulations that target
Anti-parasitic agents are commonly given to the anthelmentic (i.e., ABZ-Albendazole) to sites in
ruminants as an oral drench into the rumen. In the ruminant gut in a three stage release to maximise
general they are subjected to: parasite exposure (Figure 2; Table 4) (Hennessy
l chemical and bacterial degradation et al., 1992 and Gulati et al., unpublished data)
l losses of the active due to binding & associa- whilst minimizing the need for repetitive drug use
tion with fibre will be discussed.
Table 3. Mineral profiles of some feeds and fodders fed to dairy cows and buffaloes in different parts of India

Feedstuffs Macro, % Micro, ppm

Ca P Na S Cu Zn Mn Fe
Dry fodder* 0.10- 0.09- 0.10- 0.10- 1.50- 5.0- 15- 154-
0.30 0.20 0.20 0.15 7.0 38 109 691
Green fodder** 0.20- 0.15- 0.20- 0.06- 4.0- 14- 27- 237-
2.50 0.45 1.20 0.20 9.0 37 170 1500
Concentrate ingredients*** 0.01- 0.26- 0.04- 0.04- 4.0- 30.0- 7.0- 42.0-
0.27 1.62 0.10 0.34 25.0 98.0 74.0 701
Requirements 0.42 0.34 0.18 0.20 10 80 40 50
*Straws of rice, wheat, sorghum, maize, bajra , dry grasses etc.; **Sorghum, maize, oat, lucerne, berseem green grasses
etc.; ***Wheat, maize, bajra, sorghum, barley, cottonseed cake, groundnut cake, sesame cake, rice bran, wheat bran and
pulse chunies. Mineral mixture formulation for a particular zone is worked out, based on the levels of minerals in feeds and
fodder vis-à-vis requirement.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Garg, M. R., Sherasia, P. L., Bhanderi, B. M.,

Gulati, SK, Scott, TW and George, PS (2005a)
Indian Diary Sci. 58, 420-425.
Garg, M. R., Bhanderi, B.M., and Sherasia, P. L.,
(2007) Indian Dairyman.
Gulati S. K., Scott T. W., Garg, M. R. and Singh,
D.K., (2002) Indian Dairyman, 54: 31-35.

Fig. 2 Quantity of ABZ released from protected particles Gulati S. K., May, C., Wynn, P. C. and Scott T.
relative to ABZ added W., (2002a) Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 98:
Future challenges: Although substantial
progress has been made using many of the above Gulati, S. K., Garg M. R. and Scott, T. W., (2005)
technologies, there is a need to transfer knowledge Austr. J. Exper. Agric., 45: 1190-1203.
at the village level to educate farmers to improve Hennessy, D. R., Gulati, S. K., Ashes, J. R., Scott,
feeding regimes in a cost effective way. In the future T. W., (1992) Targeting of albendazole to sites
Table 4. Efficacy of a staged release and a conventional of parasitism in the ruminant gastro-intestinal
oral preparation tract. Joint conference of the New Zealand
and Australian societies for parasitology.
Parasites H. contortus T. colubriformis Auckland, NZ.
Worm Efficacy Worm Efficacy
count (%) count (%) McDowell, L.R., (1992) Minerals in Animal and
Human Nutrition. Academic Press. San Di-
Control 3088 0 5699 0
Valbazen 667 78 2122 62 ego, CA pp. 49-51.
S/R 358 88 633 89 NRC (2001) Nutrient Requirements of Dairy
S/R - A stage-release preparation of Albenazole (ABZ) Cattle, 7th rev ed. National Academy of Sci-
Valbazen® is an ABZ containing drench formulated by
Smith Kline & Beecham Animal Health unpublished data;
ence–National Research Council, Washington,
US Patent:5840324 DC.
Shingfield K. J., Beever D. E., Reynolds C. K.,
more effort is required in extension /demonstration
Gulati S. K., Humphries D. J., Lupoli B.,
models and it is obligatory for governments at all
Hervás G. and Griinari J. M. (2004) J. Dairy
levels to implement financial and organizational
Sci., 87: 635, 307.
policies to achieve this goal.
Staples, J. R., Burke, J. M., and Thatcher, W. W.,
REFERENCES (1998) J. Dairy Sci., 81: 856-871.

Anonymous, (2003-2004) Annual Report of Bio- Wilkins J. F., Hoffman W. D., Larsson S. K.,
technology Laboratory, National Dairy De- Hamilton B. A., Hennessy D. W., Hillard M.
velopment Board (NDDB), Anand, India. pp. A., (1996) Protected lipid/protein supplements
19-21. improve synchrony of oestrus and conception
rates in beef cows. In: International Con-
Garg, M.R., Bhanderi, B.M. and Sherasia, P.L. gress Animal Reproduction, Sydney, New
(2005) Anim. Nutr. Feed Technol., 5: 9-20. South Wales, Australia, 13: 19.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Ruminal anaerobic fungi for improving digestion and

utilization of fibrous feeds in ruminants
J. P. Sehgal and Sanjay Kumar
Dairy Cattle Nutrition Division, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal- 132 001, India

Cereal straws and agroindustrial by products and Punj, 1983) and cattle (Ng'ambi and Campling,
are available in larger quantities for feeding to rumi- 1991; Flachowsky et al., 1996, 1999). However,
nants. These are poor in nutritional quality because excess requirement of water, environmental pollu-
of low protein and high lignin contents, but are tion and high cost of sodium hydroxide limited the
potential source of cell-wall polysaccharides such use of this treatment of straws. The urea-NH3 treat-
as cellulose and hemicellulose. The high lignin and ment received a major attention as an appropriate
silica contents of these roughages reduce their di- technology of chemical treatment of straws (Owen
gestible energy contents. In particular, lignin pre- and Jayasuriya, 1989; Brown and Adjei, 1995;
vents close contact between the cell wall polysac- Flachowsky et al., 1996, 1999; Celik et al., 2003;
charides and the rumen microorganisms. Thus, up- Sharma et al., 2004) but the improvements in di-
grading of straw quality is still a central issue as a gestibility of urea-NH3 treated wheat straw is tem-
strategy for improving ruminant livestock produc- perature and moisture dependent and can not be
tion (Preston and Leng, 1987). used in temperate climate.
During the past few decades, researchers have The main advantage of enzymic methods was
shown interest in physical and chemical treatment claimed to have a much greater control of the end
of straws (Jackson, 1977; Sehgal and Punj, 1983). products formed after the treatment and a little or
Of the physical treatments, only chopping and soak- no potential environmental pollution (Nakashima and
ing were feasible under village conditions. Soaking Orskov, 1989). The two main approaches to the
of chopped roughages, however, did not increase use of enzymes recently examined have been re-
the feed intake further than up to a constant level. lated to the use of cellulase, hemicellulase and lignase
Wetting of crop residues was not useful in general, enzymes. The enzyme treatment increased the ru-
but definitely improved the intake of mechanically men soluble fraction and the rate of degradation of
thrashed paddy straw, probably due to removal of straws, though potential degradability remained
oxalates, dust, silica and pebbles, etc. The other unaffected.
physical treatments like pelleting, steam processing, The advances in biotechnology have opened
ionizing irradiation, grinding etc. were not found to up novel approaches for increasing the nutritive value
be feasible at village level because of higher cost of of cereal straws with microbes and allowing natural
equipments, increasing cost of energy for running fermentation processes to enhance their feeding
the equipments, and for the cost of transportation value (Langer et al., 1980, 1982; Pradhan et al.,
of cereal straws and sugarcane bagasse from farm 1993). The solid state fermentation of wheat straw
to plant and back. with aerobic white rot fungi was influenced by fac-
Chemical treatment of wheat straw using so- tors such as the species of fungi, substrate, tem-
dium hydroxide increased voluntary intake of straw perature, moisture and nitrogen contents. Though
by sheep (Alawa and Owen, 1984), goat (Sehgal the dry matter digestibility of straw increased, but a

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

huge loss of substrate dry matter during fungus bagasse and sugarcane bagasse based TMR have
cultivation limited the applicability of this shown improvement in digestibility of nutrients and
technology. rumen fermentation pattern in in vitro (Sachin,
Cereal straws treated with rumen bacterial 2007).
culture (Ruminococcus albus, Ruminococcus
flavefaciens and Fibrobacter succinogenes) in Digestion and rumen fermentation of cereal
solid state and liquid state was reported to enhance straws
the digestibility of nutrients (Lohakare, 1998). Rumen fermentation of lignocellulosic feeds
Simultaneously, interests in the ruminal anaerobic occur in a complex system that is influenced by
fungi were growing after their discovery by Orpin many factors: (i) The physical and chemical nature
(1975), especially on their capacity for fibre of the fibre, (ii) The rate of ruminal digestion, (iii)
digestion. These anaerobic fungi are unique and are The nature and population densities of the predomi-
only known strictly anaerobic fungi in the bio- nant species of fiber digesting microorganisms as
sphere. The rumen fungi preferentially colonize affected by the prevailing ruminal conditions.
highly lignified thick-walled sclerenchyma and Long back, Baker and Martin (1938) observed
vascular tissues. The fungal rhizoids penetrate deep bacteria within the lacunae (i.e., zones of digestion)
into the recalcitrant tissues and digest cell wall suggesting that adherence might be important in plant
components through enzymes, whereas bacteria act fibre degradation. Plant tissue particles entering the
on peripheral areas. Rumen fungi have a strong rumen are colonized by bacteria within 5 min, by
fibrolytic activity, which helps in degradation of low protozoa within 15 min and by fungal sporangia
quality roughages. They can break the linkages and rhizoids within 2 hours (Demeyer, 1981). The
between lignin and hemicellulose. In vitro studies bacterial attachment with the damaged surfaces of
with different fungal species on degradation of the substrate allows the microorganisms to control
cereal straws were found to improve dry matter the substrate and its surroundings, and decrease the
digestibility and cell wall constituents (Manikumar chance of being passed on to the omasum with the
et al., 2002, 2003, 2004 Thareja et al., 2006). fluid portion of the rumen contents, which passes at
Direct administration of Orpinomyces sp, a supe- a much faster rate than the solid fraction (VanSoest,
rior fibrolytic fungus was reported to increase 1982).
growth rate, rumen fermentation, nutrient digestibil-
ity and nitrogen retention in sheep (Lee et al., Rumen anaerobic fungi and their role in fibre
2000, 2004) and crossbred calves (Dey et al., digestion
2004a,c) and buffalo calves (Tripathi et al., 2007a,b). Until the discovery of the anaerobic fungi in
Also oral administration of Piromyces sp WNG- the sheep rumen by Orpin in 1975, the microbial
12 isolated from wild buffalo (Tripathi et al., population of the rumen was believed to be made
2007a,b) and Neocallimastix GR1 isolated from up of bacteria and protozoa only. Since this
grazing goats (Thareja et al., 2006) showed higher discovery rumen fungi have been isolated from a
growth rate in buffalo calves (Debanu Jit, 2006). wide range of herbivores (Gordon and Phillips,
Direct administration of Orpinomyces sp c-14 and 1993; Ho et al., 1996; Ushida et al., 1997; Sehgal
Piromyces sp WNG-12 also showed higher milk et al., 2002; Paul et al., 2003; Tripathi et al.,
production in buffalos (Swati, 2006). Zoospores 2007a,b, Thareja et al., 2006). They have a pH
of these anaerobic fungi have been developed in optimum at 6.5 to 6.7 and a temperature optimum
deficient media and their incorporation in sugarcane at 39±1°C. It has been reported that these
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

anaerobic fungi produce a wide range of hydrolytic After attachment of zoospores to the feed
enzymes viz4. polysaccharidases (endo-glucanase, particles, flagella are detached from zoospores, and
exo-glucanase, xylanase, cellodextrinase, amylase), then encystment and germination occur, followed
glycosidase (- and - glycosidase, -fructosidase, by penetration of plant tissues by the rhizoids and
-xylosidase, -L-arabinofuranosidase, etc), esterase form sporangia. Fungal colonization weakens the
(acetyl xylan esterase, p-coumaroyl esterase, feruloyl integrity of plant tissues and fragmentation of feed
esterase), pectin lyase and polygalacturonase particles would proceed, thus causing digestion of
(Pearce and Bauchop, 1985; Joblin et al., 1990; feed particles (Calderon-Cortes et al., 1989; Akin
Kopecny and Hodrova, 1995; Dey et al., 2004 et al., 1990).
b) to utilize plant cell wall components. Rumen
anaerobic fungi have a strong fibrolytic activity and Influence of superior anaerobic fungi on ani-
preference for the thick-walled sclerenehyma and mal performance
vascular tissues, and are capable of digesting
Hillaire and Jouany (1989) worked with a
various fibrous forages and various types of fibrous
continuous culture system (i.e., Rusitech), and ob-
crop residues (Akin et al., 1983; Ho et al., 1996;
Ushida et al., 1997; Manikumar et al., 2004; Dey served that addition of one strain of Neocallimastix
et al., 2004a Tripathi et al., 2007a,b; Debanu Jit to the mixed rumen bacteria increased the degrada-
2006, Swati 2006). The fungal rhizoids penetrate tion rate of wheat straw by 15 per cent. The elimi-
deep into the recalcitrant tissues and digest cell wall nation of rumen anaerobic fungi from rumen of sheep
by means of enzymes. Rumen fungi can solubilize by chemical means decreased the plant fibre diges-
part of the lignin component of plant cell walls in tion (Gordon and Phillips, 1993). Ito et al. (1994)
culture, though there was no evidence of fermen- studied sheep rumen fungi for degradability and di-
tation of lignin (Bernard-Vailhe et al., 1995). gestibility of rice straw and found that there was
During the non-motile stage, the fungi colonize and significant decrease in lignin residue content result-
degrade fibrous plant materials, thus enabling them ing in increased digestibility of rice straw. Studies
to play a role in the digestion of fiber in the rumen. indicated increased IVDMD and IVOMD, but a
Orpin and Bountiff (1978) reported that rumen decreased NDF, ADF and ADL contents of straw
fungi appear to release zoospores within 30 min with use of different anaerobic fungi, viz.,
after feeding. Fungal zoospores swimming freely in Orpinomyces, Piromyces and Anaeromyces in com-
the rumen fluid, locate freshly ingested plant frag- parison to control (Manikumar et al., 2002; Sehgal
ments by chemotaxis of soluble carbohydrates et al., 2002). It was also reported that the molar
diffusing from the damaged plant tissues. Fry proportion of acetate increased with the simulta-
(1986) observed that rumen fungi also have pro- neous decrease in the production of propionate and
tease activities. Protease may have role in plant butyrate by rumen anaerobic fungi. Further, it was
cell wall degradation, because the plant structural observed that in both the rice and wheat straws,
protein, such as extensin, increases the integrity of Orpinomyces sp (C-14) with double log dose
plant cell wall. Wallace and Joblin (1986) and Asao (106CFU/ ml) showed the maximum hydrolytic
et al., (1993) also observed the protease activities activity and thus was found to be the most prom-
and reported that possession of protease is a ising isolate than compared to others, i.e., Piromyces
unique characteristic of rumen fungi, similar to and Anaeromyces (Manikumar et al., 2002, 2003,
rumen cellulolytic organisms producing cellulases. 2004). Similarly, incubation of cereal straws, viz.,
However, major ruminal cellulolytic bacteria are not wheat, paddy and chickpea straws with ruminal
proteolytic. mixed fungal population increased dry matter, NDF,
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

ADF and cellulose degradation in cattle and buffa- the improvement in nutritive value of wheat straw
loes (Sangwan et al., 2002). It has also been re- (Dey et al., 2004a). There was also a two and half
ported that the addition of anaerobic fungal culture fold increase in the fungal count in fungus-adminis-
Piromyces communis significantly increased not only tered group of animals in this study.
the total bacteria, cellulolytic bacteria and anaero- Studies conducted by Tripathi et al., (2007a,b)
bic fungi but also the enzymetic activities of avicelase, to investigate the comparative efficacy in improving
CMCase and xylanase compared to the control the performance of buffalo calves following adminis-
(Lee et al., 2004) tration of anaerobic fungal culture (160 ml
Gordon and Phillips (1998) reported an in- @106CFU/ ml/ calf on every 4th day) isolated from
crease in voluntary intake of straw based diet from domestic cow (Orpinomyces sp C-14) and wild blue
7 to 12 percent, when the sheep were dosed bull (Piromyces sp WNG-12) showed 29.7 per cent
through mouth with cultures of monocentric fungi increased in growth rate of buffalo calves adminis-
isolated from herbivores other than sheep. Lee et tered with Piromyces sp WNG-12 as compared to
al., (2000) isolated polycentric fungus Orpinomyces Table 2. Performance of crossbred calves fed wheat straw
strain KNGF-2 from Korean native goat and ad- based complete feed mixture without or with fun-
ministered to sheep @ 200 ml culture incubated for gal culture (Orpinomyces sp) culture administration

7 days. Nutrient digestibility and nitrogen retention Particulars Control Fungal

in fungus-supplemented group was found to be more cultural
than non-supplemented group (Table 1).
Growth rate, kg
Table 1. In vivo nutrients digestibility in sheep dosed Initial BW 131.0 128.7
intraruminal fungal medium, fungal enzyme or Final BW 186.3 192.5
whole fungal culture Gain in BW 55.3 63.8
Gain in BW, g/d 614.8 709.3
Item fungal fungal fungal Total DMI 366.8 363.8
medium enzyme culture DMI, kg/d 4.1 4.0
FCR 6.6 5.7
DM 71.5 70.8 75.2
Digestibility of nutrients, %
CP 68.6 69.1 71.9
EE 69.2 68.8 70.5 DM 53.9 60.0
CF 50.3 55.9
NDF 65.1 62.8 68.9
NDF 44.4 55.2
ADF 57.3 57.0 62.9 ADF 42.9 52.0
Hemicellulose 75.1 71.2 77.1
Nutritive evaluation, %
Cellulose 68.4 70.9 79.0
Cell contents 72.3 73.5 74.4 DCP 9.1 9.8
TDN 55.3 60.8
(Lee et al., 2004) (Dey et al., 2004a); a = after 90 days; Figures with different
superscripts differ significantly P<0.05.
No effect on feed intake was observed when
growing crossbred calves were dosed with poly- 20.6 per cent to calves administered with
centric rumen fungus Orpinomyces sp C-14 cul- Orpinomyces sp C-14 than the control animals.
ture (160 ml @106CFU/ml/calf/week). However, Feed efficiency of wheat straw based complete feed
the growth rate and nutrient digestion was improved mixture was enhanced by 31.5 per cent following
(Table 2) in fungus administered group in growing dosing of Piromyces sp WNG-12 to calves. The
crossbred calves (Dey et al., 2004a). Also the TDN nutrient digestibility of wheat straw based complete
content of whole diet based on wheat straw was feed mixture was increased by administration of both
increased by 14.1per cent, which clearly indicated the fungal culture (Table 3).
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Table 3. Effect of administration of Orpinomyces sp C-14 Oral administration of elite Neocallimastix

and Piromyces sp WNG-12 on growth rate, feed
efficiency, nutrients digestibility and rumen fer-
sp GR1 isolated from grazing goats (250 ml @
mentation pattern in buffalo calves 106 cfu/ml/buffalo calf on every 4th day) showed
an increase in growth, nutrient digestibility, feed ef-
Parameters Control +Orpino- +Piromy-
myces sp ces sp
ficiency and %TDN contents of a wheat straw
Gain/calf/d 494.2a 595.8b 641.2b
based total mixed ration than on control (Table 5).
FCR 9.7a 11.7b 12.7b Table 5. Effect of administration of Neocallimastix sp
Digestibility of nutrients, % GR1 isolated from grazing goats on growth,
DM 53.5 60.3b 62.1b nutrient evaluation and rumen fermentation of a
NDF 46.3 54.1 b 56.5b wheat straw based ration in buffalo calves.
ADF 41.5a 53.1b 55.7b
Rumen fermentation pattern, mg/dl Parameter Control +Fungal
pH 7.1a 6.9b 6.9b culture
TVFA, mM/dl 7.4 10.5b 11.6b
NH3 -N 17.2a 10.7b 9.1b Production performance
TCA ppt N 47.7 72.3b 78.1b DMI, kg/d 4.1a 4.1a
No of zoospore (105/ml) 1.0 3.0 4.2 Gain, g/d 520.2 a
659.8 b
(Tripathi et al., 2007b) ; Figures with different superscripts Feed efficiency, % 12.6 16.2 ab
Nutrient evaluation, %
differ significantly P<0.05.
TDN 52.8 a 59.6 b
Similarly, Swati (2006) found an increase in milk DCP 6.7 a
7.2 b
production, nutrient digestibility and %TDN contents Rumen fermentation pattern, mg/dl
Total VFA, mM/dl 10.3 a 13.4 b
of a wheat straw based total mixed ration in fungal NH3-N 13.3 a
8.7 b
culture administered groups (250 ml @ 106cfu/ml/ TCA - N 52.7 a
71.1 b
5 a 3.83 b
animal on every 7th day) of lactating buffalos than Fungal zoospore, 10 /ml 1.36
No. of bacteria, 10 /ml 1.47 a 1.79 b
control (Table 4). 6 a
No. of protozoa, 10 /ml 1.76 1.22 b
Table 4. Effect of administration of elite Orpinomyces sp
C-14 isolated from domestic cattle and Piromyces (Debanu Jit, 2006); Figures with different superscripts differ
sp WNG-12 isolated from wild blue bull on milk significantly P<0.05.
production, % feed efficiency, nutrients digest-
ibility and nutritive value of wheat straw based Looking towards strategies for improvement/
total mixed ration in lactating buffaloes enrichment of cereal straws especially for the fod-
Parameter Control +Orpino- +Pirom-
der scarcity period or for dry season of the year
myces yces the straws can be treated with urea- NH3 or can be
Total milk yield,kg 1446.2 1516.7 1527.1 supplemented with urea- molasses mineral blocks
Milk yield, kg/d 8.0 8.4 8.5 so as to enhance their digestible energy and protein
6% FCM yield, kg/d 9.6 10.3 10.5 value for meeting the nutritional requirements of
Feed efficiency* 67.1 73.0 81.1 ruminants in places where water supply is sufficient
Digestibility of nutrients, % and temperature is optimum to degrade urea in to
DM 52.8a 58.9b 62.7b NH3. In the coming years biotechnological ap-
NDF 42.9a 53.1b 57.0 b proaches like administration of superior rumen
ADF 39.9a 48.9b 52.8 b
anaerobic fungi viz. Orpinomyces sp (C-14),
Nutritive value, % Neocallimastix sp GR1 or Piromyces sp (WNG-
DCP 6.7 7.2 7.7 12) being isolated from domestic and wild rumi-
TDN 51.8 a 59.0 b 61.7 b
nants (Sehgal et al., 2002; Tripathi et al., 2007;
# 180 days; Figures with different superscripts differ Thareja et al., 2006) into ruminants fed with cereal
significantly P<0.05; *kg milk yield/100 kg DMI
straw based diets would enhance their digestible
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

energy for higher productivity. Thus Orpinomyces Asao, N., Ushida, K. and Kojima, Y. (1993) Lett.
sp. (C-14) , Neocallimastix sp GR1 and Appl. Microbiol., 16: 247-250.
Pyromyces sp. (WNG-12) being isolated from the
Baker, F. and Martin, F. (1938) Nature, 141: 877.
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to be promising fungi to break down the lignified Bernard-Vailhe, M.A., Besle, J.M. and Dore, J.
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Recently zoospores of the these anaerobic fungi
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their incorporation enhanced the digestibility of nu- 187.
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of these isolated elite ruminal fungi to incorporate ruminal fermentation and nutrient digestion in
these into value added complete feed blocks con- buffalo calves. M.V.S. Thesism HDRI, Karnal,
sisted mainly of low grade roughages such as straws, India.
stovers, sugar cane bagasse and small quantity of
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Fry, S.C. (1986) Ann. Rev. Plant Physiol., 37: cereal straws. M.Sc. Thesis, National Dairy
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Technol., 115: 215-226. ers' Conference, Bhubaneshwar, pp.98-99.
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resources in the tropics and subtropics. JP, Singh K. (2006) Arch. Anim. Nutr. 60:
Penambul Books, Armidale, Australia. 412-417.
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cane bagasse based ration using zoospores production in buffaloes fed wheat straw
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Thareja A, Puniya AK, Goel G, Nagpal R, Sehgal Microbiol. Lett., 29: 19-25.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Bioactivity of phytochemicals in some lesser-known plants and

their effects and potential applications in livestock and
aquaculture nutrition
Harinder P. S. Makkar
Institute for Animal Production in the Tropics and Subtropics (480b)
University of Hohenheim, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany

According to an estimate by FAO, the human 1. Plants containing anthelmintic compounds

demand for food fish is expected to touch 110 million The gastrointestinal nematode parasitism is one
metric tones by 2010 from the current level of con- of the major constraints to livestock production,
sumption of about 90 Mtn. This, along with the especially when the animals have a poor nutritional
'Livestock revolution' taking place, especially in de- status. Subclinical infections of gastrointestinal nema-
veloping countries, coupled to continued human todes such as Ostertagia circumcinta, Trichostrongy-
population growth, urbanization and income growth lus colubriformis, and Haemonchus contortus de-
are imposing a huge burden on the environment and crease feed intake, body weight gain, and milk and
resources. Livestock production is under tremen- wool production. There is a growing realisation that
dous political and social pressure to decrease pol- chemical anthelmintic treatment, on its own, may
lution and environmental damage arising due to not provide a long-term strategy for managing para-
animal agriculture. Some antibiotics and growth sites in grazing animals. The widespread develop-
promoters such as monensin, avoparcin, flavomycin, ment and prevalence of resistant strains of nema-
virginiamycin and somatotropin have been shown tode parasites and public concern over drug resi-
to be effective in enhancing feed conversion effi- dues excreted in animal products have stimulated
ciency and increasing livestock productivity and in efforts to identify and use plant-based anthelmintic
reducing environment pollutants. However, these compounds.
antibiotics and growth promoters have been banned Studies conducted on calves in Bangladesh
in the EU since 2006, mainly because of antibiotic showed that pine apple (Ananas comosus) and
resistance being passed on to human pathogens and neem (Azadirachta indica) leaves have anthelm-
risk to humans of chemical residues in animal prod- intic effects (Akbar and Ahmed, 2006). Fresh pine
ucts. As a result of this, scientists have intensified apple leaves (1.6 g/kg body weight) and fresh neem
efforts in exploiting plants, plant extracts or natural leaves (1 g/kg body weight) (both leaves on dry
plant compounds as potential natural alternatives matter basis were 200 mg/kg body weight) given
for enhancing livestock productivity. The Plant King- as a single dose were compared with that of
dom might provide a useful source of new pharma- albendazole given at a rate of 7.5 mg/kg body
ceutical entities, medicines and bioactive compounds weight. On day 7, the efficacy of albendazole (100
that may be used for enhancing animal production % reduction in faecal worm egg count) was signifi-
and health; and food safety and quality, whilst con- cantly (P <0.01) higher than those of pine apple
serving environment. This paper discusses work on and neem leaves (76 and 55 % reduction respec-
the effects of various phytochemicals in ruminant tively); and on day 14, the percent reduction in
and fish species. faecal worm egg counts for albendazole and pine
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

apple (88 and 82 % reduction) were significantly (P direct effect on gastrointestinal nematodes is Euca-
<0.05) higher than that for neem leaves (56 % lyptus. It has been shown to be effective against
reduction). In the same study, urea molasses Trichostrongylus colubriformis, and Haemonchus
multinutrient block was used as a vehicle for giving contortus (Lorimer et al., 1996). These effects are
these plant materials to dairy cows kept on re- attributed to the presence of tannins/polyphenols in
search station. Freeze dried leaves were incorpo- Eucalyptus.
rated in the blocks so that the intake of these leaves
is 200 mg dry matter/kg body weight of animals. 2. Plants containing saponins
The intake of the blocks was 500 g per day per
Saponins are steroid or triterpene glycoside
cow (40 mg dry matter/kg body weight of animal/
compounds found in a variety of plants. The sapo-
day) and the blocks were fed for a total of 5 days.
nin-rich plants having potential for exploitation in
After 15 days of consumption, pine apple leaf con-
ruminant and fish production systems are presented.
taining blocks decreased faecal worm egg counts
by 72 % and the one containing neem leaves de-
creased by 45%. On the other hand, the block free Effects on ruminants
of these leaves reduced the count by only 5 %. Rumen fermentation: Various saponins affect
These values after 60 days post-treatment were gas and microbial mass production to different ex-
84, 63 and 18 % respectively. Similar results were tents in the in vitro gas system containing buffered
obtained when these blocks were tested in milking rumen microbes and feed. For example, Acacia
cows in farmers' houses. Both the herbal remedies saponins decreased gas production, but increased
when incorporated into the block significantly in- microbial protein without affecting true digestibility.
creased milk yield (26 %) and live weight of ani- On the other hand, addition of Quillaja saponins
mals (15 %) compared to non-medicated blocks. did not affect gas production, but increased micro-
The feeding of blocks containing pineapple and neem bial protein and truly degraded substrate. The ef-
leaves increased net profit by 122 % and 33 % fects of Yucca saponins differed from those of
respectively (Akbar and Ahmed, 2006). These ef- Quillaja or Acacia saponins. Yucca saponins de-
ficacy data of all three treatments indicate that pine creased gas, increased microbial protein and in-
apple leaves are better herbal anthelmintics than creased true digestibility, suggesting that the saponins
neem leaves. In Vietnam and Myanmar, leaves of affected partitioning of degraded nutrients such that
pine apple and Momordica charantia (bitter gourd) higher microbial mass was produced at the cost of
have also been found to have potential in control- gas, and/or short chain fatty acids (SCFA) produc-
ling intestinal parasites and increasing productivity tion (Makkar, 2005). These saponins increased ef-
(Doan et al., 2006; Daing and Win, 2006). The ficiency of microbial mass synthesis. Liu et al.
extent of use of these blocks, cost : benefit ratio (2003) showed an increase in microbial protein
and increase in income of farmers on using these synthesis in the presence of tea saponins in an in
medicated blocks have been summarised in Makkar vitro fermentation. However, Wang et al. (2000a)
(2006). Although cysteine proteases (bromelain) showed that microbial protein synthesis increased
present in pine apple plant is considered to have at a low level of Yucca saponin (15 µg/mL) but
some anthelmintic properties, there is a need to decreased at higher concentrations (75 µg/mL).
identify active principle in pine apple leaves and to Other in vitro studies using the RUSITEC system
investigate its presence in various germplasm exist- did not show any significant effect of sapindus sa-
ing in Asia and Africa and in different countries ponins (Hess et al., 2003a) or of Yucca saponin
within Asia. Another plant which seems to have (100 mg sarsaponin/kg feed) (Eliwiniski et al.,
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

2002) on microbial protein synthesis. At low con- Rumen ecology: Some information is avail-
centrations Panax ginseng, Yucca and Quillaja sa- able on the effects of saponins on specific rumen
ponins have been shown to stimulate growth of bacteria. Using pure culture, Wallace et al. (1994)
Escherichia coli and rumen Prevotella (Bacteroi- observed that the saponin fraction of Y. schidigera,
des) ruminicola (Sen et al., 1998a; Wallace et al., when added at a concentration of 1 % to the
1994). medium, stimulated the growth of Prevotella
Abreu et al. (2004) found an increase in ruminicola, did not affect the growth of Selemonas
duodenal flow of microbial-nitrogen in sheep fed ruminantium, suppressed the growth of Strepto-
Sapindus saponaria fruit. However, Hristov et al. coccus bovis and completely inhibited the growth
(1999) did not obtain a significant effect of Yucca of Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens. The same fraction at
saponin on mcrobial protein flow to the intestine in much lower concentrations (0-250 µg/ml) in pure
heifers. An increase of microbial nitrogen supply, culture exhibited anti-bacterial activity towards non-
efficiency of microbial-nitrogen supply, and fecal- cellulolytic bacteria, i.e. Streptococcus bovis,
nitrogen excretion with increasing levels of Sapindus Prevotella bryantii B14 (formerly P. ruminicola)
rarak extract was observed, but this increase was and Ruminobacter amylophilus (Wang et al.,
not significant. Effects of various saponins on am- 2000b). Fibrobacter succinogens were unaffected
monia levels and SCFA production have been re- but Ruminococcus albus and Ruminococcus
cently reviewed (Wina et al., 2005a). The decrease flavefaciens were virtually unable to digest cellu-
in rumen ammonia concentration may be due to an lose in the presence of Yucca saponins. Wang et al.
indirect result of the decreased protozoa caused by (2000b) concluded that Yucca saponin negatively
the added saponins. Fewer protozoa would mean affected the Gram-positive bacteria more than the
less predation and lysis of bacteria, hence, less Gram-negative bacteria. The concentration of RNA
release of the products of protein breakdown. from Fibrobacter sp. remained constant and was
Reduction in ammonia may also be due to the fewer not affected by S. rarak extract either in vitro or
protozoa in the rumen since protozoa contribute a in vivo (Wina et al., 2005b). Using RUSITEC, the
substantial amount of the total rumen nitrogen. Sa- number of cellulolytic bacteria was reduced by 30
ponins also form complexes with proteins and could % when 0.5 mg/ml Yucca extract was added to
decrease protein degradability. Quillaja saponins alfalfa hay. It was also demonstrated that cellulolytic
decreased protein degradability of the concentrate bacteria are more susceptible to Yucca extract than
but not of hay (Makkar and Becker, 2000). These amylolytic bacteria (Wang et al., 2000b).
observations suggest that the nature of diet plays a In an in vivo study, Diaz et al. (1993) ob-
considerable role in determining the effects of sa- served a significant increase in cellulolytic and total
ponins. It may be noted that saponins could also bacteria in the rumen of sheep fed with S. saponaria
decrease rumen proteolytic activity. The addition of fruit. Thalib et al. (1996) also reported that total
S. saponaria fruit to a sheep diet decreased plasma cellulolytic bacteria increased when sheep were fed
urea suggesting that less ammonia was absorbed with a methanol extract of S. rarak. However, a
from the rumen (Abreu et al., 2004). This would dramatic decrease in the RNA concentration of
also decrease the energy lost in detoxification of Ruminococci in short term feeding of S. rarak ex-
ammonia by liver and its discharge in urine as urea, tract and disappearance of this effect upon long
contributing to the higher productivity. In addition, term feeding indicated that there may be an adap-
saponin addition would provide environmental ben- tation of Ruminococcus sp to S. rarak saponins.
efits due to lesser discharge of feed nitrogen to the The mechanism of adaptation of bacteria to sapo-
environment. nin still needs to be clarified. An increase in the
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

thickness of their cell wall was observed when crease in methane production by Yucca extract when
Prevotella bryanti in pure culture was adapted to incubated with a roughage based diet in an in vitro
Yucca saponins (Wang et al., 2000b). system. In this study, a decrease of protozoal num-
Anaerobic fungi are important in the rumen for ber and increase in microbial population were ob-
digesting fibre, but they only comprise a small pro- served by both Yucca and Quillaja extracts; how-
portion of the total mass of the rumen microflora. ever, the latter did not reduce methane production.
There is little information on the effect of saponins Suppression of methane emission was also achieved
on ruminal fungi. In pure culture, Wang et al. by the supplementation of S. saponaria fruit (con-
(2000b) demonstrated that fungi, Neocallimastix taining high levels of saponins) in the RUSITEC
frontalis and Pyromyces rhizinflata are highly sen- (Hess et al., 2003b). The occurrence of glycosides
sitive to Yucca schidigera saponins from, and even of diosgenin (steroidal saponin) in Fenugreek seeds
at a low concentration of these saponin (2.25 µg/ has been well recognized for several decades. Sa-
ml), the growth of both fungi was completely inhib- ponins may kill or inactivate protozoa, resulting in a
ited. However, Muetzel et al. (2003), using a lower predation of bacteria by protozoa which will
membrane hybridization technique showed that fun- result in a larger bacterial population and a slower
gal concentration was not significantly reduced when protein turnover in the rumen, leading to an increase
increasing levels of saponin containing Sesbania in bacterial nitrogen flow to the duodenum and in-
pachycarpa were included in an in vitro fermenta- crease in productivity (Makkar and Becker, 2000.
tion system. The fungal population was significantly As mentioned above, Yucca, Quillaja and Acacia
higher when sheep were fed with 25-50 g/day of S. saponins enhanced both microbial mass production
saponaria (Diaz et al., 1993) for 30 days. An and efficiency of microbial protein synthesis
adaptation of fungi may occur during long term (Makkar, 2005).
feeding. Methane emission was also suppressed when
Studies on the effect of saponins and their sheep were fed S. saponaria fruit. However, the
products on methanogens (archaea) have attracted suppression of methanogenesis was not associated
a lot of attention lately because of the potential for with decreased methanogen counts, suggesting a
improving the environment by decreasing the pro- suppression of activity per methanogen cell. Simi-
duction of 'greenhouse gases'. However, these stud- larly, saponin in S. rarak extract did not reduce the
ies concentrated more on the measurement of meth- archaeal or methanogen RNA concentration either
ane emission than on the methanogens themselves. in vitro or in vivo studies (Wina et al., 2005a). In
As some methanogens (10-20 % of total) live in most studies, methanogens have been measured
association with protozoa (Newbold et al., 1997; using the anaerobic culture technique and cell counts
it was expected that reducing protozoa would also of methanogens were measured as colony-forming
reduce methanogens, thus reducing methane pro- units or methanogens have been measured using in
duction. The addition of Yucca extract to a high situ hybridisation technique, and these studies are
roughage diet or to a mixed diet containing hay and limited to the effects of various oils and individual
barley grain did not reduce methane emission in the fatty acid supplementation. The methanogen cell
RUSITEC (Sliwinski et al., 2002a, b). However, count determination using culture-based techniques
reduced methane emissions in an in vitro system has disadvantages of non-specificity and that not all
were obtained by adding sarsaponin, extracted from microorganisms can be cultured (Makkar and
Yucca to a starch diet and to a mixed diet (Lila et McSweeney, 2005). Recently Goel et al. (2007a)
al., 2003). Pen et al. (2006) also reported de- found that saponin rich plant materials such as
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Sesbania (Sesbania sesban) and Knautia (Knautia rarak saponins did not lose their defaunating activ-
arvensis) leaves and seeds of Fenugreek (Trigonella ity until 27 days of feeding to sheep (Wina et al.,
foenum-graecum L.) increase the partitioning of 2005a). Machmueller et al. (2000) also reported
the nutrients to microbial mass and decrease mar- persistent effect of coconut oil and oilseeds on
ginally the methane production per unit of feed methane suppression up to 7 weeks. A challenge
degraded. The saponins isolated from these plants would be to develop those approaches for using
also did not reduce the methane production; how- plants, plant extracts or plant products, which sus-
ever, Fenugreek saponin rich material seemed to tain their effects in the rumen microbial ecosystem.
have the potential to increase: the rumen efficiency Evidence exists on the hydrolysis of saponins to
in terms of lowering C2:C3 molar proportion, am- sapogenin and epimerization and hydrogenation of
monia uptake without adversely affecting substrate sapogenin in the rumen. The relative efficacy of
true degradability and total bacterial population as original saponins and that of aglycon (sapogenin)
indicated by lower Ct values observed using quan- and its epimerized and hydrogenated products to-
titative PCR. On the other hand, these saponins wards various effects reported above is not known.
had negative effect on fungal population with ten- Other effects: Saponin levels (as diosgenin)
dency to increase fibre degrading bacterial popula- of 0.07-1.64 % have been observed in seeds
tion (Ruminococcus flavefaciens and Fibrobacter Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) of (Tay-
succinogens). The decrease in methanogens and pro- lor et al., 2002). In our laboratory 3 % saponin (as
tozoal numbers did not lead to reduction in meth- diosgenin) were recorded in fenugreek seeds (Goel
ane by saponin rich materials, which highlight lack et al., 2007b). The seeds are known to reduce
of correlation between the protozoal reduction with blood cholesterol and produce lower concentra-
methanogenesis. A closer look on the association of tions of cholesterol in milk and also to improve the
methanogens to protozoa and interspecies hydro- profile of functional fatty acids (Shah and Mir, 2004).
gen transfer mechanisms among different microbial Antiviral activity of saponins from Glycyrrhiza ra-
communities could explain the mechanism behind dix, immunostimulant activity of saponins from
these observations (Goel et al., 2007b). Quillaja saponaria Molina, and hypo-glyceamic
Persistency of effects: It has been observed and anti-diabetic activity of saponins from Fenugreek
that some plant products lose their effects on con- (Francis et al., 2002c) have also been demonstrated.
tinuous ingestion of the plants by animals. Their Yucca, Quillaja, S. rarak and Enterolobium
effects are short-lived due to microbial adaptation. cyclocarpum saponins have been shown to increase
This calls for development of strategies to beat the productive parameters such as wool production,
microbial adaptation. A negative effect of saponin- growth and milk production in animals on roughage
containing Sesbania sesban on protozoal counts or based diets (Wina et al., 2005c). The effect of
activity was evident in the in vitro studies but not in Quillaja saponins was concentration and sex de-
sheep fed S. sesban since the protozoal counts in pendent. The growth rate was significantly higher
the rumen increased markedly after several days of for male lambs at 40 ppm level, and at 60 ppm the
feeding (Newbold et al., 1997; Ivan et al., 2004). growth rate was higher than the control but the
Based on these results, Newbold et al. (1997) increase was not significant. On the other hand,
suggested feeding saponins intermittently to prevent inclusion of Quillaja saponins at these levels de-
a quick increase in protozoal counts in the rumen. creased the growth rate of female lambs (Makkar,
Thalib et al. (1996) showed that feeding saponin 2000). These effects seem to be mediated by hor-
extract every third day kept the protozoal counts mones. Further studies are needed in this area.
low even after 3 weeks. On the other hand, S. Supplementation of steroidal saponins in feeds has
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

also been shown to be beneficial to fattening lambs Quillaja and Yucca saponins did not have any
and steers and monogastrics (Makkar, 2000). lethal effects on common carp. Addition of Quillaja
Saponins have also been implicated in toxicity saponaria saponins (No. 2149; Sigma, St. Louis,
to ruminants. The major symptoms are photosensi- USA) at a level of 40,000 ppm in aquaria contain-
tization, gastroenteritis and diarrhea. Some forages ing carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) did not lead to death
which contain saponins and produce these toxic of the carp in 18 h and feed consumption was not
symptoms are Brachiaria decumbens grass, species affected. On the other hand, yucca saponins (DK
of the Panicum genus, and Drymaria arenaroides sarsaponin 30TM, Desert King International, Chula
and Tribulus terrestris weeds (Wina et al., 2005b). Vista, CA 91911, USA) at 10,000 ppm did not
Toxicity of other saponin-containing plants such as cause mortality in the first 3 h, but all fish were
Narthecium ossifragum, Tribulus terrestris, Agave found dead after 18 h. These results showed that
lecheguilla and Nolina texana has also been de- Quillaja and Yucca saponins are not highly toxic to
scribed (Flaoyen et al., 2004). fish (Makkar and Becker, 2000).
Feed intake and behaviour: Common carp
Effects on fish (Cyprinus carpio) and tilapia (Oreochromis
niloticus) consumed standard fish meal-based di-
Fish mortality: Saponins have been reported
ets mixed with up to 1000 mg/kg of all the saponin
to be highly toxic to fish because of their damaging
concentrates (QS: Quillaja saponaria saponins, No.
effect on the respiratory epithelia. It was reported
2149; Sigma, St. Louis, USA; YS: DK sarsaponin
that the oxygen uptake of perch, Anabas testudineus,
30TM, Desert King International, Chula Vista, CA
increased with a concomitant increase in the red blood
91911, USA) without any hesitation. There was no
cells, hemoglobin and hematocrit levels, after the fish
mortality or abnormal behaviour of fish fed up to
had been in water containing 5 mg per litre Quillaja
this concentration of saponins. On the other hand,
saponin for 24 h. Penaeus japonicus that had been
standard diets containing 2000 mg/kg of the Quillaja
previously exposed to concentrations of 20 mg per
saponin concentrate induced high mortality in first-
litre of saponin for 24 h increased both respiration
feeding tilapia larvae (Steinbronn, 2002).
rate and metabolism (measured as increase in oxy-
gen uptake and ammonia excretion) during a 6 h Fish growth: Common carp and Nile tilapia ju-
detoxification process (Chen and Chen, 1997). Bu- veniles fed diets containing QS (150 and 300 mg/kg
reau et al. (1998) observed that Quillaja saponins in the diet) had significantly higher rate of body mass
damaged the intestinal mucosa in rainbow trout and gain, and the growth-promoting effects of QS were
Chinook salmon at dietary levels above 1500 mg per most pronounced during the initial period of feeding
kg. The condition of the intestines of these fish was (Francis et al., 2001b). The growth promoting ef-
similar to that of fish fed a raw soybean meal diet fects of QS was most pronounced at 150 mg/kg diet
indicating the role of saponins in causing the damage. for carp; whereas, the dietary level of 300 mg/kg in-
Krogdahl et al. (1995), however, did not find any duced maximum effects in tilapia. The absolute in-
negative effects when soya saponins were included crease in weight was higher compared to control even
in the diet of Atlantic salmon at levels similar to those at higher dietary levels of 700 mg/kg in Nile tilapia.
likely to be found in a soybean meal (30-40 %) based Concentrated steroidal yucca saponins (YS) at
diet. In the same study, an alcohol extract of soybean levels of 50 and 100 mg/kg also did not affect
meal caused growth retardation, altered intestinal growth of common carp significantly. Here the 50
morphology, and depressed mucosal enzyme activ- mg group seemed to perform better than the 100 mg
ity in the lower intestine. group and the control group at the end of a 10-week
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

feeding experiment. The hemolytic triterpenoid ological processes it is expected that either saponins
Gypsophila saponins (GS) concentrated using chro- or their breakdown products enter the body through
matography also did not significantly increase growth the intestinal membranes. We have described the
rate at levels of between 5 and 250 mg/kg in diets ability of saponins to influence serum hormone levels
of common carp after eight weeks of feeding even (Francis et al., 2002c). However, some dietary com-
though absolute growth was higher in all the saponin ponents may produce systemic effects even without
fed groups compared to control (Francis, Makkar actually entering the body (Tschöp et al., 2000). It is
and Becker, unpublished data). The addition of QS to be seen whether saponins induce the synthesis and
to the diet also reduced the amount of feed required release of such hormonal intermediaries in the diges-
for the synthesis of tissue protein. The food conver- tive system. Even though the results seem to indicate
sion ratio (FCR) was lower in carp fed a diet con- a stimulatory effect of saponins, particularly QS, on
taining 150 mg/kg and tilapia fed 300 mg/kg of QS fish growth, gaps exist in our understanding of the
compared to the respective controls. Common carp mechanism of action of the saponins in fish. Future
fed diets containing GS and YS did not differ sig- research in this area should concentrate on under-
nificantly from controls in regard to FCR. standing the physiological mechanisms by which di-
The mechanisms contributing to growth-pro- etary saponins increase growth and feed conversion
moting effects of saponins, especially QS which in- efficiency in carp and tilapia.
duced significant growth increases, are yet to be
Tilapia reproduction: Sexually mature female
fully clarified. Diverse effects of dietary saponins
tilapia consuming a diet containing 300 mg/kg of
include an increase in the permeability of intestinal
QS did not spawn over a period of more than three
membranes to dietary nutrients (Francis et al.,
months. Regularly spawning adult tilapia when put
2002c) and/or a stimulation of the activity of diges-
tive enzymes, which increases the efficiency of feed on a diet containing 300 mg/kg of QS stopped egg
nutrient utilisation. Dietary QS significantly increased laying from the next ovulation cycle onwards (Francis
the activity of carp gut enzymes, amylase and trypsin and Becker, unpublished observations). In another
and liver enzymes, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) experiment the sex ratio of tilapia larvae fed a diet
and cytochrome c-oxidase (CO). This shows that containing 700 mg/kg of QS continuously over a
it could stimulate digestion of proteins and carbo- six-month experimental period deviated significantly
hydrates in the gut and promoted both the respira- from the normal 50:50 ratio in favor of males
tory chain and lactate fermentation. The ratios of (Francis et al., 2002b). This deviation from the
LDH to CO decreased with QS supplementation normal sex ratio in favor of males was also evident
indicating the promotion of aerobic metabolism. In (but not statistically significant) in the treatment
addition, initial investigations into the effects of sa- groups receiving lower quantities of QS (150 mg/
ponins on membrane transport reveal an increase in kg diet) in the diet. Continued observations revealed
paracellular transport of inert markers on applica- that production of fry was completely suppressed
tion of QS to the mucosal side of isolated tilapia in ponds where fish from the 2000 mg/kg saponin
intestinal membrane (Francis, Makkar and Becker, group were stocked even after the removal of sa-
unpublished observations). ponins from the diets (Steinbronn, 2002). This could
It also remains to be determined whether the point to a sterility of either males or females, which
saponins themselves or their breakdown products implies a potential for control of reproduction in
(e.g. sapogenins) in the intestines enter the blood of tilapia using QS. Normal fry production was ob-
the fish and cause their effects systemically. From the served in fish that previously received 150 and 500
extent of effects that saponins have on various physi- mg/kg of QS.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Saponins have been previously reported to which affect protozoa causing these diseases and
affect the release of hormones, such as leutinizing do not adversely affect fish.
hormone (LH), from the pituitary (Benie et al.,
1990) and hence this hormone is considered to
3. Plants containing tannins
regulate all aspects of teleost reproduction (Suzuki
et al., 1988a), particularly final oocyte maturation The multiple phenolic hydroxyl groups in tannins
and ovulation (Suzuki et al., 1988b). It was there- lead to the formation of complexes primarily with
fore postulated that induction of changes in LH proteins and to a lesser extent with metal ions, amino
secretory pattern by QS or its degraded products acids and polysaccharides. Although research on
absorbed from the intestine might be responsible tannins has a long history, considerable additional
for the observed effects on reproduction. Quillaja research must be carried out to fully exploit benefits
saponins was found to stimulate LH release from of incorporating tannin-rich plants and agro-indus-
dispersed tilapia pituitary cells in vitro (Francis et trial by-products in livestock feed and to develop
al., 2002c). The retarding effects on egg production strategies to manage these resources effectively so
in adult females and the capacity for sex inversion that tannins do not produce adverse effects. Some
in tilapia fry fed saponin-containing diets indicate of the beneficial effects of tannins are enhancement
effects at the hormonal level. Data from of rumen undegradable protein and making feed
gonadosomatic index measurements also support protein available post-ruminally for production pur-
this contention. Efforts to identify any saponin-in- poses, enhancement of efficiency of microbial pro-
duced change in the level of one of the key hor- tein production, and protection of ruminants from
mones in reproductive functioning, the LH, did not bloat. Some tannins are also known to have strong
reveal any dose dependent patterns. The effect of anti-carcinogenic and anti-oxidant activities.
saponins on levels of reproductive hormones should Protection of protein from degradation in the
be further studied by monitoring of hormones such rumen. The potential benefits of tannins containing
as 11-keto-testosterone, estrogen, testosterone and temperate forages, e.g. Lotus corniculatus, Lotus
gonadotropic hormones in vivo. Once the optimum pedunculatus, and Hedysarum coronarium have
dietary level of saponins that produces complete been demonstrated in numerous studies in New
sex inversion in tilapia fry or prevents egg produc- Zealand Min et al., 2003). Lately few studies have
tion in female tilapia is determined, this effect of appeared showing beneficial effects of strategically
saponin will have considerable potential in tilapia feeding of tannin-rich tropical plants.
aquaculture where one of the major problems is Feeding of 100 g of air-dried Acacia
over production of fry that do not grow to market- cyanophylla leaves with 200 g of soya bean meal
able size. Other effects. Saponins also have mollus- increased daily gain of lambs, offered oaten hay-
cicidal activity. Acacia saponins had a strong mol- based diets, by 55 %, possibly as a result of pro-
luscicidal activity and Quillaja and Yucca saponins tection of soya bean protein from degradation in
very low (Makkar and Becker, 2000). As men- the rumen by the leaf tannins and an increase in
tioned above in context to rumen fermentation, protein availability post-ruminally. To achieve such
protozoa are highly susceptible to some saponins. effects, soya bean meal should be offered after
The use of saponin-containing plants for possible consumption of the acacia leaves. Under these
control of fish protozoal diseases such as White conditions, diet total phenols (as tannic acid equiva-
Spot Disease, Costiasis and Trichodiniasis needs lent) : diet protein, and total tannins (as tannic acid
investigation. Fish are also highly susceptible to some equivalent): diet protein ratios were 0.043 and
saponins. A challenge would be to identify saponins 0.021 respectively. Inclusion of higher amounts of
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Acacia leaves to the concentrate had adverse ef- purposes. In addition, these effects lead to protein-
fects on productivity (Ben Salem et al., 2005). sparing effects in ruminants and decrease methane
Similarly, Bhatta et al. (2000) showed inclusion of emission and nitrogen excretion to the environment,
7.5 % of tamarind (Tamarindus indica, Linn) seed thereby reducing emission of environmental pollut-
husk in the concentrate diet (0.75 % tannin content ants besides producing more meat, milk and wool.
in the diet) increased milk production and growth It is important to know the levels of tannins for such
rate, which was attributed to the protection of di- positive effects to realise. The concentration of tannins
etary protein from degradation in the rumen. Nsahlai should not be too high so that the true digestibility
et al. (1999) also demonstrated the potential use of of the substrate is appreciably decreased. At these
tropical tanniniferous shrub/tree foliage to increase high concentrations of tannins, the advantage pro-
the proportion of rumen undegradable protein in vided by the higher efficiency of microbial protein
sheep diets. They ascribed the increased growth synthesis (higher proportion of truly degraded sub-
rate in sheep fed on teff straw and supplemented strate leading to microbial mass synthesis) will be
with oilseed cakes with small amounts of Acacia offset by the absolute lower amount of truly de-
albida pods, rich in condensed tannins, to increased graded substrate. Feeding strategies need to be
organic matter and nitrogen intake and/or to a more designed to exploit the beneficial effects of tannins.
efficient use of nutrients. A simultaneous benefit Other beneficial effects of tannins. Tannins also
obtained in these studies was the partitioning of protect ruminants from bloat and have anthelmintic
excreted nitrogen in a manner that lower nitrogen effects (Kahn and Diaz-Hernandez, 2000). In the past
was excreted in the urine and higher in the faeces, decade, many reports have emerged showing anthel-
thus making available manure with higher level of mintic effects of tannins/polyphenols and the benefits
nitrogen for crop production. In the tropical coun- they could provide to livestock by decreasing nema-
tries, up to 70 % of urine-nitrogen can be lost to tode load in extensive production systems based on
the environment. Lower release of nitrogen in urine grazing (Singh et al., 2003). These effects on nema-
by tannins will decrease environmental pollution. tode are attributed to an improved protein supply due
Increase in efficiency of microbial protein syn- to increased rumen undegradable protein and their
thesis. Microbial protein synthesis in vitro, expressed availability postrumen and to the direct action of
as 15N incorporation into microbes per unit of short- tannins against nematodes. Recently in Tunisia, it was
chain fatty acid production is higher in the presence shown that Acacia cyanophylla foliage, a tannin-rich
of tannins. Although tannins decrease the availability legume shrub species, has an anti-parasitic effect in
of nutrients, they cause a shift in the partitioning of sheep. The faecal worm egg count in Barbarine lambs
nutrients so that a higher proportion of available fed previously on oaten hay reduced by 68 % on
nutrients is channelled to microbial mass synthesis feeding Acacia foliage for 25 days. However, inclu-
and lesser to short-chain fatty acid production sion of the legume did not affect the composition and
(Makkar, 2003). These results suggest that the in the structure of the parasite genera recovered after
vivo beneficial effects of tannins, at low levels of copro-culture (Akkari et al., 2006).
intake, could also be due to higher efficiency of Legume tannins could also enhance quality of
microbial protein synthesis in the rumen. the silage by preventing excessive degradation of
Decrease in the protein degradability of feed feed proteins. Tannins from browses are also effec-
protein in the rumen and increase in the efficiency tive against Clostridium perfingens and can be used
of microbial protein synthesis are beneficial for ru- to control C. perfingens mediated diarrhoea in pigs
minants, since they increase the supply of non-am- during the change of feed from liquid to solid feed
monia nitrogen to the lower intestine for production (Makkar, 2003).
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Hydrolysable tannins, 4,6-0-isoterchebuloyl-D- meat of lighter colour. The addition of tannin-inac-

glucose and isoterchebulin present in terminalia tivating agent, polyethylene glycol reversed this ef-
macroptera bark have antimicrobial activity against fect, suggesting that the lighter colour produced is
Pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus subtilis due to tannins (Priolo et al., 2005). Decrease in
(Conrad et al., 2001). Another hydrolysable tannins, blood heamoglobulin and iron utilization by tannins
punicalagin present in some Ethiopian medicinal (Garg et al., 1992) could contribute to the lightness
plants was active against Mycobacterium tubercu- of the meat. The lighter meat produced as a result
losis strains (Asres et al., 2001). Tannins from of tannin feeding could have consumer preference
Vaccinium vitis-idaea could be used for treatment in some regions. Fatty acid composition is associ-
of periodontal diseases since they have antimicro- ated to the risk or the prevention of several human
bial activity against Porphyromonas gingivalis and illnesses. Tannin-containing feeds could also increase
Prevotella intermedia (Ho et al., 2001). Tannins n-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid, and
from bearberry and cowberry have also been shown lower n-6 fatty acids in meat, thus enhancing its
to have antibacterial effects against Helionactor nutritional properties for human consumption. This
pylori (Annuk et al., 1999), Syzygium jambos, change possibily results from the inhibition of rumi-
Styaphyloccus aureus and Yersinia enterocolitica nal biohydrogenation (Priolo et al., 2005).
(Djipa et al., 2000). The use of tannins for control Skatole exerts negative effects on meat flavour
of mastitis should be considered. This is of particu- and quality. Skatole is originated by deamination
lar importance in organic animal agriculture. and decarboxylation of the amino acid tryptophan
Proanthocyanidins (condensed tannins), both by rumen microbes. In vitro studies have shown
in free form and bound to proteins, have been that condensed tannins from Lotus corniculatus
shown to have free radical scavenging abilities and reduced the production of skatole, which was at-
decreased the susceptibility of healthy cells to toxic tributed to decreased rumen protein degradation by
agents. Tannins isolated from leaves of various Lotus tannins (Schreurs et al., 2004). Tannins could
multipurpose trees and browses have play a role in decreasing fat skatole in meat from
anticarcinogenic activity (Perchellet et al., 1996). animals allowed to graze good quality grass and
Most polyphenols have strong antioxidant proper- other pastures containing high protein content (Vasta
ties and inhibit lipid peroxidation and peroxygenases. and Priolo, 2006).
Pistafolia A, a gallotannin has strong free radical Toxicity by tannin-containing plants: The
scavenging properties (Wei et al., 2002). A num- presence of tannic acid, a hydrolysable tannin at a
ber of hydrolysable tannins including ellagitannins level of 2 % in the fish (common carp; Cyprinus
and 1-o-galloyl castalagin and casuarinin (present carpio L.) diet produced adverse effects after day
in Eugenia jambos) have been shown to have ac- 28 of feeding. No such adverse effect was ob-
tivity against cell carcinomas and tumor cell lines served in common carp on inclusion of 2 % que-
(Yang et al., 2000). Catechins, polyhydroxylated bracho tannin (a condensed tannin) in the fish diet.
flavonoids are widely present in browses and tree In carp, toxicity of tannic acid is higher than of
leaves. These undergo considerable microbial and quebracho tannin. Protein sources of plant origin
tissue biotransformations, which are present in containing high amounts of tannins and in particular
blood. Efforts need to be directed on evaluation of hydrolysable tannins should be used with caution as
these novel compounds for enhancing animal health. fish meal substitutes in carp diets (Becker and
Tannins have also been found to affect meat Makkar, 1999). Oak poisoning from the consump-
colour. Feeding of tannin-containing acacia or sulla tion of oak leaves and yellow-wood toxicity from
leaves or carob pulp has been found to produce the leaves of Terminalia, Clidemia, and Ventilago in
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

livestock have been attributed to the presence of 4-(á-L-rhamnopyranosyl-oxy)benzyl glucosinolate,

hydrolysable tannins, in particular gallotannins 4-(4’-O-acetyl-á-L-rhamnopyranosyloxy) benzyl
(McSweeney et al., 2003). Rumen microbes are isothiocyanate, 4-(á-L-rhamnopyranosyl-oxy)benzyl
capable of degrading hydrolysable tannins. The isothiocyanate, Niazimicin, and Pterygospermin,
toxicity, therefore, appears to be due to absorption Flavonoids (quercetin and kaempferol, quercetin,
of degraded products of hydrolysable tannins and kaempferol, rhamnetin, isoquercitrin, and kaemp-
higher load of phenols in the blood stream, which feritrin) etc. with interesting activities. These com-
is beyond the capability of liver to detoxify them. pounds are known to have anticancer, antibacterial
and hypo-tensive activities. Antioxidant activity of
4. Plants containing multi-bioactive com- these compounds has also been reported (Wim and
pounds Jongen, 1996). These compounds also have the
potential to control agricultural and public health
Two widely occurring tropical plants, Moringa
insect pests (Tsao et al., 1996). Helicobacter py-
oleifera and Jatropha curcas are discussed in this
lori is a major cause of gastric and duodenal ulcers
and a major risk factor for gastric cancer. This bac-
terium was found to be highly susceptible to 4-(a-
Moringa oleifera L-rhamnopyranosyloxy) benzyl isothiocyanate and
Moringa oleifera Lam (synonym: Moringa various other isothiocyanates, which are degraded
pterygosperma Gaertner) belongs to a monogeneric products of glucosinolates (Fahey et al., 2002;
family of shrubs and trees, Moringaceae. It is con- Haristoy et al., 2005).
sidered to have its origin in the northwest region of Pal et al. (1995) have reported that the metha-
India, south of the Himalayan Mountains. nol fraction of moringa leaf extract possesses anti-
Moringa seeds contain between 30-42 % oil, ulcer activity against induced gastric lesions in rats.
which is edible and the press cake obtained as a Flowers of Moringa are considered to possess
by-product of the oil extraction process contains a medicinal value as a stimulant, aphrodisiac, diuretic,
very high level of protein. Some of these proteins and cholagogue, and they have been also reported
(approximately 1 %) are active cationic polyelec- to contain flavonoid pigments such as quercetin,
trolytes having molecular weights between 7-17 K kaempferol, rhamnetin, isoquercitrin, and
Dalton. The cationic polyelectrolytes proteins have kaempferitrin (Nair and Subramanian, 1962). The
antibacterial properties and bind strongly with ru- administration of extracts of Moringa leaves along
men microbes. At high levels of their incorporation, with high-fat diet to rats decreased the high-fat diet
rumen fermentation is inhibited, but at low levels induced increases in serum, liver and muscle cho-
these protect feed proteins from degradation in the lesterol levels (Ghasi et al., 2000). Studies con-
rumen (Makkar and Becker, 1998 and hence can ducted in our laboratory show that Moringa leaves
be used to enhance rumen undegradable protein. have very strong antioxidant activity. The flavonoids
Gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria patho- such as quercetin and kaempferol were identified
genic for humans showed only a slight reduction of as the most potent antioxidants in Moringa leaves.
viability with the Moringa protein (Suarez et al., Their antioxidant activity was higher than the con-
2005), while viability of E. coli was inhibited by ventional antioxidants such as ascorbic acid which
four orders of magnitude. The use of antibacterial is also present in large amounts in Moringa leaves
Moringa proteins for controlling mastitis is also being (Siddhuraju and Becker, 2003). Moringa leaves have
investigated by us. also been shown to increase breast milk produc-
Moringa seeds have several compounds like tion. In Philippines, women consume Moringa leaves
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

to enhance breast milk production. In India, tribal The phorbol esters are effective bio-pesticides
and indigenous people use fresh leaves as a natural against diverse fresh water snails. Snails act as in-
antioxidant in buffalo and cow ghee (butter oil) termediate hosts of schistosomes in many tropical
preparation, which is considered to enhance shelf countries. Extracts from J. curcas L. was found to
life of ghee. The extracts of these leaves also ap- be toxic against snails transmitting Schistosoma
pear to have cancer preventive effect, which was mansoni and S. haematobium (Rug and Ruppel,
assayed by the differentiating activity against human 2000). The phorbol esters from the Jatropha plant
promyelocytic leukaemia cells (HL-60) (Siddhuraju could become an affordable and effective compo-
and Becker, 2003). nent of an integrated approach to schistosomiasis
Moringa seeds contain phytate, cyanogens and control. Jatropha oil or methanol extract of Jatro-
glucosinolates. The pods of M. oleifera contain a pha oil containing phorbol esters has also been
glycoside niazine possessing an o-nitrile shown to have strong insecticidal (Mengual, 1997),
thiocarbamate group alongwith thiocarbonate, car- and pesticidal effects (Solsoloy and Solsoloy, 1997).
bamate, and isothiocyanate glycosides, which are Jatropha seeds are also a good source of
considered to have hypotensive effects (Faizi et al., phytate (Makkar and Becker, 1997b). Several ben-
1997). eficial effects of phytate including cancer preven-
tion, reduction in iron-induced oxidative injury and
Jatropha curcas reversal of initiation of colorectal tumorigenesis, and
prevention of lipid peroxidation have been reported
Jatropha curcas (L), although a native of tropi-
(Singh et al., 2003).
cal America, is now available throughout Africa and
Asia. Various parts/products of the plant hold po- Jatropha leaves are used to cure various dis-
tential for use as bio-fuel, animal feed, inclusion in eases. A novel cyclic octapeptide named as
medicinal preparations and source of honey. Jatro- curcacycline has also been isolated from Jatroph
pha plants have been mainly investigated as a source latex. This cyclic octapeptide has been shown to
of oil. The seed kernel of the plant contains about inhibit classical pathway activity of human comple-
60 % oil that can be converted into biodiesel. The ment, and proliferation of human T-cells (van den
seed cake remaining after oil extraction is an excel- Berg et al., 1995). Anti-inflammatory compounds
lent fertilizer. The level of essential amino acids of isolated from leaves are flavonoids apigenin and its
the defatted kernel meal are higher than that of glycosides vitexin and isovitexin, the sterols stig-
FAO reference protein except for lysine (Foidl et masterol, beta-D-sitosterol and its beta-D-gluco-
al., 2001). However the presence of high levels of side (Chhabra et al., 1990). The Jatropha latex
antinutrients (trypsin inhibitor, phytate and lectins) has a proteolytic enzyme, curcain which was found
and a toxic factors (phorbol esters) prevent its use to better wound healing properties than nitrofura-
in animal feeding (Makkar and Becker, 1997a; Goel zone (Nath and Dutta, 1997).
et al., 2007c).
The Carp (Cyprinus carpio L) were found to 5. Conclusions and future perspectives
be highly susceptible to phorbol esters present in In the last decade there has been changing per-
the seed meal of the toxic variety of Jatropha curcas. ceptions regarding the therapeutic potential of vari-
The threshold level at which phorbol esters caused ous plant secondary metabolites, which traditionally
adverse effects was 15 ppm (15 µg/g) in the diet have been termed as antinutrients. It is hoped that
(Becker and Makkar, 1998). Carp could be a useful the information collated and discussed here would
species for bioassay of phorbol esters. lead to further exploration and usage of plants or
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

natural plant products as a sustainable and environ- Akbar, M.A. and Ahmed, T.U. (2006) Improving
mentally friendly approach (clean, safe, and green ag- animal productivity and reproductive effi-
riculture) for decreasing environment pollutants and ciency: development and testing medicated
enhancing animal productivity, which will be a 'win- urea- molasses multi-nutrient blocks in ru-
win' situation for both farmers and the society. ral farms of Bangladesh. IAEA-TECDOC
Levels of phytochemicals are both environ- 1495, pp. 13-27, IAEA, Vienna, Austria.
mentally induced as well as genetically controlled. Akkari, H., Dargouth, M.A., Ben Salem, H., Abidi,
The concentrations of plant secondary metabolites S., (2006) Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. (In
and their activities in biological systems vary with press).
maturity of the plant and plant parts, in addition Annuk, H., Hormo, S., Turi, E., Mikelsaar, M.,
to soil conditions, water and light availability and Arak, E. and Wadstrom, T. (1999) FEMS
other environmental conditions in which the plant Microbiol. Lett., 172: 41-45.
is growing. This poses a challenge in the use of
Asres, K., Bucar, F., Edelsbrunner, S., Kartnig, T.,
plants or plant products in livestock, food or
Hoger, G. and Theil, W. (2001) Phytother.
cosmetic industry, because of batch-to-batch varia-
Res. 15: 323-326.
tion in the product quality. This demands the
availability of a simple but robust bioassay to Becker, K. and Makkar, H.P.S. (1998) Vet Hu-
evaluate the quality of the product, based on the man Toxicol, 40: 82-86.
property for which it will be used. A robust Becker, K. and Makkar, H.P.S. (1999) Aquacul-
bioassay could enable the estimation of the bio- ture, 175: 327-335.
logical activity of a batch/product in a defined unit, Benie, T., El-Izzi, A., Tahiri, C., Duval, J., Thieulant,
and different batches could be harmonized to M.L., (1990) J. Ethno. Pharmacol., 29: 13-
produce a product containing the same number of 23.
unit every time. Another challenge, particularly for
Ben Salem, H. Makkar, H.P.S., Nefzaoui, A.,
ruminants, would be to beat the microbial adap-
Hassayou, L. and Abidi, S. (2005) Anim Feed
tation and develop supplementation strategies to
Sci. Technol., 122: 173-186.
obtain persistent effects. The activities of
phytochemicals are also diet dependent. Equally Bhatta, R., Krishnamoorthy, U. and Mohammed,
challenging would be to integrate the use of plants F. (2000). Anim Feed Sci. Technol, 83: 67-
containing bioactive compounds in livestock and 74.
aquaculture production systems. Bureau, D.P., Harris, A.M. and Cho, C.Y. (1998)
Aquaculture, 161: 27-43.
6. Acknowledgement Chhabra, S.C., Mahunnah, R.L.A. and Mshiu, E.N.
The suggestions and inputs of Drs. George (1990) J. Ethnopharmacol., 28: 255-283.
Francis and Klaus Becker on the effects of sa- Chen, J.-C. and Chen, K.-W. (1997) Aquacul-
ponins on fish growth and reproduction are thank- ture, 156: 77-83.
fully acknowledged. Conrad, J., Vogler, B., Reeb, S., Klaiber, I.,
Papjewski, S., Roos, G., Vasquez, E. , Setzer,
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Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Combined strategies guarantee mycotoxin control

Devendra S. Verma
Biomin, India

Numerous strategies are evolving for control of the world’s crops are contaminated with
of mycotoxins, some clearly more practical and mycotoxins, despite increased efforts of prevention.
effective than others. Novel approaches The significance of these unavoidable, naturally
combining different strategies that counteract occurring toxicants to human and animal health are
mycotoxins through diverse biological and reflected in the increase in mycotoxin regulations
dietary interventions show greatest promise. and global trans-shipment of agricultural commodities
Mycotoxins are toxic chemical products formed and highlight the need to provide successful
by fungal species, mainly those belonging to the counteracting strategies.
genera Fusarium, Aspergillus and Penicillium, that
colonise crops in the field or after harvest and thus No single treatment
pose a potential threat to human and animal health. Certain treatments have been found to reduce
There are hundreds of mycotoxins known, but few levels of specific mycotoxins. However, no single
have been extensively researched and even fewer method has been developed that is equally effective
have good methods of analysis available. The major
against the wide variety of mycotoxins which may
classes of mycotoxins, in terms of agricultural
co-occur in different commodities. Moreover,
relevance, are aflatoxins, zearalenone, trichothecenes
detoxification processes that appear effective in
(e.g. deoxynivalenol, T-2 toxin), ochratoxin A,
vitro (i.e. in the laboratory) do not necessarily retain
fumonisins and the ergot alkaloids. In farm animals
their efficacy when tested in vivo (i.e. in feeding
a mycotoxin-contaminated diet may lead to
substantial economic losses due to feed refusal, poor
feed conversion, diminished body weight gain, The efficacy of physical treatments (e.g.
immune suppression, interference with reproductive washing, separation, roasting, UV irradiation, solvent
capacities and residues in animal products. extraction) depends on the level of contamination
Mycotoxins exhibit a great variety of biological and the distribution of mycotoxins throughout the
effects in animals: specific tissue damage, central grain. Subsequently the results obtained are uncertain
nervous system effects and digestive disorders, to and often connected with high product losses.
name a few. However, mycotoxin-related losses in Moreover, some of these physical treatments are
performance, reproductive disorders and immune- relatively costly and may remove or destroy essential
suppression, resulting in a higher susceptibility to nutrients in feed.
disease, are of major concern. Chemical methods require not only suitable
Even though recommended agricultural reaction facilities but also additional treatments
practices have been implemented to decrease (drying, cleaning) that make them time consuming
mycotoxin production during crop growth, and expensive. Only a limited number of tested
harvesting and storage, the potential for significant chemicals are effective without diminishing the feed’s
contamination still exists. According to the Food nutritional value or palatability. Treatment of
and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), at least 25% contaminated feed with ammonia was once the most
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

attractive method. Although early studies showed universities in order to find the best adsorbents with
this technique to be safe and effective, ammoniation regard to aflatoxin-deactivation and safe application
has not been approved by the US Food and Drug showed that a synergistic blend of minerals afforded
Administration due to the potential toxicity and maximum, pH-independent activity at an inclusion
carcinogenicity of the resulting products. rate as low as 0.5 kg/t without removing essential
Over the course of several extensive research nutrients from the diet.
projects involving scientists from all over the world,
a unique, continuously improved concept has been Biotransformation of trichothecenes, ZEA and
developed to successfully deactivate agriculturally OTA
relevant mycotoxins present in feed. The new In the course of extensive research activities in
concept is based on three different mycotoxin- the field of biological detoxification (1988 – 2004),
counteracting strategies: (1) elimination of the toxin “biotransformation” has been shown to be a unique
(adsorption), (2) elimination of the toxicity (biotran- practical method to successfully counteract less- and
sformation) and (3) elimination of toxin-related non-adsorbable mycotoxins. Defined as the
effects. enzymatic degradation of mycotoxins leading to non-
toxic metabolites, biotransformation has been
Adsorption eliminates aflatoxins successfully applied since 1991. Continuous
The most well-known approach to research finally led to the most recent development
detoxification of mycotoxins involves the use of of patented microbial supplements able to detoxify
nutritionally inert adsorbents with the capacity to all kinds of trichothecenes, zearalenone and
tightly bind and immobilise mycotoxins in the ochratoxin A.
gastrointestinal tract of animals, thus reducing their A safe bacterial strain (Eubacterium sp.) was
bioavailability. In several independent scientific found to have trichothecene-detoxifying activity and
studies, hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicates was named BBSH 797 after the research team that
(HSCAS) have proven to be the most promising discovered it in July 1997: During its metabolism
adsorbents. Mixed into feed they markedly diminish BBSH 797 produces specific enzymes that eliminate
aflatoxin uptake by the blood and distribution to toxicity of trichothecenes by selective cleavage of
target organs, thus avoid aflatoxin-related diseases their toxic 12,13-epoxy group. Both in vitro and
and the carryover of aflatoxins into animal products. in vivo efficacy of the strain were scientifically
Unfortunately the efficacy of these adsorbing proven.
substances is quite limited against zearalenone In the course of a several-year research project,
(ZEA), ochratoxin A (OTA) and fumonisins (FUM) the efficacy of the live yeast species Trichosporon
and totally ineffective for trichothecenes such as mycotoxinivorans, named after its unique property
deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin and diacetox- to “eat” and thus detoxify both, zearalenone and
yscirpenol (DAS). ochratoxin A was established. Incubation
However, today adsorption is not only an experiments with the strain and subsequent cell
economically feasible, but a well-established and culture studies at the University of Utrecht in the
scientifically proven approach to prevent Netherlands proved successful in the degradation
aflatoxicoses in farm animals. The efficiency of of 1 ppm ZEA. Additional in vitro studies with
aflatoxin-adsorption mainly depends on the chemical OTA-concentrations as high as 5 ppm revealed a
properties of the adsorbent used. Several screening complete detoxification within a maximum of 1 hour.
studies carried out in cooperation with Austrian In vivo activity of T. mycotoxinivorans was
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

investigated at the University of Gödöllö in Hungary. the develop methods described above. However,
Addition of the yeast strain to the diet clearly finding respective strategies for minor classes of
improved weight development and feed conversion mycotoxins, that might act synergistically and
rate of animals. Moreover, animal losses and cases contribute to various mycotoxicoses, is probably
of diarrhea were lower in control and trial groups impossible. Thus, different methods are advised for
(A, C, D, E, F) than in the toxin group (B). non-adsorbable and non-degradable toxins.
A feeding trial conducted at the University of A blend of scientifically studied and carefully
Maribor in Slovenia revealed that the negative selected plant and algae extract are have been
influence of high OTA-doses (1 ppm) on the studied that are able to eliminate toxin-related effects
performance of broilers could be totally neutralised such as immune suppression, liver-damage or
by addition of T. mycotoxinivorans. The final inflammation. Herbs that support immune function
weight of the trial group (toxin and yeast added) are general immune-system-stimulators
was on average 83 g higher than that of the positive (immunostimulants). They increase resistance by
control (toxin, no additive) and even better than the mobilising “effector cells” which act against all foreign
negative control. particles rather than just one specific type. Immune-
stimulating extracts have been selected using different
Elimination of toxin-related effects in vitro test systems. Numerous preparations of
The total number of mycotoxins is not known, plant and algae origin were compared in a
but toxic metabolites of fungi could potentially macrophage activation assay. Macrophages are one
number in the thousands. The number of mycotoxins of the major cells of the unspecific immune system
actually known to be involved in diseases is responsible for consuming invading microbes (i.e.
considerably less, but even this number is difficult for phagocytosis of pathogens). Thus, substances
to assess, due to the diversity of their effects on which are able to enhance the activity of
animal systems. macrophages lead to enhanced phagocytic activity
Natural intoxications by mycotoxins are often and subsequently to a strengthened immune system.
more complex than can be related to those A synergistically acting blend of plant and algae
experimental studies utilising one mycotoxin. extracts finally gave the best results. The immune
Therefore, natural responses may be the result of stimulating effects of these substances were further
two or more toxins. The immune system, for instance, confirmed in a lymphocyte proliferation test.
is not only a key target of the major classes of The liver-protecting effect of some plant derived
mycotoxins, but also of ergot and fescue alkaloids, substances was demonstrated in a broiler feeding
citrinin, patulin and gliotoxin, to name a few. trial carried out at the National University of
Hepato-toxic effects are not exclusively attributed Colombia. A total of 144 chicks were fed a
to aflatoxins, ochratoxins and fumonisins, but also commercial starter mash ration which contained the
to sporidesmin (New Zealand, Australia: facial hepato-protective additive and/or two hepato-toxic
eczema), rubratoxins and phomopsins (Australia, substances: pyrrolizidine alkaloids and aflatoxin B1
New Zealand, South Africa, USA: lupinosis). All (200ppb). A clear difference (52.5 g) in body weight
of these will produce significant liver damage when gain was observed between the toxin and the trial
given to animals. group. Feed intake and relative liver weights
Finding successful detoxification strategies for followed a similar trend, indicating that the birds
agriculturally relevant mycotoxins is not an easy task; completely overcame the adverse effects caused by
several years of intense research were necessary to the hepato-toxic substances.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Conclusion leaves neither toxic residues nor any undesired by-

The isolation and characterisation of products. Research teams working in this field are
microorganisms that are able to bio-transform convinced that combinations of selected adsorbing
mycotoxins in the intestinal tract of animals is a agents and bio-transformation methods will ensure
major breakthrough in successful mycotoxin control. an effective control against mycotoxins taken in with
The biological methods described above may contaminated feeds. Selected plant and algae extracts
become the technology of choice, as enzymatic that counteract effects of non-degradable and non-
reactions offer a specific, irreversible, efficient and adsorbable toxins complete the picture for control
environmentally friendly way of detoxification that of mycotoxins to bare minimum possibility.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Nutritional challenges for poultry and pigs in the

post antibiotic era
S. S. Sikka and Jaswinder Singh*
Department of Animal Nutrition, *Department of Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Extension,
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana-141004, India

Use of antibiotics as growth promoters (AGP) tween animal and human bacteria. Of great concern
in pig and poultry feeds started with from their dis- was the possibility that resistance generated on the
covery in the late 40’s. The exact mechanism as to farm could lead to a loss of effectiveness of key anti-
how AGP’s promote growth is not entirely clear. It biotics in human medicine. Therefore EU has banned
is widely assumed that AGP’s act mainly through the most of AGP’s in the feed from 2006. Ban on use
their effect on intestinal flora. With less than 10% of of AGP’s has created the need to explore the alter-
intestinal microflora identified, there has been little natives that can improve the general health status and
chance of fully understanding AGP’s mode of ac- enhance the immunity to fight against disease (Bosi
tion. It is postulated that AGP’s allow the animal to & Trevisi, 2006).
express their natural potential for growth which is
achieved through their direct influence on bacteria Barriers: Prevention of harmful bacteria from
in the gut ( Bedford 2005). AGP’s benefit the live- entering the intestines by the oral route is the first
stock by reducing the total number of intestinal line of defence. Acidic conditions of the stomach
micro-organisms and /or creating a more favourable due to the secretion of hydrochloric acid acts as a
balance between beneficial and non-beneficial ones. powerful antimicrobial barrier. This mechanism is
AGP’s are directly responsible in depressing the inadequately developed in the newly weaned pig-
microbial growth in the gastro-intestinal tract which lets. Lactic acid originating from the fermentation of
in tern results in reduced gut motility, reduced mu- lactose by lactic acid bacteria (naturally occurring
cin secretion, reduced toxin (eg ammonia and bio- and probiotic additives) is helpful but limited by the
genic amune from protein formulation) production, relatively small amount of bacterial activity in the
increase digestive enzyme output, the uptake of nu- stomach and proximal small intestine. Anything that
trients along the alimentary canal hereby improving increases acid production post weaning (Prebiotic
the dig. and reduce the opportunity for harmful bac- SCFA, Probiotic Lactic Acid) can enhance antimi-
teria to establish in the gut. crobial competence and improve the barrier to orally
The overall outcome of use of AGP’s is the acquired pathogens.
availability of more nutrients for growth and produc-
tion. Antibiotics as routine feed additives are used at Bacterial metabolism: The main end prod-
low concentration which appears to prevent some ucts of bacterial carbohydrate metabolism are ac-
diseases. Over use of antimicrobials may diminish their ids, short chain fatty acids (SCFA) mainly acetic,
effectiveness and the strains of resistant bacteria propionic and butyric acids. SCFA are weak or-
would arise. Of the 1,415 micro-organisms known ganic acids with bacteriostatic properties in com-
to cause diseases in humans 60% are ZOONOTIC. mon with the organic acids used as preservatives.
The situation become more alarming as resistant SCFA play an important role in the prevention of
genes, through the food chain, are flowing freely be- potentially harmful bacteria escaping the stomach
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

and migrating forward through the small intestine, the number of cells in the pig body. The intestinal mi-
but more important is the reverse flux of harmful croflora have important and differing effects, includ-
bacteria from hind gut to small intestine. The pres- ing regulation of epithelial cell turnover, competition
ence of fermentable carbohydrates in the pigs diet for ingested nutrients, modification of digestion, com-
reduce protein fermentation, reducing toxic sub- petitive exclusion of pathogens, metabolism of mu-
stances such as ammonia, amines, skatol and in- cus secretions and modulation of mucosal immunity
dole. Higher butyrate concentrations contribute to a (Hooper et al., 2002). To make the environment con-
healthier intestine because butyric acid is a strong ducive for the beneficial bacteria pre and probiotics
stimulator of the gastrointestinal cell growth, not only are added in the feed. These are beneficial nutritional
for the colonocytes, but also for the enterocytes of modifiers for monogastrics. The use of the AGP’s is
the small intestine. (Pouillard 2003). Immune cells declining and the recent trends are to use their alter-
form part of the intestinal epithelial lining who’s native (Table 1).
function is to monitor, react and coordinate a re-
Table 1. Potential alternatives to AGP
sponse to the components of the intestinal microf-
lora. Pre and probiotics increase the chances of a Compound Relative Comments
favourable response to the monitoring process, effecti-
minimising immune activation with its highly benefi-
AGP +++++ Standard for comparison
cial impact on appetite and nutrient partitioning to
Zinc oxide ++++ Decrease in scoured & im-
growth. Growth responses to Pre and Probiotics proved performance
achieve statistical significance during the first 14 days Plasma protein +++ Increased feed intake and im-
after weaning of piglets which confirms they can be proved growth performance.
fast acting in their influences. (Corrent, 2002). Specific antib- ++ Limited data but potentially
odies (egg yolk) promising
Balance of gut microflora: There is a deli- Organic acids +++ Most effective in newly
cate balance between the beneficial bacteria (Lac- weaned pig and grower chick
tobacilli, Bifidobacteria and Eubacteria) and the DFM ++ Promote beneficial bacteria in
potential pathogenic bacteria (E Coli, Salmonella, the gut
Staphylococci, Listeria, Shigella, Veillonella, Prebiotics ++ Promote beneficial bacteria in
the gut
Brachyspiro (Serpulina), Clostridia and
Enzymes ++ Improve digestibility of feed
Coliforms) in the gut . The ideal ratio between ingredients and subsequent
beneficial and pathogenic bacteria should be 9:1 improved gut health
which is subject to alteration due to factors like Botanicals/ + Many potential products
drug administration, stress, environmental and man- nutraceuticals which promotes growth
agemental changes, spoiled feed or change in gas- Essential oils + Improve growth
tric pH. The pig monitors what bacteria are within
its gut and reacts to what is there. Pigs grow faster The search for replacements has been severely
or slower according to what it ‘sees’ in its gut! hampered by a lack of understanding of how AGP’s
work. The interest of nutritionists is increasing to-
The digestion efficiency in poultry and pigs de- wards natural substances like botanicals, herbs,
pend upon the microorganisms which live naturally in nutraceuticals, enzymes etc. During the recent past,
its digestive tract. The microbial population present
research activities were focused on the area of use
in the intestine of chicken comprises more than 90%
of phytogenic feed additives and botanicals / herbs.
of all the living cells in the bird. At least five hundred
bacterial species colonise the pigs intestine ( 1011 cfu/ Several foods/feeds contain certain compounds
g intestinal contents). This is ten times more cells than that improve the growth and production efficiency
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

by providing either the nutritional balance, improv- programmes must be designed to reduce stress and
ing the metabolism or preventing the disease. More- to assist the animals in resisting disease challenges
over at the same time there is increased interest (Adams, 2005). Judicious use of various nutrients
over the food safety, environmental contamination and bioactive feed components like acidifiers, anti-
and the general health risks which have made oxidants, bacterial inhibitors, enzymes, flavours etc.
NATURAL the norm, promoting the trend towards to support animal health is the right approach of
alternative strategies to manage and feed the poul- NbH.
try birds and pigs without reliance on antibiotics. A term ‘pronutrient’ i.e. a micro ingredient
Such foods are labeled as pronutrients, adaptogens, included in the formulation of animal feed in rela-
dietetics, nutracines, nutraceuticals or multifunctional tively small amounts with specific physiological and
additives. microbiological functions different from any other
Nutraceuticals: The term nutraceuticals is a nutrient is included in the feed additive list. Many
combination of nutrients and pharmaceutical. Their active ingredients from plants must be considered
use is not a newer concept, but it is an example of pronutrients due to their effects against the coloni-
history which is repeating itself. zation of different pathogenic organism and stimu-
Year Prevailing medical advice lation of beneficial bacteria eg zinger for the treat-
2000 BC Here eat this root ment of dysentery.
1200 AD This root is heathen , say this prayer Broadly nutraceuticals / natural therapy is clas-
1500 AD Prayer are superstitious, drink this potion sified as Herbs & Botanicals, Antioxidants (Vita-
1900 AD This potion is snake oil, Swallo this pill
1950 AD This pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic
mins C, A, beta carotene), Enzymes and Prebiotics
2000 AD This antibiotic is synthetic, eat this root.
and Probiotics or Direct Fed Mcrobials (DFM).
Herbs/botanicals: Vegetative parts of the
Word ‘Nutraceutical’ was first coined by plants (leaves, bark, fruit, roots, seed and their ex-
Stephen Defelice, the founder Chairman of “Foun- tract) containing a variety of chemical compounds
dation for Innovation in Medicine (FIM)”. Booth that are used as body restoratives are called herbs.
(1997) defined veterinary nutraceuticals as a non While drugs are made from any part of plant,
drug substance that is produced in purified or ex- (root, leaves, bark etc) essential oils or any of a
tracted form and administered orally to provide class of volatile oils obtained from plants, possess-
agents required for normal body structure and func- ing the odour and other characteristic properties of
tion with the intent of improving health and well the plant, used chiefly in manufacture of perfumes,
being of animals. flavours and pharmaceutical extract after hydro dis-
Recently, Sarah (2003) reported that tillation.
nutraceuticals must improve the performance effec- These chemical compounds are active in alter-
tively & economically, with little therapeutic use, ing the physiological and biochemical processes in
without causing cross resistance to other antibiotic the body. Herbs and spices have compounds with
at actual use level, without involving with transfer- antibacterial effects for example garlic contain alli-
able drug resistance, without causing any deleteri- cin and ajoene which exhibits broad spectrum anti
ous disturbance to the normal gut flora and should microbial properties (Naganawa et al., 1996) and
not create environmental pollution. Moreover these is effective in reducing cholesterol of liver, breast
must be non toxic to the animals and its handlers. and thigh muscle (Kopnjufca et al., 1997). Another
Nutrition based health (NbH):- A new con- example is of Yucca Schidiger which improve growth
cept, according to this concept feed and feeding & FCR (Headon et al. 1991).
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Botanicals / herbs help in improving the per- rity, method of extraction and conservation, anti nu-
formance by several ways like reducing the stress tritional factor and nature of diet in which it is supple-
associated with handling, transport and poor health mented because it have to compete with nutrients
by providing nutrients and or active principles which present in the feed.
act as anti stress agents, Being adaptogenic manage Prebiotics: Prebiotics are short chained non-
stress and improve egg production in birds, Increase digestible compounds present in feed ingredients.
the feed consumption due to the flavours present, These are mainly oligosaccharides (2-20 units of
Ensure the normal gut functioning, Improve the di- monosaccharides) and are found in soybean and
gestion by activating digestive secretions, Improve rapeseed meal. Legumes, cereals and yeast cell walls
the feed conversion efficiency there by growth and contain respectively á-galactooligosaccharides
production, Improve the liver functioning, Act as (GOS), fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and
toxin binder and reduce the risk of mycotoxicosis, mannanoligosaccharides (MOS). Some prebiotics
Normalize the kidney functioning, Improve the im- are selectively fermented by Lactobacilli,
munity as an immune modulater, Antioxidant, Act as Bifidobacteria and Eubacteria. Whilst being poorly
coccidiostat and anti helminthic, Stimulate endocrine utilised by the potentially harmful bacteria listed
system, Stimulate intermediate nutrient metabolism, above. Both pre and probiotics modify the gut
Stabilize gut environment, Ameliorate the effect of microbial population balance by promoting the
ANF’s present in the feed, Used for the treatment growth of beneficial flora in the intestines (Flickinger
of bacterial (Yuan et al., 1993), viral (Yu & Zhu, & Fahey 2002) thereby providing a healthier intes-
2000) and parasitic diseases (Pang et al., 2000), tinal environment.
Reducing ammonia and other noxious gases in the It is generally accepted that high villi : crypt
GI tract through their binding to the saponins and depth ratios are indicators of a healthier and more
excreted in the excreta and Reducing the ascitic efficient intestinal mucosa. Prebiotics have a benefi-
mortality in broilers (Menocal, 1995). cial effect on the gut integrity especially in the distal
These properties of various herbs are due to end of small intestine, the area with the greatest
the active secondary metabolites which belong to levels of fermentation. In a recent experiment, it
class of isoprene derivatives, flavonoides and was observed that ratios were enhanced in distal
glucosinolates. Intercation between different active area, with enhanced fermentation along the entire
components within and between extract may have small intestine (Decuypere, 2003).
either cummulative or antagonistic effect. Use of Through a variety of mechanisms prebiotics
herbs in poultry and pig feeds are now gaining are thought to increase resistance to infection. Vari-
momentum as it claim to have no side effect, safe ous proposed modes of action are enhancement of
and eco friendly. A term botanical / natural broiler/ the physical barrier (modulation of paracellular per-
pig can be used when only botanical / natural materials meability, mucosal trophic action), Improved
are used for enhancing performance and prevention functional barrier (mucosal immunity), Competitive
of disease. Use of some herbs in poultry feeds is adhesion to epithelial receptors. Increased SCFA
recently reviewed by Sikka and Singh, (2007). production along the gastro-intestinal tract, Induc-
Activity of herbs: Do the herbs have always ing a shift to a more saccharolytic (carbohydrate
the same activity? No, the desired activity of herbs fermenting) flora, Reduction of intestinal pH and
is not always same due to variability of the compo- reducing the colonization of harmful bacteria, Ex-
sition of plant secondary metabolites, environmental creting harmful bacteria, Competitive exclusion
conditions, different harvesting time, stage of matu- (colonisation resistance).
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Galacto-oligosaccherides (GOS), Mannanolig- tem. Therefore these must be added to the feed on
osaccharides (MOS), Fructo- oligosaccharides a daily basis. Use of probiotic bacterial cultures
(FOS) are frequently used in poultry (Ishihara et have greater effect during the early stages of growth,
al., 2000, Zhang et al., 2003) diets. FOS (deriva- when, the gut is sterile and when the alimentary
tive of inulin) stimulate the growth of Bifido bacte- flora of pigs are unstable, viz after weaning and
ria, improve the mucosal morphology of the colon subsequent to an extended period of treatment with
(Howard et al., 1995) and inhibit the growth of antibiotics. Probiotics, improve health and growth
pathogenic microorganism such as clostridia and by modifying intestinal microbial balance by several
salmonella(Wang & Gibson 1993). Chen et al., ways given below.
(2005) revealed the increase in egg production and
Competitive exclusion, Adhering to intestinal
feed efficiency of layer with the use of dietary
mucosa (Jonsson and Conway, 1992), Preventing
oligofructose and inulin. The inulin is required for
attachment of pathogens, (Green & Sainbury, 2001),
the growth of Lactobacilli (Gibson, 1999). FOS
Production of antimicrobial compunds (Hentges,
has been reported to improve growth in the weaned
1992) such as bacteriocins and organic acids,
pigs by 5.1 % and feed efficiency by 2.0% (Mul &
Competition with pathogens for nutrients (Freter,
Perry, 1994) On the other hand MOS found to
1992), Stimulation of intestinal immune responses,
improve daily weight gain by 7.4% and feed utili-
zation by 5.2 % in nursery pigs. Spring and affect the permeability of the gut and Increase up-
Privulescu (1998) revealed that oligosaccharides take of nutrients; Lee et al., 1999).
stimulate the secretion of cytokine and there by Some bacterial cultures when fed in single or
enhance the immune system of the pig to resist multiple (few doses) to newly hatched birds estab-
pathogenic bacterial challenge. lish an intestinal flora quickly and it prevents colo-
Probiotics : The live microbial food supple- nization by pathogenic bacteria. For example lacto-
ment which when fed improve the intestinal micro- bacilli acidophilus produces lactocidin which has an-
bial balance of the host are called probiotics or tibacterial effects on E Coli. Lactobacilli modify gut
Direct Fed Microbials (DFM’s). Probiotics im- pH, competition for nutrients and absorption sites,
prove the survival with better growth, better feed boost cell immune response, inhibition of bacterial
conversion and inhibition of diarrhea in piglets. Lac- growth by hydrogen peroxide production and cell
tobacilli, Streptococci, Bi-fidobacteria, Bacillus, signaling to turn off pathogenic function (Fuller,
Bacteriods, Pediococcus, leuconostoc, Propionibac- 1999). Competitive Exclusion(CE) preparations are
terium, and some yeast (Saccharomyces cerevesiae) not always pure cultures of bacteria and their mi-
and fungi (Asperzillus oryzae) are commonly used crobial composition may not be completely known.
DFM’s. B Subtilis and B licheniformis are com- Some CE cultures have proven effective in protect-
monly used in nursery pig rations as they are spore ing chicks from Salmonella infections.
forming and are able to resist the environmental Interest in the use of probiotics in poultry and
conditions of high temperature and moisture occur- pig diets is to curtail sub-therapeutic doses of an-
ring during the pelleting process. Probiotics should tibiotics in feed. Like antibiotics, probiotics appear
be given once or twice, after which the bacterium to have a more pronounced effect on farms where
should establish itself in the alimentary canal and housing and hygiene are not optimal. Thomke and
replace disease-promoting micro-organisms but Elwinger, 1998). Supplementation of probiotics
results are not convincing. Furthermore, it is prac- containing Lactobaccilus acidophilus, Streptococ-
tically impossible that probiotic bacteria could es- cus faecium and yeasac @ 0.025% in the diets of
tablish themselves in a stable alimentary canal sys- broilers were found to be beneficial in early stage
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

of growth. Supplementation of yeast culture at 0.1 protecting the feed nutrients during storage, Helping
% level increased the body weight and performance the absorption of the oxidation sensible substances
of broilers due to quantitative and qualitative alter- in the GIT, Reducing aging by keeping the mem-
ation in the digestive tract flora with better nutrient brane intact, Enable the system for better exploita-
utilization. Use of combination of several strains at tion of genetic potential, Improving the meat quality
a time improved the weight gain and feed efficiency of broilers and pigs.
in broilers (Mazurkiewicz et al. 1992) and in chicks. In poultry diets mostly vitamins A, beta- caro-
Feeding of mixture of S. Cerevisae, L.Bulgaricus tene, E, C and its calcium and sodium salts,
and S. thermophilus did not show any effect on the ethoxyquin, lecithin, butylated hydroxytoulene
production of layers (Svetic et al. 1996). (BHT), propyl gallate, chelated metal ions are used
In pigs the intestinal microflora is capable of as antioxidants. The beneficial effects of antioxi-
resisting the establishment of certain intestinal patho- dants are due to their scavenging nature for free
gens (Lopez & Marquez 1994). Bera & Samanta radicals (Bulger & Hilton, 1998), maintaing the
(2005) fed probiotics ( alone or in combination) to potency of dietary vitamins and stimulating bird’s
the piglets and reported superior growth perfor- immuno- responsiveness to infections. Antioxidant
mance in the pre and post weaning periods with defence system includes the enzyme superoxide
yeast+MOS (YMOS), followed by Yeast + lacto- dismutase, catalase, & glutathione peroxidase. Dur-
bacillus (YL) and control (C) with higher profit. ing stress free radicals in the body increase while
Better FCR in pigs with yeast+lactobacillus and the level of these enzymes decrease. Ascorbic acid
yeast+MOS was observed (Bera & Samanta, 2005. also play a role in collagen synthesis, carnitine syn-
thesis along with its primary function of antioxidants
Inconsistent results reported earlier (Bhatt et
(Gross et al., 2000). It scavenges neutrophill oxi-
al., 1995, Bolder et al., 1993; Yadav et al., 1994,
dants, hydroxyl radicals, hydrogen peroxide and hy-
Ramarao et al., 2004 and Panda et al., 2005) for
pochlorous acid (Bulger & Hilton, 1998). Raju et
chicks ,broilers and layers, Mohan et al. 1996)
al. (2005) revealed that herbal Vit C (0.025%)
with the use of probiotics were due to variations in
improve the performance of bird by alleviating the
bacterial cultures used, age, factors related to feed
effect of aflatoxicosis. Similarly the primary physi-
composition and management practices adopted.
ological role of Vitamin E is to act as antioxidant
Variability in the results may be due to difference in
(Matthai, 1996). Many studies have shown that
strain of organism used, dose levels, diet composi-
supplementation of Vitamin C, E & A can attenuate
tion, feeding strategy, feed form and interaction with
the side effects due to extreme environmental stress
other dietary feed additives (Chesson 1994)
(Njoku, 1986). Brahma Rasayana a polyherbal an-
Antioxidants : Nutrients in the body on oxi- tioxidant was found useful in ameliorating the ef-
dation release energy for various metabolic processes fects of free redicals generated due to heat stress
and physiological activities and to transform dietary (Ramnath et al., 2007). Herbs like garlic, green
nutrients into body tissue along with generation of tea, amla also posses antioxidant properties.
heat. Autooxidation results in the production of free
Organic acid/acidifiers: Organic acids pos-
redicals which damage the cellular tissue and cause
ses antibacterial, anti mould activity and therefore
many disorders. To prevent autooxidation antioxidants
have long been used as preservative to prevent
are frequently used. Nutritional antioxidants are very
spoilage of by checking microbial growth and are
helpful in reducing physiological stress both at an or-
also used to maintain the proper gut health. Gener-
gan and cellular level due to free radical formation.
ally two types (Feed and Gut) of acidifiers are used
Feed antioxidants help the birds and pigs by in the feed industry. Feed acidifiers lower the pH of
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

the feed and inhibit the growth of pathogenic mi- releated with salmonella (Berchieri & Barrow,1996).
croflora. This inhibition reduces the micro flora However, the inability of citric acid at the dietary con-
competing for the host nutrients and prevent the centration up to 1 % to prevent the salmonella colo-
occurrence of diseases which results in better growth nization of the caeca. In poultry nutrition organic acid
and performance. On the other hand gut acidifiers have not gained as much attention as in swine nutri-
(organic acid) acidify the intestinal tract and modu- tion (Langhout, 2000). Edwin (2000) reported that
late the intestine bacterial population in a positive addition of 2% lactic acid to the diet without growth
and natural way. Since many harmful bacterial promoters increased the weight gain by 2.6 % with
species have pH optimum for their growth around improved FCR. Propionic acid based products were
7 where as useful bacterial species such as Lacto- found effective in alleviating the enteritis and mortal-
bacillus and Enterococcus have their best growth ity syndrome in turkey poults ( Roy et al. 2002).
pH around 6., Maintenance of healthy gut for Several organic acid like citric acid, fumaric acid,
proper productivity is of utmost importance. formic acid, propionic acid were tried on pig for their
Amongst various options available to poultry and impact on the growth performance (Partanen &
pig feed industry, short chain fatty acids have shown Mroz, 1999). Their supplementation in weaning pig
tremendous promise in maintaining gut health through diets give most pronounced impact on the growth
their varied modes of action. performance (Roth & Kirchgessner, 1998). The in-
corporation of organic acids into nursery pig rations
Acidifiers have various functions in monogas-
has been shown to reduce bacterial load and increase
tric animals like help in maintaining an optimum pH
the digestibility of energy and amino acid in the ileum,
in stomach, Stimulate feed consumption, Inhibit the
resulting in improvement in feed efficiency and re-
growth and colonization of pathogenic bacteria,
duction in the incidence of diarrhea. These pigs often
Prevents damage to epithelial cells of intestines,
suffer from digestive problems due to infection of E
Reduce microbial competition with host for nutri-
coli. An insufficient production of HCl, digestive en-
ents, Reduce endogenous nitrogen losses, Lower
zymes and feeding of high protein pre starter diets
the incidence of sub clinical infections, Reduce the are another reasons for the digestive upset at this stage.
production of ammonia and other growth depress- Supplementation of organic acid increases the gas-
ing microbial metabolites, Increase pancreatic se- tric proteolysis, protein and amino acid digestibility.
cretions, Increase protein and amino acid digestibil- The acid anion has been shown to complex with Ca,
ity by correcting activation and function of pro- P, Mg, and Zn which results in an improved digest-
teolytic enzymes, Improve energy digestibility, In- ibility of these minerals. Kirchgessner and Roth (1988)
crease mineral digestibility as acid ion complex with also revealed the role of organic acid as substrates in
minerals, Serve as substrates in intermediary me- the intermediary metabolism. Supplementation of
tabolism and have energy content, Check problem 1.5% citric acid to control diets did not significantly
of Salmonella, E. coli, entritis and diarrhoea in pigs. effect the pH, concentration of VFA’s / non VFA or
Supplementation of organic acids improve the microflora (total anarobes, Lactobacilli, Clostridia,
weight gain, feed consumption and feed utilization E. coli) in the contents from the stomach, jejunum,
(Denli et al., 2003) reducing the production of toxic caecum or lower colon of weanling pigs. Similar re-
components by pathogenic bacteria and reduces the sults were reported for the Fumaric acid. Sodium fu-
colonization of pathogens on the intestinal wall, thus marate when added to a control pig diet at a level of
preventing the damage of the epithelial cells (Langhout, 0.3%, no significant effect of acid on the concentra-
2000). In poultry diets organic acids are mainly used tion of SCFA and the density of lactobacilli or E coli
in order to sanitize the feed to avoid the problems along the GI tract was observed. Supplementation
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

of 1 % lactic acid lower the gastric pH (Thomlinson ability of the essential oils to weaken bacterial cell
& Lawrence, 1981) and reduced the level of E coli walls, increasing its permeability to the organic acids.
in the duodenum and jeunum of 8 week old piglets Enzymes: Non starch poysaccahrides or NSP
(Cole et al. 1968). The addition of formic acid or ( cellulose, glucans and xylans etc) ) of the cereal
potassium diformate reduces the pH, (Fevrier et al. grains (Henry, 1985) like wheat, rye, oats possess
2001) and number of coliform bacteria in stomach, antinutritive activity (Annison & Choct, 1991) which
duodenum, jejunum and rectum of growing pigs leads to the formulation of viscous gel in the gut that
(Overland et al., 2000). It was reported the reduc- intrferes the proper absorption of nutrients (Choct
tion of caecal pH with the addition of a formic acid/ & Annison, 1992) and also produces sticky drop-
propionic acid blend in a concentration of 1% in the pings in poultry. Similarly phytic acid and its salts as
broiler chicken. Supplementation of benzoic acid phytates present in the feedstuffs also binds minerals,
though not approved as an additive or preservative carbohydrates, proteins and form insoluble com-
in the pig or poultry feed but it is extensively used as plexes which make these nutrients especially miner-
food preservative in human nutrition. The preliminary als like phosphorus unavaiable to the birds and pigs
results from the experiment with broiler chicken indi- and are excreted in faeces. The supplementation of
cate the positive influence on growth. It seems that exogenous enzymes in the diets decrease gut viscos-
these short chain fatty acids can nearly compensate ity and improve the availability of nutrients from
for the effects of antibiotic growth promoters in pigs feed, lower the feed cost and help in reducing the
, although these effects are less consistent. environmental pollution by minimizing the waste ex-
Excess level of strong dietary acid can reduce cretion. Exogenous enzymes in the diets young
the pH too quickly after feed ingestion but the stom- animal complement the endogenous enzymes. Their
ach may not develop its parietal secretary cells that use in the poultry and pig feed industry has become
produced HCl. This inhibits the normal gut devel- a routine (Sikka, 2003).
opment. Therefore use of organic acids must be The enzymes in pig and poultry feeds are
done judiciously. added to counter ANF’s present in feed, To in-
Essential oils: Essential oils are highly con- crease the availability of dietary nutrients, To im-
centrated extracts produced by further refinement prove the AME level of the feeds, To release the
of botanicals by hydro-distillation. Essential oils are bound nutrients, To supplement the enzymes pro-
used as flavouring agents to increase their attrac- duced by young chicks/piglets due to immature di-
tiveness of the feeds. Essential oils have antimicro- gestive system, Pre treatment of certain feeds / in-
bial, antioxidant, coccidiostatic and even antiviral gredients such as feathers and offals.
properties. (Wenk, C, 2003). Claims are also made Phytase enzyme was found to improve the
for increased digestive enzyme secretion and im- availability of phyatate phosphorus as well as other
proved immune function. organic nutrients. Eeckhout et al. (1992) revealed
Essential oils are standardised products, often that supplementation of phytase at 1000U/kg diet
based on a blend of plant metabolites such as increases P digestibility by 36-55% in maize soy
allylisothiocyanates, thymol, carvacrol, cinnama- bean and 54-68% in wheat soybean diets given to
ldehyde, capsaicin, piperin etc. Use of Essential oils 5 week old weaner. The supplementation of phytase
in pig diets have improved performance with in- improve performance and mineral retention.
creased appetite (Janroz,et al., 2003). There are Similarly supplementation glycosidase has been
reports of synergy between organic acids and es- found to increase the energy utilization in birds.
sential oils. The synergy is thought to come from the Higher body weight gain and better feed efficiency
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

in Japanese Quails with supplementing of 0.05%, ter nutritional management of birds, Reduce feed
non starch polysaccharidase (Edwin et al., 2004) costs, Reduce intestinal challenges by coccidia and
and in broiler Srivastava et al. (2005) with en- bacteria without the use of drugs, Conditioning the
zymes mixture of amylase, cellulose, lipase and gut for better coccidiosis management especially in
protease and in weaner pigs (Owsley et al. 1986) broilers. The IDEA concept is simple but an inno-
with diminsihing digestive disturbance (Partridge & vative approach to feed management which rede-
Hazzledine,1997). The improvement was more in fines the birds nutritional and management needs
young pigs than older one. The use of beta glucanase during critical phases.
and xylanase are beneficial with high fiber grains Supportive dietary modification: Bacterio-
like wheat, barley and their by products (Sikka & static approach is supported by alteration in the diet
Chawla 2002).Thomke et al. (1980) also reported to reduce the amount of substrate available to the
that b-glucanases could improve performance in intestinal microflora. Diets must be modified to re-
barley fed pigs. Alpha galactosiadse is used to duce “By-Pass Nutrients”! This is best achieved
breakdown the galactose units in raffinose and through increased digestibility of ingredients by the
stachyose found in soyabean. The efficacy of en- addition of enzymes, herbs, probiotics, acidifiers etc.
zyme supplementation depends upon types of diet, The aim is to reduce the protein and carbohydrate
animals, chemical linkage in the substrate that need fraction of the diet which can escape digestion and
to be cleaved etc. absorption and remain available as a food source for
Augmentation of immunity - immuno modu- microbial fermentation by intestinal microflora. Bac-
lators: Nutrition and disease have close connec- terial fermentation of indigestible protein produces
tion as the nutritional status of animal influence im- ammonia and biogenic amines which are toxic and
munological function and resistance to disease.Health increase the risk of diarrhoea. Piglet starter diets must
status of the organism is influencing the animals be highly digestible and must encourage a shift to
nutritional requirements. Many nutrients like protein protein fermentation in the hind gut by being ‘carbo-
& energy (Praharaj et al. 1999), methionine (Swain hydrate’ deficient. The addition of fermentable car-
& Johri 2000), Vitamin A (Friedman & Sklan 1997), bohydrates (prebiotics) to pig diets reduces protein
Vitamin E &Se, Singh et al. 2006), Vitamin C and fermentation through increased carbohydrate fermen-
trace element like Zn, Fe, Cu & Mn (Derdone tation in the hind gut. The reduced efficiency of bile
2002) have the immuno modulating ability. In pigs salts can be countered by adding emulsifying agents
nucleotides, B glucans (Diluzio & Jacques 1985), (lecithin) directly to the diet and by improving the
vitamins, PUFA, antibodies from products such as saturated to unsaturated fatty acid ratio in the diet to
blood derivatives (eg, plasma protein), freeze dried aid absorption. Alterations such as switching from
eggs containing pig related antibodies and possibly DL-Methionine to Liquid MHA-FA, an organic acid,
some whey protein products have been reported is another small change which can increase the anti-
to improve the immune response. Reduced immune microbial status of a pig diet. The efficiency of the
activity promotes growth by increasing appetite and intestinal epithelium structure and function can be
partitioning nutrients to growth. upgraded with the use of Betaine
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Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Score of utilizing unconventional phophorus

supplements in broilers
R. P. S. Baghel
Department of Animal Nutrition
College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, JNKVV, Jabalpur, India

The poultry industry in India is the fastest grow- phosphorus bound as phytate phosphorus was high-
ing sector of Indian agriculture. The production of est in by product (73-84%) than oilseed meals (51-
poultry meat has increased from 350.578 thousand 82%) and cereal and millets (60-73%).
tons in 1995 to 600 thousand tons in 1999 (Mohanti Now days, animal protein supplements spe-
and Rajendran, 2003). Broiler production forms a cially fish meal which contain higher amount of phos-
major segment of poultry industry. In the year 1997, phorus are being used in lower quantities in place
it was 630 million compared to mere 4 million in of vegetable protein supplements mainly due to pres-
the year 1971. As per the latest report, India has ence of E. coli and Salmonella in them. Hence,
about 650 million broilers and ranks 6th position in there is demand for higher use of inorganic phos-
broiler meat production (Executive guide, 2003- phorus in poultry diet. But the production and avail-
2004). Broiler meat production at the same time ability of traditional phosphorus supplement (DCP)
increased to 1,050,000 tones in 1997 from 1, is continuously decreasing in developing countries
21,000 tones in 1971 (ICAR, 2002). At this age
like India because of ban imposed on use of bone
of globalization poultry especially broiler industry is
based dicalcium phosphate (DCP) in livestock feeds.
facing many problems leading to poor margin of
As a result their cost is steeply increasing. There-
fore, situation demands for use of alternate phos-
In broiler farming, feed contributes about 65- phorus supplements. A few alternate phosphorus
70 % of the total cost of production. Besides en- sources such as bone meal (BM), rock phosphate
ergy and protein the next important input in their (RP), heat treated rock phosphate (HTRP),
ration is mineral mixture. One of the acute mineral diammonium phosphate (DAP), single super phos-
problems that have been constantly faced by the phate (SSP) are available at relatively low price
feed dealers and poultry owners is use of expensive compared to DCP and are being tried for their use
phosphorus supplement. Singhal and Baghel (2003) in poultry diet.
reported the use of mineral mixture containing 57.6%
DCP @ 3% or that containing 74.9% DCP @ 2%
Use of rock phosphate (RP)
in broiler diet for their economical weight gain.
Animal protein supplements are rich in phosphorus Rock phosphate is available economically. The
and are generally considered as totally available. Ca: P present in it is like that of bone meal, which
While, vegetable protein supplements are low in is thought to be optimum. But, as the RP contains
phosphorus and their availability is only about 30% high level of fluorine hence its inclusion in poultry
of total phosphorus (NRC, 1994). Phytate and diet is limited due to possible risk of fluorine tox-
phytic acid (or phytin) present in the plant sources icity. The concentration of fluorine in RP varies
are generally regarded as a main storage form of depending on the geographic sources (Lal and
phosphorus in plant tissue. The amount of total Prasad, 1989; Rama Rao, 2001) and utilization of
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

phosphorus from it has been found to depend on in growing chicks and observed that DCP replace-
the concentration of fluorine. Elimination of fluorine ment significantly reduced the weight gain and dry
would render RP as a relative inexpensive source matter digestibility but increased the feed to gain
of phosphorus and calcium for poultry feed. The ratio in chicks. Further, increasing levels of BRP in
de-fluorinated RP contains fluorine in the range found the diet linearly reduced the % bone ash, Ca, Ca:
in steamed bone meal (0.05%). P ratio, ultimate breaking force, bending moment,
Kick et al. (1933) reported that chicks could stress, and modulus of elasticity. These results sug-
not tolerate fluoride levels higher than 3,600 ppm in gest that excessive ingestion of fluorine from the
their diet. While, Phillips et al. (1935) indicated that BRP caused the reduction in chick’s performance.
growth of chicks was inhibited by feeding 70mg of Thomas et al. (2007a) observed that use of RRP
fluoride per Kg body weight per day. This level of instead of DCP (40, 60, 80 and 100%) was highly
fluoride was found to cause reduced growth and feed economical when DCP was replaced @ 40% and
intake. Haman et al. (1936) observed that young it did not exert any detrimental effect on the carcass
chicks and adult poultry exhibited higher tolerance traits of broilers (Thomas et al., 2007b). Further,
levels for fluorine than most mammalian species. Gerry they also observed that HTRP can be used eco-
et al. (1947) reported that in growing chicks maxi- nomically instead of DCP in broiler diet (Thomas et
mum safe dietary level of fluoride was 300-400 ppm al., 2007c). The most economical level of replace-
when fed as rock phosphate. Gerry et al. (1947 and ment DCP with HTRP was 80%.
1949) further reported that raw rock phosphate con-
taining about 3.4 per cent of fluorine, even at 1 per Measures to reduce fluorine toxicity
cent level depressed their growth. Weber et al. Research indicates that addition of aluminium
(1968) observed that increased level of fluorine in sulphate greatly reduces the flurosis in hen. Storer
diet caused depression in growth rate but no signifi- and Nelson (1967) observed the response of chicks
cant difference were obtained in FCR, total plasma to various aluminium compound added to a purified
protein, body fat deposits, dietary metabolizable en- diet. When 0.5% aluminium from four water-soluble
ergy and liver and kidney enzymes (LDH, cytochrome compounds acetate, chloride, nitrate and sulfate was
oxidase and succinic dehydrogenase) activity. How- fed, mortality approached or reached 100%. Lower
ever, significantly higher levels of alkaline phosphatase levels of aluminium as the chloride and the sulphate
were obtained in 1000 ppm fluorine fed group. Suttie adversely affected the rate of growth, feed effi-
et al. (1982) reported that the dietary fluoride toler- ciency and bone mineralization. While, water-in-
ances were at least 400 ppm for leghorn chicks, 300 soluble aluminium as the oxide and the phosphate
ppm for broiler chicks and 200 ppm for turkey poults. caused no adverse effect on performance. Cakir et
Abdelhamid et al. (1999) observed that feed- al. (1978) studied the alleviation of fluorine toxicity
ing graded levels of fluorine (0, 25, 125, 625 and in starting broiler chicks and turkey with aluminium.
3125 ppm fluorine) from sodium fluoride for four Added fluorine level from sodium fluoride ranged
weeks (4-7 weeks of age) to broiler chicks re- from 0 to 1000 ppm, whereas aluminium levels
sulted poor growth, feed conversion, high mortality, varied from 0 to 800 ppm. Aluminium was fed ei-
bone disorder, decreased relative weights of pitu- ther as aluminium oxide or aluminium sulphate. When
itary, adrenal, heart, liver, spleen, lungs, kidney, fed as sulphate salt, 800 ppm of aluminium com-
gizzard and changes in intestinal dimensions. Odongo pletely prevented toxic effect of at least 1000 ppm
et al. (2002) used varying levels (0, 25, 50, 75 or of fluorine. Aluminium oxide was not effective as an
100 %) of Busumbu rock phosphate (BRP) on alleviator of fluorine toxicity. Johnson et al. (1985)
performance and the mechanical properties of bone indicated that feeding high level of supplemental
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

niacin (0.8% calcium and 0.4 or 0.5% available calcification. They also observed that fertilizers con-
phosphorus with 0.5, 0.1 or 0.3% aluminium or taining high fluorine (ammonium phosphate and single
1.0 or 1.5% niacin or both resulted in decreased super phosphate) or NPK reduced performance in
bone strength in chicks with no change in mineral broilers and caused microscopic changes in liver,
content of the tibia. Aluminium fed at the level of kidney and intestine in broilers.
0.3% of diet caused a decrease in bone strength Barley et al. (2004) observed better perfor-
with concomitant change in bone mineral content. mance and economical weight gain in broilers as-
Thomas et al. (2007a) observed use of aluminium signed mineral mixture containing agriculture grade
sulphate @ 1% of fluorine content in the diet along mineral sources for zinc, manganese, and copper.
with RP either had no significant influence or re- They concluded that agriculture grade mineral
duced the net return significantly (P<0.05). Further sources can be safely used instead of laboratory
on similar type of diets Thomas et al. (2007b) grade mineral sources.
observed that use of RRP with aluminium sulphate
Di Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) is a phos-
had no significant (P>0.05) influence on the carcass
phatic fertilizer which contains nitrogen as well as
traits of broilers.
phosphorus. It contains about 17% N and 20%
phosphorus. The phosphorus content in it was much
Use of phosphatic fertilizers more similar to the value present in DCP. Sharma
To reduce the cost of mineral mixture uncon- et al. (2003) tried to incorporate DAP instead of
ventional phosphorus sources have been found to DCP in broiler diet and observed that increase in
replace DCP in broiler diet. It was observed that the level of DAP from 0 to 60% increased the
ammonium phosphate can be used as a source of performance of broilers significantly. Examination of
phosphorus in practical chicken diet. However, its visceral organs as liver, spleen, kidney, heart, proven-
use was found to reduce the weight gains in broilers triculus, gizzard and intestine confirmed that diet
but differences were not significant. The inclusion of had no significant effect on these organs. Grossly
ammonium polyphosphate, 17:17:17 or 28:28:0 no abnormality was observed. However, micro-
(N :P :K) replacing 50% DCP in broilers diet re- scopically liver showed hyperaemia only in few cases
sulted in comparable body weight gains with those especially in those fed higher levels of DAP. Further
fed DCP reference diet. However, significant de- Sharma and Baghel (2004) reported maximum
pression in weight gain and feed intake on feeding weight gain and better feed utilization along with
ammonium phosphate or single super phosphate was performance index in broilers assigned 60% DAP
observed. Morever, performance of birds was de- instead of DCP in their mineral mixture. They real-
pressed in birds fed agricultural grade as compared ized that even complete replacement of DCP pro-
to feed grade phosphate. duced better performance in broilers. However,
Rama Rao and Reddy (2003) studied the rela- most economical performance was noted when
tive bioavailability and utilization of phosphatic fer- DCP was replaced by DAP @ 60% in their min-
tilizer (ammonium phosphate, ammonium eral mixture.
polyphosphate, single super phosphate and NPK) Like DAP, single super phosphate (SSP) a
as a source of phosphorus in broilers and observed phosphatic fertilizer has been also tried in broilers
that relative bioavailability of phosphorus from am- diet as a source of phosphorus. Mishra et al. (2003)
monium polyphosphate was better for body weight indicated that use of 20% SSP instead of DCP did
gain than ammonium phosphate, single super phos- not influence the weight gain significantly but when
phate or NPK while the reverse was true for bone it was increased to 40%, increased their weight gains

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

significantly. Gross and microscopic examination of Use of phytase enzyme

visceral organs like liver, spleen, kidney, heart, To increase the phosphorus utilization in poultry, now
proventriculus, gizzard and intestine did not reveal a days enzyme phosphate is used as a tool. Denbow
any significant changes. Further, Mishra and Baghel et al. (1995) studied the effect of phytase supple-
(2004) reported that use of 40% SSP instead of mentation on phosphorus availability in soybean meal
DCP was responsible for significantly better perfor- diet in broilers and observed that phytase supple-
mance in broilers and higher use of it led to significant mentation improved the body weight gain and feed
reduction in their performance. Mishra and Baghel intake but the magnitude of response was greatest
(2007) also reported that dressed weight of broilers at low phosphorus diets. A high mortality (35-45%)
were not influenced significantly due to use of vary- was observed for 0.20 and 0.27% non-phytate diet
ing levels of SSP instead of DCP with and without without added phytase but decline to normal level
ionophore. But use of ionophores led to significant with the addition of 200-400 U phytase per Kg diet.
reduction in eviscerated and drawn weights of broil- Ash percentage of toe and tibia and shear force and
ers except in groups receiving 60% and 80% SSP stress of tibia increased with added phytase. They
diets where lower drawn weights were observed. also observed that the amount of phosphorus re-
Mishra and Baghel (2007a) indicated that use of SSP leased increased with increasing level of phytase but
with and without ionophore did not produce any the amount released per 100 U of phytase decreased.
specific trend on the organ weights of broilers. As Released phosphorus ranged from 31-58% of phytate
regard processing losses Mishra and Baghel (2007b) phosphorus for 250-1000 U of phytase per Kg diet.
observed that use of SSP with and without iono- It was showed that microbial phytase supplementa-
phore had significant influence on the blood, feather, tion of a low phosphorus diet increased growth and
wing tips, and shank and visceral fat losses but had relative retention of total phosphorus, calcium, cop-
no influence on the head weight significantly. Use of per and zinc and improved bone mineralization in
ionophore mostly did not exert any specific trend on broiler chicken. Rama Rao et al. (1999) studied
enhancement of phytate phosphorous availability in
the processing losses.
the diet of commercial broilers by adding phytase
Deo et al. (2005) evaluated the efficacy of enzyme. Phytase supplementation @ 500 and 250
different phosphorus sources (calcium hydrogen U per Kg diet, respectively significantly (P < 0.05)
phosphate, diammonium phosphate and single su- improved weight gain compared to un-supplemented
per phosphate) supplemented at graded levels in basal diet.
broiler diet in comparison to feed grade DCP. The
Viveros et al. (2002) reported that phytase
performance of chicks in terms of body weight gain, supplementation had a favourable effect on the
feed intake and FCR was superior in groups fed weight gain at 3 and 6 weeks of age and on feed
DCP and single super phosphate supplemented diet consumption only at 3 weeks, while, their feed ef-
than calcium hydrogen phosphate and diammonium ficiency was not affected. The supplementation of
phosphate supplemented diets. However, the di- phytase also increased Ca, P, Mg and Zn retention,
etary phosphorus levels did not affect body weight increased tibia weight, tibia ash, Mg and Zn con-
gain, feed intake, FCR and serum calcium concen- centration in tibia and reduced the relative liver
tration in chicks. They concluded that fertilizer grade weight. Phytase supplementation also increased the
SSP can be used in broiler diet in place of costly plasma phosphorus level and serum AST activity,
DCP as a phosphorus source without affecting reduced plasma calcium and Mg contents and re-
growth performance and blood parameters, at di- duced serum ALT, ALP and LDH activities. For
etary available phosphorus level of 0.4%. broilers 500-700 U of phytase per Kg of diet was
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

equivalent to 0.5% of mono calcium phosphate or It was concluded that to reduce the cost of
0.6% DCP in maize-soybean based diet. Thomas broiler production dicalcium phosphate a conven-
et al. (2007c) observed that use of phytase im- tional phosphorus supplement can be replaced
proved the performance of broilers only with 80% using unconventional phosphorus supplements like
level of HTRP but it did not produce any beneficial rock phosphate (40%), heat treated rock phos-
effect on the carcass traits of broilers (Thomas et phate (80%), diammonium phosphate (60 to 100
al.; 2007d). %) and single super phosphate (40%) partially or
completely. To improve the availability of phospho-
Use of ionophores on performance of broilers rus use of phytase enzyme was found beneficial.
and mineral utilization While, to reduce the fluorine toxicity addition of
aluminium sulphate was found beneficial only at
Ionophore has been found to affect the avail-
higher level of fluorine in the diet. At lower level
ability of minerals by influencing their absorption and
of inclusion of rock phosphate its addition was not
is exclusively used in diets to improve efficiency and
rate of gain. The inclusion of 90mg/kg of either
monensin or lasalocid in broiler diets does not alter
the balance of electrolytes required for optimum REFERENCES
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ported that apparent absorption of phosphorus, mag- mineral mixture for broilers using agriculture
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monensin produced best result at the dose rate of tion of Animal Production Systems” organized
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salinomycin caused significant reduction in body weight Denbow, D.M., Ravindran, V., Kornegay, E.T., Yi,
gain and feed consumption but increase the feed con- Z. and Hulet, R.M. (1995) Poul. Sci., 74:
version. Further monensine at the level of 100 ppm 1831-1842.
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duced feed intake. Mishra and Baghel (2004a) ob-
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ported that along with ionophore, utilization of phos- stock and Poultry. Published by Lead Cen-
phorus was better from DAP in broilers. ter. NATP. C.A.R.I., Izatnagar. p 1.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Gerry, R.W., Carrick, C.W., Roberts, R.E. and duction systems”. Organised by Sri
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I.C.A.R. (2002) Handbook of Animal Husbandry, phore on the organ weight of broilers. Pre-
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Mishra, R.K. and Baghel, R.P.S. (2004) Studies with and without ionophore in their diet. Pre-
on utilization of single super phosphate as a sented in National symposium on “Recent trends
source of phosphorus in broilers. Presented in in policy initiatives and technological interven-
XI ANC on “Nutritional Technologies for Com- tions for rural prosperity in small holder live-
mercialization of Animal Production Systems” stock production systems”. Organised by Sri
organized by ANSI and ICAR, New Delhi at Venkateswara Veterinary University and
College of Vety. Sci. and A.H., JNKVV, ISAPM at Tirupati, 20-22 June, 2007. A-33,
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Mishra, R.K. and Baghel, R.P.S. (2004a) Effects of Mishra, R.K., Baghel, R.P.S. and Swami, Madhu
ionophore on utilization of single super phos- (2003) Effect of single super phosphate on the
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“Nutritional Technologies for Commercializa- National Symposium on “Basic pathology and
tion of Animal Production Systems” organized Animal Disesases- A need for fresh approach
by ANSI and ICAR, New Delhi at College of in Indian Scenario” and XX Annual Confer-
Vety. Sci. and A.H., JNKVV, Jabalpur, n 5-7 ence of IAVP 2003 at College of Veterinary
January. Science and A.H., JNKVV, Jabalpur, Novem-
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Mishra, R.K. and Baghel, R.P.S. (2007) Use of
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phosphate with and without ionophore on the of India. 9: 32.
carcass quality traits of broilers. Presented in N.R.C. (1994) Nutrient Requirements of Poul-
National symposium on “Recent trends in policy try, 9th edition. National Academy of Sciences,
initiatives and technological interventions for National Academy Press, Washington D.C.,
rural prosperity in small holder livestock pro- U.S.A.
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Nejad, Y.E. and Pourreza, J. (2000) J. Sci. erinary Science and A.H., JNKVV, Jabalpur,
Technol. Agric. Natur. Res., 4: 93-104. November 12-14.
Odongo, N.H., Plaizier, J., Van Straaten, P. and Singhal, P. K. and Baghel, R.P.S. (2003) Indian J.
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Phillips, P.H., H.E. English and E.B. Hart (1935) J.
Storer, N.L. and T.S. Nelson (1967). Poult. Sci.,
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Suttie, J., G. Simon and Miles, R.D. (1982) Poult.
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Rama Rao, S.V. (2001) Br. Poult. Sci., 42: 376-
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(2007a) Use of raw rock phosphate instead of
Rama Rao, S.V. and Reddy, V.R. (2003) Br. Poult. dicalcium phosphate with and without aluminium
Sci., 44: 96-103. sulphate on the economics of broiler produc-
tion. Presented in National symposium on
Rama Rao, S.V., Reddy, V. and Ravendra, V.
“Recent trends in policy initiatives and techno-
(1999) Arch. fur Guflugelkunde,. 60:
logical interventions for rural prosperity in small
holder livestock production systems”. Organised
Sharma, K.V. and Baghel, R.P.S. (2004) Studies by Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University and
on utilization of diammonium phosphate as a ISAPM at Tirupati, 20-22 June, 2007. A-35,
source of phosphorus in broilers. Presented in p241.
XI Animal Nutrition Conference on “Nutritional
Thomas, Annie, Baghel, R.P.S. and Chitwan Kawatra
Technologies for Commercialization of Animal
(2007b) Use of raw rock phosphate with or
Production Systems” organized by ANSI and
without aluminium sulphate on the carcass char-
ICAR, New Delhi at College of Vety. Sci. and
acteristics of broilers. Presented in National
A.H., JNKVV, Jabalpur, 5-7 January.
symposium on “Recent trends in policy initia-
Sharma, K.V. and Baghel, R.P.S. (2004a) Effects tives and technological interventions for rural
of ionophore on utilization of diammonium prosperity in small holder livestock production
phosphate in broilers. Presented in XI Animal systems”. Organised by Sri Venkateswara
Nutrition Conference on “Nutritional Technolo- Veterinary University and ISAPM at Tirupati,
gies for Commercialization of Animal Produc- 20-22 June, 2007. A-33, p240.
tion Systems” organized by ANSI and ICAR,
Thomas, Annie, Baghel, R.P.S. and Chitwan
New Delhi at College of Vety. Sci. and A.H.,
Kawatra (2007c) Economics of broiler pro-
JNKVV, Jabalpur, 5-7 January.
duction due to use of heat treated rock phos-
Sharma, K.V., Baghel, R.P.S. and Swami, Madhu phate with or without phytase instead of
(2003) Effect of diammonium phosphate on dicalcium phosphate. Presented in National
the pathological changes in broilers. Presented symposium on “Recent trends in policy initia-
in National Symposium on “Basic pathology tives and technological interventions for rural
and Animal Disesases- A need for fresh ap- prosperity in small holder livestock production
proach in Indian Scenario” and XX Annual systems”. Organised by Sri Venkateswara
Conference of IAVP 2003 at College of Vet- Veterinary University and ISAPM at Tirupati,
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

20-22 June, 2007. A-36, p242. tems”. Organised by Sri Venkateswara Veteri-
nary University and ISAPM at Tirupati, 20-
Thomas, Annie, Baghel, R.P.S. and Sunil Nayak
22, A-34, p240.
(2007d) Use of heat treated rock phosphate
with or without phytase on the carcass charac- Viveros, A., Brenes A., Arija I. and Centeno, C.
teristics of broilers. Presented in National sym- (2002) Poult. Sci., 81: 1172-1183.
posium on “Recent trends in policy initiatives
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perity in small holder livestock production sys- (1968) Poult. Sci., 47: 158-163.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Nutrition and nutrient delivery system

for fish farming
Vijay Anand and G. Ramesh
ASA-International Marketing Asia Subcontinent, New Delhi, India

Aquaculture is the cultivation of fish, shellfish, 18,000,000
bivalves and aquatic plants and. Thus aquaculture is 16,000,000
an industry that encompasses a large group of 12,000,000
aquatic animals and plants. Globally, there are hun- 10,000,000
dreds of farmed aquatic animal and plant species.
Global production from aquaculture is increasing by 4,000,000
about 9 -11% per year and is, “The world’s fastest
growing food producing sector,” according to the Carp Shrimp Tilapia Salmonids

United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organiza- Major aquaculture species groups globally
Aquaculture accounts for almost half of all sea- nated by carp production: about 80% of India’s
food consumed globally. Seafood currently provides aquaculture production is composed of carps of
approximately 16% of all animal protein in the hu- Indian and Chinese origin. Most carp production
man diet. While the ocean capture fisheries have occurs in extensive, polyculture systems throughout
reached maximum sustainable yields the demand India. But, in the last 20 years, carp production has
for fishery products are increasing and will continue intensified in several parts of India. The traditional
to increase along with the growth in projected hu- polyculture has given way to the dominance of one
man population. China or two species: catla and rohu. These fishes fetch
high market prices. Typical pond yields range from
three to eight tons per hectare per year. The ponds
are fertilized, but not aerated. Farm-mixed feed com-
prising of rice bran and a plant protein source such
as peanut oil cake or cottonseed oil cake is given
to the fish. As farming operations have intensified,
the limitations of farm-mixed feeds have become
more apparent. Procuring and storing larger lots of
raw materials, and preparing and administering larger
quantities of feeds, stretch the logistic capabilities of
farmers. More importantly, much of farm-mixed
Egypt feeds is not eaten by the fish and only fertilizes the
Global aquaculture production pond. Excess organic loading pollutes pond bottom
and cause a wide variety of production problems.
Aquaculture in India
The profitability and long-term sustainability of in-
India is the second-largest aquaculture pro- tensive carp farming are threatened by continuing
ducer in the world. India’s aquaculture is domi- the existing feed use practices.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

naturally available diet with extra protein, carbohy-
drate and/or lipid.
Fish, especially when reared in high densities,
require a high-quality, nutritionally complete, bal-
anced diet to grow rapidly and remain healthy.

1,000,000 Protein
500,000 Because protein is the most expensive part of
fish feed, it is important to accurately determine the
0 protein requirements for each species and size of








cultured fish. Proteins are formed by linkages of











India aquaculture production individual amino acids. Although over 200 amino
acids occur in nature, only about 20 amino acids
Use of formulated feed for carp cultivation is are common. Of these, 10 are essential (indispens-
thus a sharp deviation from the existing traditional able) amino acids that cannot be synthesized by
methods. As carps also fetch low value, the farmer fish. The 10 essential amino acids that must be
usually puts off use of formulated feed, as it is a price supplied by the diet are: methionine, arginine, threo-
sensitive issue. Nevertheless, the American Soybean nine, tryptophan, histidine, isoleucine, lysine, leu-
Association- IM trusts that there is a scope for feed cine, valine and phenylalanine. Of these, lysine and
usage and demonstration of profitability if the com- methionine are often the first limiting amino acids.
plete technology package is developed and prac- Fish feeds prepared with plant (soybean meal) pro-
ticed. tein typically are low in methionine; therefore, extra
methionine must be added to soybean-meal based
Fish nutrition diets in order to promote optimal growth and health.
Good nutrition in animal production systems is It is important to know and match the protein re-
essential to economically produce a healthy, high quirements and the amino acid requirements of each
quality product. In fish farming, nutrition is critical fish species reared.
because feed represents 40-50% of the production Protein levels in fish feeds generally average
costs. Fish nutrition has advanced dramatically in 28-32% for catfish, 32-38% for tilapia, 38-42% for
recent years with the development of new, balanced hybrid striped bass. Protein requirements usually are
commercial diets that promote optimal fish growth lower for herbivorous fish (plant eating) and omnivo-
and health. The development of new species-spe- rous fish (plant-animal eaters) than they are for
cific diet formulations supports the aquaculture (fish carnivorous (flesh-eating) fish, and are higher for fish
farming) industry as it expands to satisfy increasing reared in high density (recirculating aquaculture) than
demand for affordable, safe, and high-quality fish low density (pond aquaculture) systems.
and seafood products. Protein requirements generally are higher for
In contrast, supplemental (incomplete, partial) smaller fish. As fish grow larger, their protein re-
diets are intended only to help support the natural quirements usually decrease. Protein requirements
food (insects, algae, small fish) normally available also vary with rearing environment, water tempera-
to fish in ponds or outdoor raceways. Supplemen- ture and water quality, as well as the genetic com-
tal diets do not contain a full complement of vita- position and feeding rates of the fish. Protein is used
mins or minerals, but are used to help fortify the for fish growth if adequate levels of fats and carbo-
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

hydrates are present in the diet. If not, protein may (add carbon atoms) to the hydrocarbon chain, and
be used for energy and life support rather than growth then further desaturate (add double bonds) to this
longer hydrocarbon chain. Through these enzyme
Lipids systems, freshwater fish can manufacture the longer
chain n-3 HUFA, EPA and DHA, which are nec-
Lipids are high-energy nutrients that can be
essary for other metabolic functions and as cellular
utilized to partially spare (substitute for) protein in
membrane components. Marine fish typically do not
aquaculture feeds. Lipids supply about twice the
possess these elongation and desaturation enzyme
energy as proteins and carbohydrates. Lipids typi-
systems, and require long chain n-3 HUFA in their
cally comprise about 15% of fish diets, supply es-
diets. Other fish species, such as tilapia, require
sential fatty acids (EFA) and serve as transporters
fatty acids of the n-6 family, while still others, such
for fat-soluble vitamins.
as carp or eels, require a combination of n-3 and
A recent trend in fish feeds is to use higher n-6 fatty acids
levels of lipids in the diet. Although increasing di-
etary lipids can help reduce the high costs of diets
by partially sparing protein in the feed, problems
such as excessive fat deposition in the liver can Carbohydrates (starches and sugars) are the
decrease the health and market quality of fish. most economical and inexpensive sources of en-
ergy for fish diets. Although not essential, carbohy-
Simple lipids include fatty acids and drates are included in aquaculture diets to reduce
triacylglycerols. Fish typically require fatty acids of feed costs and for their binding activity during feed
the omega 3 and 6 (n-3 and n-6) families. Fatty manufacturing. Dietary starches are useful in the
acids can be: a) saturated fatty acids (SFA, no extrusion manufacture of floating feeds. Cooking
double bonds), b) polyunsaturated fatty acids starch during the extrusion process makes it more
(PUFA, >2 double bonds), or c) highly unsaturated biologically available to fish.
fatty acids (HUFA; > 4 double bonds). Marine fish
In fish, carbohydrates are stored as glycogen
oils are naturally high (>30%) in omega 3 HUFA,
that can be mobilized to satisfy energy demands.
and are excellent sources of lipids for the manufac-
They are a major energy source for mammals, but
ture of fish diets. Lipids from these marine oils also
are not used efficiently by fish. For example, mam-
can have beneficial effects on human cardiovascular
mals can extract about 4 kcal of energy from 1
gram of carbohydrate, whereas fish can only ex-
Marine fish typically require n-3 HUFA for tract about 1.6 kcal from the same amount of car-
optimal growth and health, usually in quantities rang- bohydrate. Up to about 20% of dietary carbohy-
ing from 0.5-2.0% of dry diet. The two major EFA drates can be used by fish.
of this group are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA:
20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA:22:6n- Vitamins
3). Freshwater fish do not require the long chain
HUFA, but often require an 18 carbon n-3 fatty Vitamins are organic compounds necessary in
acid, linolenic acid (18:3-n-3), in quantities ranging the diet for normal fish growth and health. They
often are not synthesized by fish, and must be sup-
from 0.5 to 1.5% of dry diet. This fatty acid cannot
plied in the diet.
be produced by freshwater fish and must be sup-
plied in the diet. Many freshwater fish can take this The two groups of vitamins are water-soluble
fatty acid, and through enzyme systems elongate and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins include: the
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

B vitamins, choline, inositol, folic acid, pantothenic cro-minerals) based on the quantity required in the
acid , biotin and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Of these, diet and the amount present in fish. Common macro-
vitamin C probably is the most important because minerals are sodium, chloride, potassium and phos-
it is a powerful antioxidant and helps the immune phorous. These minerals regulate osmotic balance
system in fish. and aid in bone formation and integrity.
The fat-soluble vitamins include A vitamins, ret- Micro-minerals (trace minerals) are required
inols (responsible for vision); the D vitamins, chole- in small amounts as components in enzyme and
calciferols (bone integrity); E vitamins, the tocopherols hormone systems. Common trace minerals are cop-
(antioxidants); and K vitamins such as menadione per, chromium, iodine, zinc and selenium. Fish can
(blood clotting, skin integrity). Of these, vitamin E absorb many minerals directly from the water through
receives the most attention for its important role as their gills and skin, allowing them to compensate to
an antioxidant (Table 1). Deficiency of each vitamin some extent for mineral deficiencies in their diet
has certain specific symptoms, but reduced growth (Table 1).
is the most common symptom of any vitamin defi-
ciency. Scoliosis (bent backbone symptom) and dark Energy and protein
coloration may result from deficiencies of ascorbic Dietary nutrients are essential for the construc-
acid and folic acid vitamins, respectively. tion of living tissues. They also are a source of
Table 1. Vitamin and mineral premix stored energy for fish digestion, absorption, growth,
Nutrient Unit As fed
reproduction and the other life processes. The nu-
Vitamin A IU/kg 1200000
tritional value of a dietary ingredient is in part de-
Vitamin D3 IU/kg 200000 pendant on its ability to supply energy. Physiologi-
Vitamin E IU/kg 20000 cal fuel values are used to calculate and balance
Biotin mg/kg 40
available energy values in prepared diets. They typi-
Folic acid mg/kg 1800
Niacin mg/kg 40000 cally average 4, 4, and 9 kcal/g for protein, carbo-
Pantothenate mg/kg 20000 hydrate and lipid, respectively.
Pyridoxine, B6 mg/kg 5000
Riboflavin, B2 mg/kg 8000 To create an optimum diet, the ratio of protein
Thiamin, B1 mg/kg 8000 to energy must be determined separately for each
Vitamin, B12 mcg/kg 2000 fish species. Excess energy relative to protein con-
Ethoxyquin mg/kg 500
tent in the diet may result in high lipid deposition.
Mineral premix PMX-F11
Because fish feed to meet their energy requirements,
Iron ppm 40000 diets with excessive energy levels may result in de-
Manganese ppm 10000
Copper ppm 4000 creased feed intake and reduced weight gain. Simi-
Zinc ppm 40000 larly, a diet with inadequate energy content can re-
Iodine ppm 1800 sult in reduced weight gain because the fish cannot
Cobalt ppm 20
Selenium ppm 200 eat enough feed to satisfy their energy requirements
Premix ingredient quantities are per kg of premix.
for growth. Properly formulated prepared feeds have
a well-balanced energy to protein ratio.
Minerals are inorganic elements necessary in Floating fish feeds
the diet for normal body functions. They can be Floating feeds are typically in the density range
divided into two groups (macro-minerals and mi- of 300 to 400 g per liter. They are expanded pel-
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

lets varying in diameter from 1.5 to 10 mm in size. feedmills were then provided with the technical
Fish farmers have proven that floating feeds result expertise to produce extruded, soy-optimized feeds.
in better feed conversions due to the fact that the The farmers were trained to practice feed-based
feed consumption can be monitored and adjusted production protocols and collect data. Profitability
so that feed is not wasted. Many fish species that was used as the primary criterion for evaluating the
consume floating feeds are fed on the basis eating economic feasibility of the new technology.
all feed in a certain time frame. If fish consume all In 2004 and 2005, we conducted full-fledged
feed in less than the specified time then it is an commercial demonstrations to show feedmills and
indication to the farmer that more feed can be given. farmers that soy-based extruded floating fish feeds
If feed is left over in the pond after the specified perform well when used correctly. Results were dis-
time frame, then it is an indication that over feeding seminated by conducting frequent extension pro-
has occurred. Floating feeds are extrusion cooked grams, seminars, on-farm consultations and by ren-
at about 24 to 27% moisture and expand 125 to dering services for business development activities
150% of the die hole size. Floating fish feeds are for feed companies. Nutritionally balanced soy based
gradually becoming popular for commercial use in feed was used for the trial (Table 2).
Important considerations for use of floating fish
The biggest advantage offered by floating fish feeds
feeds is that it brings in a situation that is close to Pond size: For a feed based system with float-
farming terrestrial animals where feed given to ani- ing feeds, the ideal pond size should be less than
mals can be seen. When feed can be seen, the
farmer is able to obtain a complete feedback on Table 2. Formula of the ASA 32/6, soymeal-based feed in
3-mm and 4-mm pellet sizes.
feeding status and all related feed management as-
pects. Floating fish feeds, which float on the water Ingredient CP, % Inclusion rate
surface, make feeds visible to the fish farmer and Soybean meal 47.5 50.00
help monitor feeding. Assessment on feeding there- Wheat, Feed flour 11.7 26.40
fore is direct. One needs to feed fish only as much Corn gluten meal 60.0 6.00
Rice bran 15.0 5.00
as it demands. Feed wastage in case of floating
Wheat midds 15.0 4.00
feeds is minimal or absent depending on the exper- Blood meal, Ring-dried 93.0 1.00
tise of the manager. In sinking feeds, visibility of Fish oil, Unspecified 3.50
feeds is absent and therefore feeding assessment is Calcium phosphate, Mono 2.30
always indirect and there is scope for wastage of Soy lecithin 1.00
Vitamin Premix 0.50
feed. Waste feed increases water nutrient and
Mineral Premix 0.25
deteriorates water quality. Stay C*-35% 0.03
Ethoxyquin**-100% 0.02
Overview of ASA-IM approach Stay C is ascorbic acid polyphosphate manufactured by
DSM and the % indicates the active level of ascorbic
Based on the experience of ASA-IM in China, acid in the product**. Ethoxyquin is an antioxidant and
it was decided that promoting a feed-based system the % indicates purity of the antioxidant.
for intensive carp production in India would involve
both education and actual demonstrations of the one hectare with a water depth of not more than 1.2-
technology on a practical level. This required iden- 1.3 m. Smaller ponds are desired because the farmer
tification of farmers and feedmill cooperators. The needs to determine the feed quantity visually once in

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

10 days. Note that in floating feeds, the fish tells the feeding is the most important tool in managing float-
farmer how much to feed and it is not the farmer who ing fish feeds and is explained later in this article. Sa-
determines how much to give. Visual determination tiation should be set by the third day of stocking to
of feeding response in a large pond is difficult and ensure that fish are getting complete feed right from
will lead to feed wastage and escalation of produc- the beginning. Non-feed trained fish will not facilitate
tion cost. Also, deep ponds are not advocated as satiation setting on the third day. In order to wean the
thermal stratification sets in during summers and fish prior to transferring them to grow-out ponds, feed
causes acute water quality problems in ponds. should be on site at least 10 days in advance. Wean-
ing of fish onto the floating feed is best done in sepa-
Pond bottom: About three inches of the pond
rate small ponds.
bottom carrying organic top soil should be removed
after drying the pond. Not doing this is like having Satiation Feeding as an Important Feed Manage-
a ready fertilizer/pond nutrient that makes water ment Tool
too rich with plankton. Organic matter also acts as Satiation feeding method: This is the most
a ready inoculum for bacteria to proliferate. This is important tool for the feed based system to be-
not desired in the feed based system. come successful. Feed is money and little saved is
Pond water fertilization: In a feed based lot of money saved to the farmer. The satiation
system no manure is advocated as total nutrition for method steps are as follows:
fish is given through nutritionally balanced feed. Due l One the first day fish are fed to full satiation in
to waste of fish in the pond, natural productivity of 30 min strict time cut off.
the pond water and soil, plankton will automatically l Satiation can be efficiently done only if the
develop and this is enough to sustain natural pro- fingerlings have been trained on to feed before
ductivity. Plankton density is measured using a sechi stocking into grow out ponds.
disc and the ideal reading recommended is between
l Rohu feeds actively for 30 min and the frenzy
25-35 cm. In case plankton does not develop,
fades off after that. Only the active feeding
addition of urea and super/triple phosphate as an
time/behavior is considered.
initial dose can be applied to water. Excess fertili-
zation is not recommended as it generates too much l As total nutrition for fish is intended through
of plankton which makes the water too green and feed, three feeds per day are a must.
increases the organic load in pond water. Too much l Keen observation is a must. Keep track of the
of plankton also compete with fish for oxygen and feed eaten in 30 min. If for example 600 g
most often lead to critical dissolved oxygen levels feed was given and the fish consumed only
(below 3 mg/l) that lead to fish mortality. 500 g then the satiation will be set for 500 g
Weaning fish on to floating feed: Fish in nurs- feed per feeding. This will be 1.5 kg feed per
eries are usually habituated to taking plankton and day.
the mash feed. It is a must to train fish for a minimum l The leftover feed should be gauged to deter-
of one week on the floating feed on maintenance ra- mine the feed consumed and the quantity left
tions to train them onto floating feed. Not doing this behind in the pond. Note that the fish has given
will result in extra time taken for fish to accept feed the feedback on how much to feed it has
and they loose growth for more than a week’s time in consumed.
grow-out ponds. In addition to this, feed leftover in l After having determined the feed quantity re-
the pond due to non-recognition by fish will be an quired per day the farmer automatically weighs
economic waste to the farmer. Satiation technique of and feeds this quantity for the next 10 days.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

l The 10-day period should be followed strictly tons of fish/ha in less than 150 days. The average
to change satiation. Even if the fish consumes economic return in the demonstration was based on
all feed in 20 min instead of 35 min the original a set average farm gate price of 45 INR/kg (~ US$
quantity should be maintained. The intention 1/kg). The negative return on investment in the TP
here is to slightly under feed the fish. Scientifi- method appears to be due to low production output
cally this has proven to yield better results. against significant input costs. Probably farmers in
l Towards the 8th and the 9th day the farmer the area are farming many different animals and row
should determine how much time the fish is crops concurrently that without keeping accurate
taking to consume the feed. Usually the fish records of input and output costs for each activity
will take less time to consume the feed when the farmers are not fully account for all costs associ-
compared to time taken on the first three days. ated with fish production.
l Getting to know the feeding time on the 8th Table 3. Fish production achieved in 2005 demonstration
and 9th day will give the farmer a feedback on Traditional ASA-IM
roughly how much feed can increased while Practice Method*
setting the satiation for the next 10 days. Method*
Date of stocking 26 Feb. 26 Feb.
l Throw the feed into the pond all at one spot
2005 2005
along with the wind direction to avoid it from
Date of harvest 24 Aug. 24 July
getting washed on to dykes. Wind direction may 2005 2005
change with season and at times on a daily ba-
Number of days of culture 179 147
sis. There is no need to distribute the feed over
Initial weight of rohu, g 43 47
the entire pond. Note that feed will disperse by
itself due to water and wind action. Final weight of rohu, g 401 494
Estimated survival of rohu, % 95 100
l On cloudy days or during sudden environmen-
tal change fish may show reduced feeding. Total harvest weight, kg/ha 2634 6483
Keep watch for feeding response during these Feed conversion ratio 5.29 1.34
conditions and reduce feed in the next feed. *Average return on -28 13
Normal feeding is resumed once the weather investment, %
conditions become normal.
The feed-based ASA-IM method resulted in What the ASA-IM demonstration did show
consistently faster fish growth, higher fish yield, bet- to the farmers was in addition to the use of a
ter feed conversion and better economic returns than nutritionally balanced feed the right nutrient delivery
the traditional practice of feeding fish with a farm- system such as the use of floating feeds which
mixed feed (Table 3). Though the desired target for brings about a system close to the feeding of
rohu in the TP method was an average of 500 g, water terrestrial animals has the ability to predictably
quality deterioration and consequent risk of high produce a high target biomass at minimal feed
mortality from low dissolved oxygen syndrome wastage with no disease or water quality issues
(LODOS) stress led to harvest at about 400g aver- and to return a positive profit. Other advantages
age size. Though stocking density in the ASA-IM included healthy pond bottoms without significant
ponds was slightly more than twice that of the tradi- organic load, ease of operation with reduced labor,
tionally managed ponds, the ASA-IM ponds were reduction in grow-out period and marketing ben-
able to support the higher biomass and produced 6.5 efits owing to uniform sized fish.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Pasture based feeding systems for small ruminant production

and its relevance in tropics
S. A. Karim and A. K. Shinde
Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar 304 501, India

Sheep husbandry is an integral component of perennial greases and trees, and gradually eliminat-
livelihood and life style of millions of small holder ing the unproductive animals from population to spare
farmers in difficult areas of the country. Sheep are available feed resources for optimization of produc-
reared on common property resources (CPR), range- tion of quality animals. In the present paper, sheep
lands, orans, stubbles, wasteland and fallow land and goat production systems followed by the farm-
under extensive system. Moreover sheep rearing in ers in the desert, hilly and mountainous areas of the
the country is not grain based and hence small ru- country and strategies for improvement in produc-
minants do not compete with human and organized tivity by better feeding on pasture based feeding
dairy sector for food and shelter rather live in ab- system has been discussed. Most prevalent systems
solute harmony with man and nature. Sheep hus- followed in the country are as below
bandry plays a significant role in supplementing fam-
ily incomes and generating gainful employment in the Migration system in plains of dry zone
rural unorganized sector particularly among the land- Sheep are reared either under sedentary or a
less, small and marginal farmers and women besides migratory system under extensive range manage-
providing cheaper and nutritious meat and milk to ment. Sedentary system may be stall-feeding follow-
rural people. Sheep population as per latest live- ing cut and carry system, semi intensive stall-feeding
stock census of 2003 stood at 58.2 million as or extensive grazing system. Migratory system may
compared to 39.1 million in 1951, with an increase be long distance migration in dry plains or transhu-
of 49 percent. During the same period, population mance in hilly or mountain region of the country. The
of goats has increased by 155 per cent. Total area small ruminant production systems are influenced by
available for grazing of sheep and goats in 1951 was availability of wasteland, community grazing land
82.1 million ha, which included unculturable land, and forest areas and by market prospects. About
other uncultivated land, fallow land and permanent 70-80 % of sheep flocks in arid region of the country
pastures: the grazing land has now decreased to are managed under migratory system. In spite of
43.3 million ha due land reclamation for conventional advancement of agriculture and effective land rec-
agriculture and conversion of culturable land to lamation, migration still exists as a prime system for
concentrate jungle in process of colonization. Total sheep rearing in semiarid and arid zone of the coun-
area under grazing has deceased by 47 % during the try. Only in very few cases nomadic/migratory sys-
last five decades while during the period the small tem of sheep rearing has changed to settle life sed-
ruminant population has increased by 105 %. This entary livestock rearing. Nomadic and transhumance
has resulted in over stocking and over grazing of production is found to be the best suited system for
available land by the animals. There is an urgent need the use of fragile ecosystems of country. The topog-
to maintain stable grazing resources for sustainable raphy, feed resources and socio-economic condi-
small ruminant production in future by rehabilitating tions of people besides, low and erratic rainfall,
the community grazing land through establishment of frequent drought and low intensity of crop produc-
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

tion are some of the factors responsible for prevalent lems of theft and dacoits in certain areas, inad-
of migratory system in semiarid and arid region. equate marketing facilities in the migratory route for
Sheep during migration graze on barren and marginal sale of lambs and spent ewes/rams and wool and
land of dry zone followed by fallow lands in high improper distribution of animals during migration
rainfall areas of neighboring states. In migration fre- resulting in over crowding in certain areas. Addi-
quent change of grazing land often provide them tionally inability of new born lambs to walk long
wide variety of vegetation, rich in minerals and other distances further magnifies the problems of migrat-
nutrients, which help meeting the requirement thereby ing flock therefore they are transported along the
improving production. In pastoral, rain fed and ir- migration on camel back, bullock carts, donkey,
rigated tracts of semiarid region, migration of one to ponies and in some cases lambs are forced to walk
two months is common practice. In earlier days, the with adult stocks in migration. Lambs under such
migration and sheep rearing was complementary but harsh condition suffer from stresses of movement in
in the recent years, with the socio-cultural and tech- migration resulting in poor growth and high mortal-
nological transformation, the functional relationship ity losses. It is therefore suggested that entrepre-
has undergone considerable changes. The tempo- neurs/progressive farmers may adopt organized lamb
rary and permanent migration of sheep from the rearing for mutton and breeder ram production by
region is related with the rainfall. The number of purchasing the weaner lambs from the farmers and
movement of flock on migration is less in normal rearing them under semi intensive and intensive
rainfall than in drought and famine years. In the system of production near some exist port or me-
recent year, the migratory routes followed by the tropolis. Adoption of envisaged production system
shepherd have narrowed down due to extension of
will render sheep raring as a profitable venture for
crop cultivation. The sheep population on migration
sheep farmers and entrepreneurs ensuring quality
and over crowding of grazing lands has exaggerated
meat for the consumers.
the problems of the shepherds. Deforestation and
felling of trees for earning their livelihood by the Some of the suggestion for smooth functioning
communities living on the periphery and some times of migration system of sheep are: avoiding frequently
in the heart of the forest have further magnified the change in route of migration and construction of
fodder the crisis for sheep and goats en route mi- enclosures by local shepherds in migratory route,
gration. Other vagaries of migration include expo- establishment of check post in collaboration with
sure to seasonal stress, predators, poachers and loss Forest, Animal Husbandry, Police and Revenue De-
of lambs, weaker animals and hurried disposal of partments with communication facilities, provision
wool. Moreover occasionally violent confrontation of shelter in route of migration for protection of
arises between the owners of migratory flocks and shepherds and animals from inclement weather,
local population for sharing meager feed resources provision of Veterinarians for treatment and pro-
for their livestock. phylaxis measures, provision of licensed weapon
The problems faced by the sheep raisers dur- for protection of their properties while migrating
ing migration are: higher charges for entry of ani- through dacoits infested routes, controlled opening
mals in other states, insufficient watering points thor- of forest areas for grazing of animals, development
ough out the route of migration, decrease in area of shearing and marketing facilities of wool, animal
under grazing land with the establishment of wild insurance cover for preventing economic loss dur-
life parks and sanctuaries, prohibition for entry of ing casualties and provision of nutritional supple-
animals in developed forest, protection by local ments at strategic locations to the animals as well as
peoples for grazing of animals in their areas, prob- shepherds in migratory route.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Sedentary system in hills and mountain areas by April. During late spring and early summer, flocks
In low and mid- hills, lower valleys and Tarai continue to remain at a low altitude. Flocks leave
region, sheep are reared under sedentary system the village for the Alpine pasture between April and
where sheep are maintained in one area throughout May. During May to early July, flocks move steadily
the year and penned at homestead during night. upward through the forest. During this season, shrubs
and trees of deciduous forest are in flush, and growth
The animals are managed either in stall-fed, semi
of green forest is clearly evident. The sheep derive
stall-fed or free range grazing system. Majority of
adequate fodder from summer pasture and improve
the sedentary flocks are maintained under an exten-
their body weights. By July flock reach Alpine
sive system, where the sheep are driven to the
pasture and remain there up to early September.
grazing land for grazing during the day and are not
The alpine meadows provide them the most nutri-
supplemented at the stall. In the mid-hill and valley
rotational grazing of sheep are followed. This sys- tion feed available throughout the year and at this
tem allows adequate re-growth of grasses and veg- time they attained maximum body weight. Flocks
etation in between grazing. However, grazing of start descending from late September to early
sheep in a limited areas round the year leads to October through the forest in a similar manner as to
heavy parasitic burden. their ascent route of movement.

Transhumance system in hills and mountains Feeding systems

areas Extensive range management system: Ex-
In the high hills and mountain areas, sheep are tensive system of sheep rearing is most prevalent
reared under transhumance system. Sheep move to system in dry semiarid and arid zone of the country
different areas through out the year, and maintained having excess grazing land and cheaper labor, where
entirely under grazing system. The flocks migrate sheep is maintained on sole grazing with occasional
from the foot hills to high Alpine ranges during sum- top feed supplementation in lean season. Two sys-
mer months. Sheep move to upper hills after begin- tems of rearing are common in dry regions viz. ex-
ning of arable cropping and return later in the year clusive extensive system where sheep migrate to
after the crop has been harvested. Migratory flocks long distance during feed scarcity and sedentary
normally constitute 200-250 sheep and vary in size system where sheep are grazed around 4- 5 km
from 50- 600 sheep. Sheep belong to different from homestead. Poor vegetation cover is a routine
owners and the shepherd usually own only part of feature in most of the grazing land and sheep on
flock. Every owner contributes to the shepherds such land have access to poor quality and meager
food and clothing, and in addition the shepherd quantity of forage in round the grazing system ex-
receives one or two sheep from the owner in kind cept during 3-4 months of monsoon. Common graz-
for year long grazing charges. Some of the profes- ing land in semiarid region of Rajasthan during
sional shepherds are Jaunsartes inhabiting at monsoon and winter yield 4.92 and 1.36 DM q/ha
Dehradun, Jad of Tehri, Gaddis shepherd of Kangra, respectively while the stubble after harvesting of
Kanoras from Rampur Bushahr, Bhakarwals and kharif crops have standing biomass yield of
Karnahis of Muzzfarabad of Jammu and Kashmir 20.39DM q/ha. Tribulus terrestiris, Indigofera
and Garhwalis from hills of Garhwal who take sheep cardifolia, Crotolaria burhia, Zizyphus
to alpine pasture for grazing. The flock follows a nummularia, Dactyloctenium aegyticum,
typical annual migration route, initiating migration Melilotus indica, are major native grasses, consti-
during late February: flocks commence moving tuting sheep's diet during monsoon and Crotolaria
upward to the higher villages, reaching the foot hill burhia, Zizyphus nummularia, dead litter and
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Azardirachta indica leaves during winter. Male and tem of utilization of grazing land for raising of the
female lambs born from ewes maintained on com- sheep, it would not be possible to harvest desirable
mon grazing land have birth weights of 3.47 and production because of poor to very poor condition
3.26 kg and weaning weights (3 month of age) of of grazing resources, rapid shrinking of land and
14.11 and 13.47kg respectively. Male lambs are yield. Under such situation grazing plus supplemen-
sold @ Rs.400- 500 due to famine and scarcity of tation is the choice of system for sustaining the sheep
feed and fodder in the region at only 3 months age. production in the tropics.
In present rearing system the males and females The finishing weight of the male lambs is lower
lambs in farmers field during pre weaning phase and the age at which it is attained is higher than
have average daily gain of 118 and 113 g. Adult desired. The production system required concen-
sheep maintained on grazing alone on these lands trate input, which although cost effective and eco-
exhibit seasonal changes in body weight gain with nomical, yet was notn adopted by the sheep farm-
peak weights during the month of November fol- ers due their poor socio-economic conditions. The
lowed by gradual decline reaching the exhibiting work carried out in the country has been reviewed
lowest weight of year in March. In routine prac- that supplementation of limited amount of concen-
tices of sheep rearing under field condition, male trate (1.5- 2.0 % of BW) in addition to free grazing
and female are kept together in the flock through- provided marketable finishing weight of 25- 30 kg
out the year, resulting in round the year mating and at six months of age. The weaner lambs maintained
lambing. The average lambing percentage of 83.8 on Cenchrus pasture with concentrate supplemen-
in round the year free mating was reported in field tation @ 1.5 % BW were able to attain 27.3 kg at
flocks. Sheep in field flocks are shorn three times six months of age (Shinde et al., 1995). Growth
in a year and average wool yield of 407, 295 and study conducted on farmers Kheri weaner lambs
450g in June, September and March clips respec- maintained under extensive and semi intensive sys-
tively with annual yield of 1151g per sheep. The tem of feeding management indicated that the fin-
sale of wool in the local markets provides Rs.54.60 isher lambs at six months of age attained 22.7 and
per sheep (Singh et al., 2003). The production
30.3 kg with ADG of 70, 175 g with cost of feed
performance and economics of sheep rearing under
input/kg gain nil and Rs.23.62, respectively. These
intensive, semi-intensive and extensive systems in
lambs further continued during 6- 9 months period
semiarid region Rajasthan has been studied (Porwal
on free grazing with ad lib. concentrate supplemen-
2005). The cost of feed and labor inputs is major
tation attained 36.2, 42.7 and 37.6 kg providing
factors contributing for higher cost of rearing in
ADG of 137 and 134 g indicating higher cost of
intensive system in comparison to extensive system.
concentrate input/kg gain in live weight in semi in-
However in relative term, sheep rearing under ex-
tensive (Rs.53.76) than in extensive (Rs.44.50) of
tensive system is more remunerative, provided the
feeding management. The results indicated that un-
grazing lands ensure sufficient forage to animals
der organized feeding management, the feeding cost
through out the year.
was uneconomical at 6- 9 months of age. In an-
other study relative growth performance and feed
Semi-intensive System: In this system sheep conversion efficiency of Kheri weaner lambs
are grazed for 4-5hours in a day then they are stall adopted from the farmers indicated that grazing with
fed agricultural byproducts or tree leaves or hay or concentrate supplementation @ 1.5 and 2.5% BW
green fodder or supplemented concentrate mixture. and ad lib. provided finishing weight of 20.9, 23.2
Some amount of supplementation is provided to and 27.2 kg with ADG of 77, 98 and 151 g with
these animals in addition to grazing, In present sys- cost of feed input/kg gain Rs. 28.99, 29.37 and
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

31.11 in the three feeding protocols respectively. ing of concentrate and roughage in 50:50 combina-
Better growth rate and feed conversion efficiency tion attained growth rate of 150 and 170g daily
with almost similar cost of feed input/kg gain in live during 3- 6 month of age with feed efficiency of
weight in ad lib. concentrate fed lambs indicated 12- 15 % (Karim and Rawat, 1996). Weaner
that higher level of concentrate feeding has com- lambs and kids maintained on intensive feeding during
mercial applicability. 3- 6 month of age provided higher dressing yield in
sheep than goats, goats yield leaner carcass but
Intensive system: Sheep are intensively tough meat than sheep (Sen et al., 2004). Eco-
reared either on complete stall-feeding on cultivable nomics of weaner lambs raised in different system
fodders or complete feeds or crop residues or ag- of rearing has been worked out. It was found that
ricultural byproducts. Stall-feeding of sheep is not lambs in intensive system and semi-intensive pro-
common in the country except in male lambs where vided net return of Rs 1235 and Rs 1179 as against
prime objective is to achieve maximum body weights Rs 867 in extensive system through sale of meat.
at an early age. Stall-feeding is favored for milk and Avikalin and Malpura genotypes maintained under
meat production in goats in urban and sub-urban intensive feeding or grazing with concentrate mix-
areas. Lambs fed on complete feed consisting of ture supplementation provided desirable carcass of
concentrate (maize, barley grains, oilcakes, wheat acceptable quality with fat content of 7-11% at 6
and rice bran and molasses and roughage (tree month of age. Similarly the Awassi X Malpura
leaves, cultivated grasses and legume) in ratio of crosses developed in the Institute were evaluated
40:60, 50:50 and 60:40 attained body weights of for carcass characteristics indicated that growth rate
25-27kg at 6 month of age. The hot carcass weight and feed efficiency was higher in Malpura X Awassi
of 10.3, 14.5 and 14.3kg in the extensive, semi- crosses than Malpura while dressing yield and cut-
intensive and intensive systems and dressing yield ability was similar in both the genotypes (Karim et
of 44.9% in the extensive and 48.8% in semi-inten- al., 2002). Pre weaning growth of lambs under
sive and 50.9% in the intensive system has been field condition is always found poor due to poor
reported. The lean, fat and bone contents of 63.40, nutrition resulting in poor carcass weight and dress-
8.52 and 15.32% in the extensive system, 61.85, ing yield at slaughter age. If these lambs are put
11.84 and 14.24% in the semi-intensive and 59.34, under better nutrition during post weaning phase,
16.29 and 12.34% respectively in the intensive sys- they show compensatory growth during post wean-
tem in lambs maintained under different systems has ing stage and desirable carcass traits (Karim et al.,
been reported (Karim, et al., 2007). Bharat Me- 2001).
rino a promising genotype for wool production yields
desirable carcass of acceptable quality with carcass
Grass pasture
fat ranging from 7- 10% under grazing and concen-
trate mixture supplementation at 9 month of age Major limitation to sheep and goat production
(Karim and Mehta 2007). Male kids after weaning from native ranges in dry zone of country is short
at 3 months of age and fed on feedlot ration at- supply of forage for longer part of year. Native
tained body weight of 25kg at 6 month with a ranges rehabilitated by perennial grasses improve
dressing yield of 48- 51% and feed efficiency of the forage yield and ensures forage supply for longer
10- 12%. Intensive feeding of kids improved dressing period. The most suitable perennial grasses for arid
yield and increased fat content of carcass but re- and semiarid region are Cenchrus ciliaris, Cenchrus
duces bone and lean content when compared with setigerus and Lasirus sindicus. Cenchrus ciliaris
semi-intensive system (Singh and Sahu, 1997). pasture yields 27-33 q DM/ha in semiarid region
Native and crossbred lambs fed on ration consist- and under favorable conditions (rainfall and soil types)
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

yield 29-49 q DM/ha in Cenchrus ciliaris (Rai et and 5 kg more than those maintained on cenchrus
al. 1995). Lambs grazing on degrade rangelands pasture. Avivastra sheep yielded 0.970 and 1.430
attained 8- 9 kg body weights at 3 month and 14- kg wool during autumn and spring clips under
16k g at 6 months of age while on cenchrus pasture silvipastoral grazing system. It was found that feed-
body weight of 18 kg at 3 month of age with 163 ing of Ailanthus excelsa leaves in silvipasture im-
g average daily gains in lambs has been achieved. proved the milk yield in lactating sheep and goats
Birth, 3 and 6 months weights of 3.2, 13.9 and 20.6 (Shinde et al., 1996, Bhatta et al., 2002) other
kg respectively in Mutton Synthetic lambs grazed on beneficial effect of pod bearing trees in silvipasture
Cenchrus ciliaris pasture has been reported by has been demonstrated by several workers.
Singh, et al. (2003). Major limitation with cenchrus Prosopis cineraria and Acacia tortolis shrubs
pasture is deteriorating yield and quality with matu- supplied good quality pods rich in protein, which
rity and found inadequate to support the optimum plays an important role in flushing of sheep and
growth of lambs in late winter and summer seasons. goats during summer months in dry zones of coun-
Some kinds of supplementation either in the form of try. The supplementation of tree leaves grown in
concentrate mixture or tree leaves are required. The silvipasture at stall in addition to grazing and ad lib.
supplementation of concentrate mixture at the rate concentrate mixture feeding appears to be most
of 1.5% of body weight in lambs and kids grazing desirable combination for intensive lamb production
on cenchrus pasture achieved body weight of 27- program (Tripathi et al., 2006).
26kg at 6 month of age. While lambs and kids under
routine grazing system in field hardly achieved 16- Pasture utilization system
18kg at same age.
Rotational system, continuous system, deferred
rotational, cut and carry, forward grazing and stripe
Silvipasture grazing are in vogue system for pasture utilization in
Three strata forage system known as the developed countries. In India established pas-
silvipasture in the drier and low rainfall areas in ture are limited and most prevalent system is con-
combination with arable cropping can sustain sheep tinues grazing system with no provision of rest for
production system with requirement of food for rejuvenation of vegetation. Some of the studies
human consumption. Silvipasture can meet feed conducted at CSWRI, Avikanagar, Rajasthan and
requirement of sheep and goats, with improvement IGFRI, Jhansi, UP indicated that rotational grazing
of healthy environment. The crops (cowpea, ground- help in applying equal pressure to all the areas and
nut and moth) with shrubs and trees can meet the maintain stable resources. It also control growth of
need of food for human and feed for animals. obnoxious weeds and improve edible vegetation
Silvipasture comprising of grasses, shrubs and tree species in the pastures and help in better regenera-
leaves can serve the purpose of forage and wood tion and growth of grasses. In tropics pasture has
supply with environmental conservation for poor soil little growth in other than monsoon season because
and water conditions. A hectare plot of three-tier of negligible precipitation and soil moisture. More-
silvipasture of Ailanthus excelsa trees and over life cycle of native herbaceous species found
Dicrostachys nutans and Cenchrus ciliaris pro- in arid regions is completed within 3- 4 months. As
vided 31q fodder on DM basis (Sankhyan et al., such benefits of rotational system over others are
1996). Weaner lambs and kids attained body weight not evidenced in tropics due to limited pasture growth
of 22- 24 kg at 6 month of age in silvipastoral for 3- 4 months. The study indicated that rotational
system (Sankhyan et al., 1996). Hoggets gained grazing of pasture by sheep and goats reduced water
body weight of 30 kg at 1 year of age on silvipasture run off and soil losses in semiarid region. Lambs
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

and kids gained higher body weights at 6 months in with ambient temperature, relative humidity, and for-
rotational than in continuous grazing system. De- age supply from ranges (Bhatta et al., 2001). Goats
ferred rotational grazing is another system for pas- have characteristic bipedal stance, which help in
ture utilization where one portion of area or pad- consumption of overhead portion of shrub species.
dock is protected from grazing during active veg- This characteristic behavioural of goats helps them
etation growth phase for preparation of hay. Teth- to maintain higher CP in diet despite sizable dete-
ering of sheep and goats in cropped areas is adopted rioration of CP content of ground vegetation in dry
to prevent animals wandering into areas under in- periods (Bhatta et al., 2001).
tensive cropping. The goats are tethered on waste Better knowledge of palatable species over
grazing areas close to crop field to regulate stubble other helps us to improved distribution of edible
grazing or close to stacks of crop straw to allow species in the grazing land and animal production.
self-feeding. Animal species generally differ in their preference,
and within each species consistent diurnal patterns
Grazing behavior and forage selection of preference are frequently observed in herbivores.
A better understanding of how herbivores graze On pastures and rangelands, vegetation constraints
in heterogeneous areas will help to improve animal become important because they alter rates of en-
production and to determine the impact of these counter of preferred forages. The availability of the
herbivores on plant species and plant community different sward components can limit preference
change. Sheep make several adjustment in grazing expression. Herbivores those have broad and flat
intensity, pattern, diet selection and shade seeking to muzzle have lesser ability to feed selectivity than
ameliorate the adverse condition of environment. species with narrow mouths and incurred incisor
Sheep and goats follow rhythmic periodicity in graz- arcades. Sheep have a high ability to sort preferred
ing pattern, where they grazed actively during morn- plant components from others. The ability to walk
ing and evening hours. Sheep makes several adjust- long distances enables sheep to explored wider areas
ments in food processing for efficient utilization of and influenced their encounter rates of preferred
forage. Bite per minute declined from 35 in medium species. Sheep are basically a grazier animal, diet
pasture allowance to 24 in low level of allowances of sheep mainly constituted of grasses and forbs
(Shinde et al., 1997). Forage quality mainly fibre and little of browse species. Contrary to sheep,
content of forage influenced the food processing goats are browser species and their diet mainly
behaviour. Ruminating rate (chew/bolus) of sheep consisted of browse and little of grasses. Goats in
increased from 62 to 67 while masticating rate (chew/ semiarid region preferred grasses only in monsoon
min) decreased from 69 to 63 with rise of acid when they were green and succulent in nature while
detergent fibre of diet from 42 to 52%. Ruminating in other season their preference is almost negligible
rate increased from 45 chew/min in monsoon when probably due to maturity and fibrous nature. Goat
diet contained 68 % shrub and 32 % grass to 70 diet contained 76 % shrubs and 24 % grasses in
chew/min in summer when diet consisted of shrub monsoon, while in winter and summer; diet was
alone. Shrub in comparison to grass contained more constituted of 100 % shrubs in semiarid rangeland
fibre and greater consumption of fibre in animals of India (Shinde et al., 2000).
increased rumination rate for better utilization. Goats The Prosopis cineraria shrub in desert envi-
of north-western region are considered to be well ronment is one of the main sources of foliage to
adapted to high ambient temperature and spend goats. The P. cineraria constituted 93.2 g/kg of diet
considerably lesser hours of day under shade. Graz- in monsoon, 166.6 g/kg in winter and 540 g/kg in
ing hours of goats on pasture is negatively correlated summer. In summer, when most of the ground veg-
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

etation dried off and very few shrubs species are was sufficient and intakes decreased to 54.0g/kg
available in the grazing lands, the goats diet primarily W 0.75 or 2.0 % BW in winter and summer with
comprised of Prosopis cineraria (546g/kg), Aca- maturity and deterioration of vegetation. Goats have
cia tortolis pods (158.0 g/kg) and Acacia senegal ability to maintain constant level of intake despite
(158.0 g/kg). Cocculus pendulus, the most palat- wide variation in forage supply in different seasons
able climber, widely found only on Prosopis ciner- because of their flexible and opportunistic grazing
aria and remained green throughout the year. It behaviour that enable them to adapt to various range
constituted 102.4, 83.9 and 138.0 g/kg of goat diet conditions (Shinde et al., 2000). Sheep on Cenchrus
in monsoon, winter and summer seasons, respec- pasture consumed 36.9 g/kg W 0.75 dry matter in
tively. Sheep preferred quality nutrients with dete- monsoon, 64.0 g/kg W 0.75 in winter and 53.0 g/
rioration of pasture conditions to meet their dietary kgW 0.75 in summer (Shinde et al., 1998b).
requirement. Preference index for CP in sheep on Sheep consumed 3.44 g/kg W0.75 DCP in
Cenchrus pasture progressively increased from 1.2 monsoon, 2.42 g/kg W0.75 in winter and 1.05 g/
in monsoon to 2.1 in winter and 3.0 in summer, kg W0.75 in summer on native ranges of semiarid
respectively (Shinde et al., 1998a) and 1.35 in mon- region. The protein intake remained low and inad-
soon to 1.78 in winter and 2.25 in summer in goats equate for growth and production. Cenchrus pas-
on native ranges (Bhatta et al., 2001). The increase ture improved forage yield and quality and sheep
selection intensity of CP helped them to maintain 13 consumed 4.70 g/kg W 0.75 DCP in winter and
% CP in diet throughout the year irrespective of 2.10- 2.50 g/kg W 0.75 in monsoon and summer.
sizable decline of pasture vegetation content. Sheep are unable to meet DCP requirement of
pregnancy and lactation stages on Sewan and
Nutrition of sheep and goats on pastures Cenchrus pastures and require the supplementa-
In arid and semiarid region sheep and goats tion. In general protein intake of animals from pas-
depend on native ranges for the main source of ture in semiarid regions is just enough for mainte-
forage supply. The deciduous plant species and a nance requirement during rainy season while in other
seasons 25-30% below the requirement. Goats have
heterogeneous vegetation type of shrubs with an
better ability to meet their protein requirement be-
annual herbaceous understorey are the main com-
cause of greater consumption of browse species
ponent of these ranges. Prosopis cineraria, Aca-
and overhead portion of shrubs. Goats on native
cia senegal and Acacia tortolis are the dominant
ranges has DCP intake of 4.8, 3.1 and 4.5 g/kg W
shrub species and their leaves and pods offer a
0.75 in monsoon, winter and summer seasons and
potential source of protein to animals during winter
maintained 67- 95 g DCP per day, which was found
and summer. Melilotus indica, Tribulus terrestris,
sufficient for maintenance and out door activities
Crotolaria burhia, Celosia argentea and
(Shinde et al., 2000). In Cenchrus pasture goats
Indigofera cordifolia grass and forb species are
has disadvantage because of poor cover of browse
occupied by understorey. Native vegetation showed
species. Goat intake on Cenchrus pasture declined
typical pattern of growth in response to short pe-
from 4.10 g/kgW 0.75 in monsoon season to 2.90
riod of rainy season followed by long spell of dry
g/kg W 0.75 in summer (Shinde et al., 1996). It is
period. Such seasonal pattern has sizable influence
useful to have browse species for improving the
on diet composition and intake of grazing sheep
nutrition of goat in Cenchrus pasture.
and goat in semiarid pastures and ranges. Goats on
these ranges consumed 64.0 g/kgW 0.75 or 2.4 % In arid and semiarid region, forage from range-
of BW in monsoon when vegetation in grazing land lands and pastures are usually poor in energy con-

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

tent. Average energy content ranges between 6- the mountain region requiring still higher energy re-
7MJ/kgDM. Sheep and goats on an average con- quirement for muscular activities than those flocks
sumed 1.0-1.5 kg DM daily are able to get 6- 9 grazed in plains: sheep on ascent spent 10 times
MJ/kgW0.75, which is insufficient for maintenance more energy than on plain land. The maintenance
and outdoor requirement. Sheep on Cenchrus pas- energy requirement of sheep on pasture of semiarid
ture consume 0.74 MJ/kg W0.75 in monsoon and Rajasthan was reported as 43% (Shinde et al.,
0.42MJ/ kgW0.75 in summer. Energy intake of 1998a) more than stall-fed. Sheep grazing on pas-
sheep sizably decreased from monsoon to summer. tures of semiarid region spent 136.7kJ/kg BW in
Energy intake of sheep during later winter on winter to 161.1 kJ/BW in summer and 223.7 kJ/
Cenchrus pasture was 0.37, 0.38 and 0.40 MJ/kg BW in monsoon (Shinde et al., 1998a).
W0.75 during dry, pregnant and lactation stages.
Goat consumed 0.90, 0.78 and 0.80 MJ ME/ kg Role of small ruminants in environment con-
W0.75 in monsoon, winter and summer (Shinde et servation
al., 2000). Energy intake of goats remained low It is often believed that grazing of small rumi-
during dry, pregnancy and lactation. It was esti- nants help natural generation of trees and shrubs
mated as 1.22 in dry, 1.00 in pregnant and 1.04 and also creates opportunities for local plant com-
MJ ME/ kgW0.75 in lactation in goats grazing on munities and their ecosystem. On the other hand,
semi-arid rangeland of India. prevention of grazing results in dominance of shrubby
plants, loss of grasses and eventually woodland.
Energy expenditure at pasture Grazing of sheep and goats in woodland also pre-
vents fire by making breaks of dense flora. This
Majority of sheep and goat flocks in the coun-
implies small ruminants themselves provide more
try are managed under extensive system where they specific roles in the ecosystem: their dung is an
traveled long distance while foraging in field. The important source of food for many insects and other
energy expenditure of sheep and goats on pasture wildlife. Small ruminants also help in dispersion of
is more than those maintained on stall-feeding. seeds in new areas. Goats help in dispersal of grass,
Maintenance energy requirement of animals on bush and tree pods while browsing and defecate
pasture includes sum of basal metabolism, heat in- hard coat undigested seeds especially of pod bear-
crement of feeding, muscular activities and ther- ing and xerophytes after acid treatment while pass-
moregulation. In general sheep on pasture spend ing through digestive system and fortifying it with
60-70% more energy than stall-fed animals. In dry nutrients in the form of fecal pellets and spread
zone of country, about 60-70% of flocks are main- more uniformly all over the grazing areas (Acharya
tained on temporary to permanent migration. These and Singh 1992). These seeds germinate in large
flocks would be spending sizably higher energy for number as soon as soil moisture conditions are
maintenance because of longer distance covered. favorable. Higher stocking density damages soil top
Sheep on pasture exposed to wide range of ambi- layer and cause run off losses. The stocking density
ent temperature ranging from 8-10° in winter to of 2- 4 goats/ha had no effect on runoff and soil
40-45°C in summer in semi-acid region of loss in hot arid regions of Rajasthan in normal rain-
Rajasthan. Grazing of sheep on pasture at higher fall years. Similarly 3 sheep or goats/ha had no
ambient temperature spend more energy for ther- effect on deterioration of physical and chemical prop-
moregulation resulting in greater energy expenditure erties of soil rather improved it. Goat browsing tend
for maintenance. Sheep and goats in hilly and ter- to reclaim saline soil by consuming salt-laden leaves
rain graze on steep land and travel long distance in of range plants and contribute fertility to soil by
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

even distribution of fecal pellets on land they grazed. grazing intensities results also in soil compaction,
Sharma and Ogra (1987) reported 27% more veg- higher run off and less infiltration.
etative regeneration in goats paddock comprising The present paper concludes that grazing land
of Cenchrus ciliaris, Dichrostachys nutans and in the country are shrinking both in area as well as
Leuceania leucocephala. Goat saliva left on the in yield and vegetation cover hence there is urgent
bitten foliage adds nitrogen directly to the plant cells need to rehabilitate these lands by establishment of
inducing quick growth. The biting of tender leaves perennial grasses or silvipasture to meet the forage
and twigs by goats also induce number of tillers and requirement of small ruminants.
faster regeneration of branch and foliage.
In arid zones, overgrazing because of high
stocking density of livestock, extensive cutting of
fuel wood and cultivation of fragile lands has re- Acharya, R.M. and Singh, N.P. (1992) The role of
sulted in loss of plant cover and change of vegeta- goats in conserving of ecology and livelihood
tion composition. The utilization of rangeland be- security, Pre-conference Proceeding Plenary
yond the limit of their capacity, long history of mis- Papers and Invited lectures. V International
use of rangeland resources has resulted in over- Conference on Goats, held at New Delhi, 2-
grazing. The misuse is caused by overstocking, 4 March.
usually associated with reduction in grazing areas, Bhatta Raghavendra, Shinde, A. K., Sankhyan, S.
inappropriate use of rangeland resources with re- K.,Verma, D.L. and S. Vaithiyanathan (2001)
spect to grazing season, reduction in grazing areas Indian J. Anim. Sci.
and inappropriate distribution of animals.
Bhatta Raghavendra, Shinde, A.K, Sankhyan, S.K.
Livestock numbers have increased in arid and Verma D.L. (2002) Indian J. Anim. Sci.,
zones at a rate close to demographic ones. The 72: 84-86.
increased livestock populations in the country have
Karim S. A., Santra, A., Sen, A. R. and Sharma,
overstocked rangeland. The higher livestock popu-
V. K. (2001) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 71: 955-
lations in fragile zones is ascribed to greater animal
rearing because of surplus labor, lower landowner-
ship and poor crop cultivation. Continuous utiliza- Karim, S. A. and Rawat, P. S. (1996) Indian J.
tion of range resource by all kind of livestock has Anim. Sci., 66: 830-832.
caused overgrazing since it reduced plant vigor, Karim, S. A., Santra, A and Verma, D. L. (2002)
reproduction and regeneration. The dry land agri- Asian-Aust J. Anim. Sci., 15: 377-381.
culture is expanding, which has reduced the size of
Karim, S.A., Porwal, Kuldeep., Kumar, Suresh and
grazing areas and put more pressure on the remain- Singh, V.K. (2007) Meat Sci., 76: 395-401.
ing rangeland. The concentrations of animals in
certain areas are the main cause of overgrazing. Karim., S.A. and Mehta, B.S. (2007) Indian J.
The main factors that affect animal distribution are Anim. Sci. 77: 187-190.
proximity to watering points, proximity to areas of Porwal, Kuldeep. (2005) Status of sheep produc-
better grazing quality and shepherding. The increas- tion in farmers flock and its improvement
ing grazing pressure increases the proportion of bare by scientific feeding practices. Ph.D. thesis
soil and more important reduce the amount of veg- submitted to Dr B.R. Ambedkar University,
etation litter and soil fertility. The increased grazing Agra.
pressure in common access lands leads to progres- Rai, P.K., Yadav, M.S. and Sudhakar, N. (1995)
sive erosion and decrease of soil fertility, lowering Annals Arid Zone., 34: 111-114.
of water tables and loss of biodiversity. Higher
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Sankhyan, S. K, Shinde, A. K, Karim, S. A, Mann, Shinde, A. K, Karim, S. A, Sankhyan, S. K. and

J. S, Singh, N. P. and Patnayak, B. C. (1996) Bhatta, R. (1998b) Small Rumin. Res., 30:
Indian J. Anim. Sci., 66: 1194-1197. 29-35.
Sen, A. R., Santra, A. and Karim, S. A. (2004) Shinde, A. K, Sankhyan, S. K, Karim, S. A, Singh,
Meat Sci., 757-763. N. P. and Patnayak, B.C. (1996) World Rev.
Anim. Prod., 31: 35-40.
Sharma, K. and Ogra, J. L. (1987) Reaction of
component of plant species of synthesized Shinde, A. K., Karim, S. A., Singh, N. P. and
pasture under three-tier system to high inten- Patnayak, B. C. (1995) Indian J. Anim. Sci.,
sity of grazing by goats and sheep in semi-arid 65: 830-833.
zones. Proc. 3rd International Conf. on Goat,
Singh, N. P., Sankhyan, S. K., Shinde, A. K. and
Verma, D. L. (2003) Establishment, utiliza-
Shinde, A. K., Karim, S. A., Patnayak, B.C. and tion and management of different types of
Mann, J.S. (1997) Small Rumin Res., 26:119- pastures and silvipastures for sheep produc-
122. tion. Annual Report CSWRI, Avikanagar.
Shinde, A. K., Sankhyan, S. K., Raghavendra Singh, N.P. and Sahu, B.B. (1997) Indian J. Anim.
Bhatta, Verma, D. L. (2000) J. Agri Sci., Sci., 67: 87-89.
Camb., 135: 429-436.
Tripathi, M. K., Karim, S. A., Chaturvedi, O. H.
Shinde, A. K., Karim, S. A., Sankhyan, S. K. and and Singh, V. K. (2006) Livestock Res. Rural
Bhatta, Raghavendra. (1998a) J. Agri. Sci., Devel., 18: 1-12.
Camb., 131: 341-346.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Sustainable intensive meat production system for goats

and sheep in tropics
N. P. Singh
Central Institute for Research on Goats, Makhdoom, Mathura-281 122, India

Two-third of the world's poor live in Asia 2001-02. But the share of livestock sector to ag-
below nationally defined poverty line and 65 % of ricultural GPD has increased from 18.1 % in 1980-
them are poor livestock keepers who derive a large 81 to 25.5 % in 2001-02 (Sharma, 2004). Live-
part of their household from domesticated animals. stock provides food security in the form of milk,
The rapidly changing patterns of demand for live- meat and eggs, employment, draught power, plant
stock and livestock products point to livestock nutrients through manure, fuel and biogas, weed
production being an increasing component of the control, more equitable distribution besides source
agricultural economies of Asia. The extent to which of income. Livestock are even more significant for
the rural poor will benefit from these changes de- people living in drought-prone, hilly, tribal and other
pends on how livestock can be integrated into less favoured areas where crop production is most
developing markets and whether cheaper livestock uncertain.
products benefit the rural poor as consumers as About 23 % of the world population living in
well as producers. There is scope for the two small developed countries consumes 3 to 4 times the meat
ruminants - goats and sheep-to play an important and fish and 5 to 6 times the milk per capita as
role for smallholder farmers in accessing these new compared to those in developing countries (Delgado
markets. Their significance, which is now being et al., 1999). But massive increases in the aggre-
exploited in several countries, is that they are small gate consumption of animal products are occurring
livestock in high demand and can thrive on low in developing countries including India. Dastagiri
inputs and local resources. (2003) has estimated the demand and supply of
different livestock products by 2020 in the country.
Livestock population and production The projected consumption and production trends
World's current population of cattle, buffaloes, of livestock food products indicate that major sur-
sheep and goats is around 1355.1, 174.0, 1081.1 plus production is likely to emerge in milk, eggs,
and 807.6 million respectively. Asian region pos- beef, buffalo meat and fish of the order of 85 mil-
sesses about 33.61, 96.88, 42.29 and 64.33 % lion litres, 69 billion, 8 million, and 4.5 million tons,
and India 13.65, 56.31, 5.79 and 14.87 % of the respectively. These results indicate that by 2020,
total world population of the four respective live- India would not only be self-sufficient in these prod-
stock species (FAO, 2005). Although the popula- ucts, but would also have surplus production which
tion of all the four species has shown increasing could be exported to earn foreign exchange. There
trend since 1951 the buffalo and goat population would, however, be shortage of 12 million tons of
has increased more rapidly than others and they are mutton and chevon. The small ruminant sector has
considered the animals of the future for the country. tremendous potential to grow especially in the arid
The contribution of agriculture and allied sectors to and semi-arid zones where sheep and goat hus-
the National Gross Domestic Product (GPD) has bandry plays a very vital role in livelihood security
declined from 55 % in early 1950s to 23.9 % in and economic sustenance of the people. But the
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

productivity of the two species is low and there is of meat and 910.4 TMT of fresh skins world over
dire need to evolve sustainable goat and sheep and in India contributed 21.77% of the milk, 10.41%
production systems to improve their productivity. of the meat and 14.23% of the skins of the world
production. The number of animals available for
Goat and sheep population and production slaughter is comparatively higher in the country. But
the meat yield per animal is lower than the world
The current world population of sheep is
average. India with 11 % of the world livestock
1081.1 million and goats 807.6 million. Asian re-
contributes only 2.13 % of the total meat. The
gion possesses about 42.3% sheep and 64.3%
demand for meat in our country is far more than the
goats of the world population. India with 5.79%
production. The demand is further augmented by
sheep and 14.9% goats ranks sixth in sheep popu-
the great scope for meat export and potential to
lation and second in goat population of the world.
earn foreign exchange.
China tops the world in goat population with around
195 million (FAO, 2005). The developed countries
of the world have about 45.0% of the world's sheep Importance of goat and sheep in Indian
and only 5.5% of the world's goats. The develop- economy
ing countries, on the other hand, have 55.0% of the Goats and sheep are widely distributed through-
sheep and 94.50% of the total goat population. out the country. Their contribution to the economy
Presently there are 8.1, 13.1 and 19.6 sheep and through production of meat, milk, fiber, skins,
5.4, 15.1 and 41.5 goats per 1000 hectares of land manure etc. is substantial constituting about 5.40
area and 17.2, 10.9 and 5.7 sheep and 11.6, 12.7 % of GNP of Agriculture Sector. The annual
and 12.2 goats per 1000 human heads in the World, contribution was estimated to be Rs.10, 087.45
Asia and India respectively. India possessed a crores to the Indian economy (FAO, 2004). The
population of 124.36 million goats and 61.47 mil- size and magnitude of the contributions, however,
lion sheep. Andhra Pradesh with 21.38 million sheep have not been adequately assessed. A few reports
ranks first. Rajasthan, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu available do justify their claim to equality if not
respectively occupy II, III and IV position. The superiority with other livestock. They are so vital
goat population of 18.77 million is highest in West to a very large human population that their con-
Bengal followed by 16.81 million in Rajasthan. Uttar tribution to national economy can not be over
Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar respectively oc- looked. They relatively much lower investments
cupy III, IV and V position in the country. In spite and facilities in terms of housing, feed, labour and
of annual slaughter rate of nearly 30% in sheep and health care. There is quick pay off due to fast
40% in goats there has been a continuous increase multiplication and early maturity. The risk involved
in their number. The overall annual population growth in goat and sheep farming is much lower when
rate during the period 1951-2003 has remained compared to other livestock and crop production.
about 1 % in sheep and around 3.5% in goats. Goats and sheep are reported to be more eco-
Sheep around the world contributed 8075.6 nomical than cattle and buffaloes under natural
TMT of milk, 8025.0 TMT of meat, 2150.7 TMT grazing on arid zone range. The indigenous goats
of greasy wool and 1638.6 TMT of fresh skins were found 2.5 times more economical than
annually. Sheep in India contributed only 2.92% of indigenous sheep when maintained on a free range
the meat, 2.39% of the wool and 3.24% of the grazing on highly degraded land in semi arid
skins produced world over. Goats, on the other ecology of Rajasthan. Sharma (1987) recorded
hand, provided 11987.2 TMT of milk, 4198.9 TMT significantly more meat and milk production per unit

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

live weight per year from goats than buffalo, camel housing facilities and management skills. There is
and sheep. The cost of production of goat milk much less risk in goat and sheep farming in drought
worked out to be less than half than for cow's prone areas where large mortality occurs due to
milk while milk from buffaloes was intermediate. frequent droughts. They act as an insurance against
The results of a socio economic survey in Rajasthan disaster under pastoral and agriculture subsistence
conducted by Ahuja and Rathore (1987) have system. Goats have religious and ritualistic impor-
revealed that the number of goats increased 3 times tance in India. They are offered as sacrificial
between 1951 to 1983 and goats accounted for animals both by Muslims on Id and by Hindus
28.31% of the value of the livestock assets and especially the worshippers of Goddess Kali. They
for 16.19% of the gross receipts from crops and are worshipped for their creative and generative
livestock. Studies have also revealed that the goats powers and sexual virility. There are no religious
contributed up to 50.55% to the total cash income taboos against consumption of goat and sheep
of a farm family in the hot arid region of the meat. Goat milk is easily digestible because of
country. It is therefore, important that development small sized fat globules. It has much less allergic
programmes should focus on the efficient use of problems than the milk of other livestock species.
these renewable resources as well as explore ways It also has medicinal value and can ward off many
and means of increasing their current level of diseases as the goats browse on variety of plants
production. including medicinal ones. The sheep and goat skins
are highly valued and have large export potential
Socio economic gains of goat and sheep both in the processed form and as products. The
bones of slaughtered and dead animals are utilized
The socio economic importance of goats and
for bone meal manufacture. A goat or sheep
sheep in India is evident by the sharp increase in
produces about 150 kg of dry manure per year
their numbers and contributions during the last
for use in crop production and gardening. Goat
about 30 years. Goats and sheep contribute milk,
and sheep browsing accelerates growth of trees,
meat, fibre, skins and manure to the subsistence
shrubs and surface vegetation. They also act as
of small holders and landless rural poor. They play
seeding machines. They have higher dry matter and
an important role in income generation, capital
fibre digestibility and can subsist on poor woody
storage, employment generation and house hold
vegetation. Goats and sheep are able to obtain
nutrition. Their importance lies in the fact that
more nutrients from the given environment in all
human population is increasing very rapidly creating
seasons than other livestock species and are often
increasing demands for animal protein foods on the
the last species to leave the ecology during severe
one hand and the feed resources for increasing
and continuous drought conditions.
large ruminants are decreasing due to shrinkage of
grazing lands on the other. This demand can,
therefore, be met with by increasing population of Production systems
small ruminants. It is easier to increase their Although a number of sheep and goat produc-
population than cattle and buffaloes because the tion systems are in practice and vary from country
capital investment is relatively low, land require- to country and region to region within a country, in
ments per animal are small, reproductive rates are India these can essentially be included under three
higher both due to shorter breeding interval and systems viz. Extensive, Semi-intensive and Inten-
high prolificacy and they can be managed by spare sive system. The emerging strategies for feeding small
family labour and do not require any serious ruminants for sustainable meat production under

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

different systems of feeding management are de- cannot be considered as inefficient. Large areas
scribed below- available for grazing have now been put under ce-
real production. The density of livestock per unit
Extensive system: Goat and sheep rearing plays grazing area has greatly increased due to an in-
only a secondary role to crop as well as other crease in the number of livestock and shrinkage of
livestock production. It is primarily in the hands of grazing lands. This has further resulted in reduction
poor, landless or small and marginal farmers who of grazing potential by replacement of more nutri-
generally raise their animals on natural vegetation tious perennial grasses and legumes by low quality
and stubbles supplemented by tree lopping under seasonal and annual ones. The natural rangelands in
extensive system. It is the most common system arid and semiarid regions are under very poor con-
throughout the country because the small size of dition. These have never been harrowed, protected,
sheep and goats has distinct economical, manage- fertilized, reseeded, irrigated or properly managed
rial and biological advantages over other livestock and could hardly stock one sheep/goat per hectare.
species. The sheep and goats usually owned by The greatest limitation in our rangelands is on the
small farmers and landless are grazed together and availability of adequate energy throughout the year
tend to be herded over long distances in search of and adequate protein for more than half the year.
feed and water. The flock sizes are larger and The yield of unprotected common grazing lands
animals belonging to several owners are run to- varied from 0.6 to 6.4 quintals (Mann and Singh,
gether. A low level of unpaid family labour repre- 1982), 0.89 to 1.57q (Sankhyan et al. 1999) and
sents the main input. The system is principally one 1.5 to 2.0q DM/ha. During different seasons of the
of low resource use and a low level of productivity year. Simple protection from grazing by the live-
emerges from poor nutritional availability. While stock doubled the fodder yield to 12.2q in first
the livestock population has increased, large areas year and 17.97q DM/ha in the second year. Such
earlier available for grazing have been put under protected rangelands could conveniently carry two
crop cultivation. The density of livestock per unit sheep/ha. Although grazing on rangelands is consid-
grazing area has greatly increased. Because of non- ered cheapest method for sheep and goat produc-
availability of grazing in their home tract, sheep and tion, over grazing of the available lands is causing
goat owners resort to migration within the State or serious problem of soil erosion and land degrada-
to neighboring States. The sheep and goat flocks tion. The sheep and goat meat available in the
are grazed on uncultivated lands and community market was coming either from old and culled adults
grazing lands throughout the year and virtually no or or from male lambs and kids slaughtered any time
very little supplementary feeding is provided. Ex- between 9 months to one year of age and its quan-
tensive studies on evaluation of community grazing tity and quality was very poor due to poor market
lands, developed pastures, semi-intensive and in- weights (15-16 kg), lower dressing percentage (35-
tensive feeding systems vis-à-vis performance and 40) and narrow bone: meat ratio (1:3.5-4.0). Rela-
production levels in sheep and goats have been tive productivity of sheep on free-range grazing
conducted and the results have been reviewed by management on semi-arid land of Rajasthan was
Singh and Patnayak (1987), Patnayak et al., (1995), studied at CSWRI. An annual lambing rate of 82.5
Shinde and Bhatta (2002) and Singh et al., (2004). % and kidding rate of 91.9 % was observed. The
annual mortality was recorded to be 31.2 % in
Production levels on rangelands : The productiv- ewes and 7.1 % in does. The mortality in lambs
ity of Indian sheep and goats is low, yet considering was 16.4 % from 0 to 90 days and 56.6 % from
the poor nutritional availability, their production 0 to 180 days age. It was 12.2 % from 0 to 90
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

days and 28.16 % from 0 to 180 days age in kids. and 4 % during first year and 4, 3, 8 and 5%
The birth, weaning and six monthly body weights during the second year in the four breeds, respec-
were 2.6, 8.6 and 12.5 kg in lambs and 2.9, 9.3 tively. The live weights of lambs harvested per ewe
and 13.6 kg in goats respectively. The dressing per year were 20.0, 16.65, 11.6 and 13.2 kg and
percentage on live weight basis was recorded to be per ewe per hectare were 2.28, 1.90, 1.33 and
34.3 in lambs and 41.7 in kids. The Beetal goat 1.50 kg in the four breeds, respectively.
male kids reached a body weight of only 11.5 kg
at weaning and 14.1 kg at 6 months age when Production levels on developed pastures : We
maintained under free range grazing without any must get used to the idea that pasture is the valu-
supplementary feeding with over all survivability of able fodder for sheep simply because it is the cheap-
87.5% up to six months age (Mishra, 1981). In est way of supplying the protein, energy, minerals
another study annual lambing rate of 106.7 % and and vitamins necessary for maintenance and pro-
kidding rate of 153.3 % was recorded. The num- duction. Cenchrus ciliaris and Cenchrus setigerus
ber of lambs born per 100 ewes per year was 110 in semi-arid and Lasiurus sindicus perennial grasses
and that of kids per 100 does per year was 193.3. in arid region were adopted for development of
The adult mortality rate was 16.6 % in cross bred large-scale reseeded pastures. Legumes like cow-
sheep followed by 10.0 % in native goats, 6.6 % pea, guar and moth were successfully introduced as
in crossbred goats and nil in native sheep. The nurse crops in the Cenchrus pastures during the
mortality in the young was found to be 14.3, 12.1, first year of establishment. Inter-cropping of cow-
3.4 and 2.8 from 0 to 3 months and 12.5, 3.5, 5.4 pea in the Cenchrus pasture significantly increased
and 5.7 % from 3 months to 6 months of age in the dry fodder yield during the first year of estab-
crossbred sheep, native sheep, crossbred goats and lishment. Various perennial legumes like cowpea,
native goats, respectively. The birth, 3 months and Dolichos lablab, Clitoria ternata and Stylosanthes
6 months body weights were 3.2, 10.2 and 15.5 hemata were tried with Cenchrus ciliaris grass
kg in crossbred sheep, 2.7, 11.3 and 16.6 kg in for establishment of grass-legume pastures. The
native sheep, 3.1, 11.1 and 17.0 kg in crossbred Cenchrus- Dolichos mixed pasture gave highest
goats and 2.8, 10.6 and 15.7 kg in native goats, yield. The DM yield could be improved to 38.78q/
respectively. The relative productivity of sheep and ha by reseeding the rangelands with Cenchrus grass
goats on free range grazing on natural rangeland of species (Mann and Singh, 1982). These reseeded
arid region was also studied. Sheep showed de- grass pastures carried 4 to 5 adult sheep/ha. While,
creasing trend in body weight from March to July Cenchrus ciliaris pasture could provide sufficient
and goats from March to April and thereafter showed grazing for 5 sheep round the year under semi arid
increasing trend. Lambing rates varied from 95 to conditions, the Lasiurus sindicus pasture could not
100 % and kidding rates from 80 to 104%. do so under arid conditions. The Cenchrus grass
Sankhyan et al., (1996a) studied the production pastures deteriorate in their nutrient content with
performance of 50 native and 50 crossbred sheep advancing seasonal maturity and sheep grazing on
and their followers maintained on 35 hectare of these pastures fail to meet their nutrient require-
natural rangeland under farmers management. A ments. It is therefore necessary to introduce legume
lambing rate of 92, 96, 84 and 92 % in Malpura, component in the reseeded pastures. Incorporation
Chokla, Avikalin and Avivastra sheep was recorded of legume species viz. Clitoria ternata, Dolichos
on the basis of ewes available during first year and lablab, Lablab purpurium, Atylosia scarbaeoides
144, 145, 109 and 120 % at the end of the second and Stylosanthes hamata in Cenchrus pasture im-
year respectively. The adult mortality was 8, 4, 4 proved the yield, palatability and quality of the
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

pasture. The yield of the grass-legume pasture im- recorded in adult sheep. While no mortality was
proved to 86, 37.5, 45.0 and 59 q/ha forage with observed in Avikalin lambs from 0 to 3 months age,
the introduction of the four respective legumes. 11.5 % of the Avivastra strain lambs died up to
Cenchrus with moth (Phaseolus aconitifolins), guar weaning. The average weaning weight was 10.9
(Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) and cowpea (Vigna kg in Avivastra and 11.2 kg in Avikalin lambs.
unguiculata) yielded 13.0,14.9 and 19.2 q DM / Performance of Karakul and Marwari ewes on
ha more fodder than Cenchrus alone providing ad- Lasiurus sindicus pasture under arid conditions in-
ditional dry matter sufficient to carry two more sheep dicated that Karakul ewes lost in body weight dur-
per hectare. ing lean period while Marwari ewes maintained.
The pasturelands reseeded with perennial Weaner lambs grazed on Cenchrus grass or
grasses and legumes turn dry and deteriorate in Cenchrus + Dolichos grass- legume pasture gained
quantity and quality of grazing material with ad- by 34 and 48 g/h/day respectively. Malpura, Chokla,
Avikalin and Avivastra lambs grazed on protected
vancing season and total dependence on them for
rangeland respectively attained 21.8, 17.2, 19.3 and
maintaining sheep and goats throughout the year
18.3 kg body weight at 6 months of age. The ADG
involves a great risk. During the period from De-
was 94, 78, 88 and 88 g/d during 3-6 months of
cember to June when the grazing material becomes
age. Lambs in subsequent years hardly attained body
scarce and the nutritive value of that available goes
weight of 13.7, 12.5, 14.1 kg in Malpura, Chokla
very down, the fodder trees serve as potential source
and Avivastra breeds. Avivastra lambs attained body
of feed. Introduction of Ailanthus excelsa, Prosopis
weight of 18 kg at 3 months and 27 kg at 6 months
cineraria, Gymnosporia spinosa, Acacia nilotica,
of age while grazing on Cenchrus pasture with
Azardirachta indica, Albizia lebbek, Bauhinia
concentrate supplementation @ 1.5% of body
racemosa, Morus alba and Leucaena
weight. Lambs raised on multi-tier silvi-pasture at a
leucocephala fodder trees and Zizyphus
stocking density of 12 animals/ha for a period of 3
nummularia and Dicrostachys nutans fodder months attained a body weight of 18.0 kg at 6
bushes in different grass pastures was therefore months. Male lambs grazing on a silvi-pasture for a
studied in relation to improvement in quantity and period of 4 months at a stocking density of 8 ani-
quality of the biomass. Plantation of 50 fodder trees mals /ha attained 30 kg body weight at one year of
each of Prosopis cineraria and Ailanthus excelsa age. The weaner lambs weighing 11.0 kg could
per hectare did not have any adverse effect on the attain only 16.0 kg body weight at one year of age
growth of pasture grasses and legumes and pro- when maintained on a Cenchrus ciliaris pasture
vided an additional yield of 8-10 quintals dry mat- alone, whereas lambs grazing on Cenchrus +
ter when fully grown and lopped twice a year. A Dolichos pasture reached 20.5 kg. The 10 kg lambs
three tier silvi-pasture having 100 Ailanthus excelsa at weaning attained a live weight of 28 kg at the
trees and Dichrostachys nutans bushes with ground age of 7 months and 15 days on Dolichos lablab
cover of Cenchrus ciliaris yielded 5.3q from tree pasture. Singh et al. (2004) maintained a flock of
leaves, 2.3q from bush leaves and pods and 23.5 50 mutton synthetic ewes on a Cenchrus ciliaris
q from pasture grasses, totaling to 31.1 q DM/ha pasture at the stocking rate of 3 adults and their
(Sankhyan et al., 1996b). followers per hectare for two years and recorded
The productive performance of sheep was a lambing rate of 92 % per year and adult mortality
studied on a Cenchrus ciliaris pasture by main- rate of 3 % and lamb mortality rate of 20.5 % from
taining 20 ewes each of the two strains @ 5 ewes/ 0 to 9 months of age. At birth, 3, 6 and 9 months,
ha under rotational grazing system. A mortality rate body weights during the three lambing seasons
of 10 % in Avivastra and 5 % in Avikalin was averaged 3.2, 13.9, 20.6 and 23.9 kg respectively.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

The dressing percentage at 9 months age was 54.3 ing rate and lamb growth and survival in mutton
on empty live weight basis. The total live weight synthetic sheep maintained on Cenchrus ciliaris
available for slaughter at 9 months was 1718.1 kg, pasture was studied by Singh et al. (2004). Signifi-
which worked out to 17.2 kg per ewe per year. cantly, higher number of lambing took place during
Annual wool yield was 2.21 kg in adults and 400 spring (76%) followed by rainy (62%) and winter
g in lambs in first shearing at 9 months of age (Singh (46%) seasons. The birth weight of 3.48 kg in winter
and Sankhyan, 2003). Male Avivastra lambs at a born lambs was higher than that of 2.85 kg in spring
stocking density of 8 animals /ha on a silvi-pasture born lambs. The rainy season born lambs excelled
attained a body weight of 30 kg (Shinde et al., in weaning (16.67 kg) and six monthly body weights
1994). (23.10 kg) over spring and winter born lambs. The
Shinde et al. (1996) maintained 32 Avivastra study suggested that sheep be bred during spring
sheep and 32 Marwari goats on a 16 ha Cenchrus and rainy season to obtain optimum production.
ciliaris pasture for a period of three years @ 2 Kids raised on Cenchrus ciliaris pasture with con-
sheep +2 goats and their followers/ha. The sheep centrate supplement @ 1.5% of body weight at-
gained in their body weight by 6.2 kg and the goats tained body weight of 15.4 kg at 3 months and
by 9.4 kg during the first year. The lambing/kidding 26.0 kg at 6 months of age. It is thus observed that
rate was 87.5 %. The sheep produced 2.4 kg annual reasonably higher reproduction rates, growth rates,
fleece and the goats produced 714 g milk/ day survival rates, quantity and quality of wool and meat
during first 90 days of lactation. A pre-weaning ADG can be obtained from sheep and goats by maintain-
of 163 g in lambs and 136 g in kids was recorded. ing them on perennial grass, grass- legume and silvi-
A total of 24.4 kg lamb weight/ewe and 37.5 kg pastures.
kid weight/doe was harvested. Lambs and kids
weaned at 3 months age and maintained @ of 12 Semi-intensive system: A kind of compromise
animals/ha on a multi- tier silvi-pasture attained a between extensive and intensive systems is referred
live weight of 20.3 and 21.5 kg at 6 months of age to as the semi-intensive system of sheep and goat
(Sankhyan et al., 1996a). The Mutton synthetic ewes production and management. It is a combination of
stocked @ of 12 sheep/ha maintained their body free range grazing and stall-feeding. Integration of
weights during pregnancy and produced higher birth sheep rearing with arable cropping is also included
weights and milk on two- and three- tier silvi-pas- where either the sheep or goats are tethered or cut
tures as compared to those on natural rangeland and carry system of available fodder is employed.
and single- tier Cenchrus pasture (Shinde et al., Animals belonging to several owners are combined
1996). Production performance of Kheri sheep and for grazing which is mostly done morning and
Marwari goats maintained on Cenchrus ciliaris pas- evening for 4 to 6 hours. The animals are supple-
ture @ of two sheep and two goats/ha under dif- mented with kitchen wastes, concentrate mixtures,
ferent pasture utilization systems viz. continuous, crop residues, green and dry fodders and tree leaves
deferred rotational, rotational and grazing plus etc. as per the availability. Thus, sheep and goats
supplementation was studied. Annual lambing and utilize all available feed resources including natural
kidding rates were 63 and 59%. The birth, 3 and grasses, shrubs, bushes, tree leaves, crop residues,
6 months body weights were 2.2, 10.4 and 12.9 stubbles, weeds, cultivated fodders and concen-
kg in lambs and 2.5, 13.9 and 19.0 kg in kids, trates etc. under this system. The level of nutrition
respectively. Annual wool yield was 747g in all the was just optimum and surely better than that under
four grazing management systems (Sankhyan et al., extensive system.
2002). The influence of breeding season on lamb- A series of experiments have been conducted
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

at CSWRI and CIRG to workout the supplemen- tively. The Avivastra lambs and Marwari kids graz-
tary feeding requirements for different categories of ing on Cenchrus ciliaris pasture and supplemented
sheep and goats. Supplementation of 400 g con- with concentrate mixture @ 1.5% of body weight
centrate mixture in addition to grazing to Malpura from 91 to 180 days of age attained 27.3 and 26.2
lambs increased the carcass yield by 30% whereas kg weight at six months of age. The dressing per-
supplementation of 550 g concentrate mixture re- centage on live weight basis was 44.5 in lambs and
sulted in an increase of 55% in the dressed carcass 48.9 in kids. The lambs yielded 1.30 kg wool in the
yield as compared to the lambs maintained on graz- first 6-monthly clip (Shinde et al., 1995). The Nali
ing alone. A very little difference in body weight and Chokla synthetic lambs either only grazed for
gain and carcass yield with supplementation of 200 8 hours or supplemented with ad lib. or 75%, 50%
g concentrate mixture or 200 g cowpea hay to the and 25% of ad lib concentrate mixture and initially
grazing lambs was observed. A weaning weight of weighing 11.2, 11.3, 11.4 and 11.2 kg at 75 days
11 kg was achieved when the Malpura and Sonadi age attained a live weight of 24.1, 35.1, 32.6, 31.5
male lambs were provided 150 g/head/day creep in and 28.0 kg and produced 616, 1249, 1218, 876
addition to suckling up to 90 days age (Singh and and 863 g greasy fleece at 9 months age, respec-
tively. The staple length also improved from 3.69 to
Singh, 1981). While studying the performance of
5.42, 5.41, 4.44 and 3.74 cm. The dressing per-
native lambs on 70: 30 and 50: 50 concentrate:
centage of 40.30 increased to 51.20, 48.90, 47.80
roughage feedlot ration, grazing + 500 g concen-
and 43.20 on live weight basis with increasing lev-
trate supplementation and grazing alone recorded a
els of supplementation. The percentage of edible
total gain of 11.0, 10.0, 11.0 and 7.0 kg under the
offal and fat increased and the inedible offal, lean
four feeding systems in 90 days after weaning and and bone decreased with the increasing levels of
the lambs reached a body weight of 22, 21, 22 and supplementation (Singh and Sankhyan, 2003, Singh
18 kg respectively, at 6 months of age. Bhatia et et al., 2003a).
al. (1981) recorded a daily gain of 56.2 g on graz-
Goat is primarily a browsing animal and
ing on Cenchrus pasture, 91.9 g when supplemented
performs well when browsed on variety of shrubby
with low energy-low protein and 112.3 g when
vegetation supplemented with concentrate mixture
supplemented with high energy and high protein
in addition to browsing. Total confinement and stall
ration fed at the rate of 300 g per day to Malpura
feeding is detrimental. Ad lib. supplementation of
lambs. A growth rate of 140 to 165 g per day was
concentrate, hay and green to kids between 91
recorded when the mutton synthetic male lambs to 180 days age, in addition to browsing resulted
maintained on ad lib cowpea hay meal were supple- in an increase of 44.8 % in pre-slaughter weight,
mented with 300 g maize or barley grain. The 65.1 % in carcass weight and 14.3 % in dressing
control group lambs showed a daily gain of 94 g over the browsing alone. The kids when fed the
only. The lambs required 14.6 kg cowpea hay meal above ration ad lib under stalls showed an increase
in control group as against 8 to 10 kg feed in the of only 21.4 % in pre-slaughter weight, 39.7 %
grain supplemented groups for each kg of live weight in carcass weight and 14.8 % in dressing over the
gain (Singh, 1985a). Krishna Mohan et al. (1984) sole browsing group. Parthasarthy et al. (1983)
reported that the live weight gain of 28 g/head/day found a growth rate of 19.4, 41.7, 111.0 and
in native lambs maintained on legume hay was im- 108.2 g a day in Beetal weaner kids from 91 to
proved to 47.1, 80.5 and 83.2 g when they were 180 days of age on ad lib browsing, browsing +
supplemented with 100, 200 and 300 g maize grain green, browsing + concentrate mixture and brows-
per day. The dressing percentage was also im- ing + concentrate mixture + green respectively.
proved from 42.8 to 44.7, 47.4 and 48.7 respec- The dressing percentage was 45.74, 44.52, 48.17
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

and 49.11 respectively. Parthasarthy et al. (1984) Intensive system: The intensive system of sheep
in another experiment, obtained a daily gain of and goat production includes grazing on highly de-
37.4, 87.4 and 73.3 g from 3 to 6 months and veloped pastures and/or complete stall-feeding on
62.6, 139.2 and 120.0 g from 6 to 9 months of cultivated fresh or conserved fodders, crop resi-
age in the Sirohi x Beetal kids maintained on dues and concentrates. Although goats prefer to
browsing, browsing + 756g/h/d concentrate and browse as compared to grazing, they are quite
total stall feeding on feedlot ration (1038 g/h/d), capable of making efficient use of cultivated pas-
respectively. The dressing percentage was 43.05, tures for meat and milk production similar to sheep.
43.65 and 48.50 at 6 months and 47.35, 52.10 Stocking rates of 16 to 60 sheep or goats per
and 53.10, at 9 months of age on the 3 respective hectare are feasible depending on the type of grass,
feeding regimes. The kids thus showed an improve- level of fertilization and the presence and absence
ment of about 44.5 and 34.0% between 3 to 6 of legumes and fodder trees. This system requires
months and about 66.1 and 52.2% between 6 to high labour and capital investment and is suitable
9 months respectively on browsing + supplemen- for only intensive meat production. In addition to
tation and feedlot system of feeding management providing better milk, wool, growth and carcass
over the browsing alone. The Sirohi, Marwari and quality it also removes pressure from the commu-
Kutchi does produced 84.4, 89.1 and 94.3 kg milk nity grazing lands. A growth rate of 92 and 100 g/
with no supplementation, 98.6, 96.1 and 93.2 kg head/day in Malpura and Sonadi lambs maintained
with 150 g concentrate, 100.9, 115.7 and 110.0 on a feedlot from 91 to 180 days of age was ob-
kg with 300 g concentrate and 109.0, 106.4 and served. Feedlot gains in Malpura, Sonadi and their
101.1 kg with 450 g concentrate supplementation crosses with Dorset and Suffolk were studie.
in addition to 8 hours grazing during 150 days Malpura, Sonadi, Dorset x Sonadi, Dorset x
lactation (Singh, 1992). The Sirohi does grazing/ Malpura, Suffolk x Sonadi and Suffolk x Malpura
browsing for 8 hours and supplemented with 150, lambs reached a body weight of 26.0, 25.4, 30.5,
300 and 450 g/h/d concentrate mixture during last 31.3, 32.8 and 33.0 kg at 6 months of age under
45 days of pregnancy and first 150 days of feedlot from 91 to 180 days of age with FCE of
lactation lost body weight when only grazed, 14.1, 14.5, 18.6, 18.2, 18.5 and 18.3 % and the
maintained with supplementation with 150 g con- dressing % was recorded to be 50.9, 52.7, 51.7,
centrate and gained in their live weights when 53.3, 50.0 and 50.3 respectively. A growth rate of
supplemented with 300 and 450 g concentrate 150 g/head/day in Avikalin lambs during 91 to 180
during pregnancy. The same does lost when only days of age on 50: 50 concentrates: roughage ra-
grazed or supplemented with 150 g concentrate tion fed ad lib was reported (Singh 1980b). Prasad
but gained in live weights when supplemented with et al. (1981) have reported a growth rate of about
300 and 450 g concentrate during lactation. The 150 g in Avivastra and Avikalin male weaner lambs
milk production was improved by 29.31 and 67.00 feed on 50: 50 concentrate: roughage ration with a
% and pre-weaning growth of the kids by 17.20 feed efficiency of about 18.5 %. Performance of
and 35.00 % with the three supplementary levels half bred lambs under individual feedlot up to 135
(Singh, 1996). Based on the above findings, and 180 days of age or 22 and 30 kg body weight
suppl-ementary concentrate- feeding schedules for after weaning at 90 days on 50: 50 concentrate:
different categories of sheep and goats maint- roughage ration indicated that the feed efficiency at
ained for wool, meat and milk production under 22 kg finishing live weight was superior to that at
different climatic zones of the country have been 30 kg finishing live weight. Lambs on 70: 30 con-
developed. centrates: roughage ration showed higher feedlot
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

gains and carcass weights than those on 50: 50 (Karim and Santra, 2000).
rations. Crossbreds were 26 and 21 per cent The kids of Sirohi breed showed a daily live
superior to natives in feedlot gains and FCE. The weight gain of 80 and consumed 7.7 kg feed for
FCE in Malpura and Sonadi lambs was 14.8 and every kg of live weight gain when maintained on a
13.2 respectively from 91 to 180 days age. Singh complete feed based on 50 % cowpea hay meal in
(1982) observed a daily gain of 84 g during first 45 the stalls from 91-180 days of age (Singh, 1980b).
days and 175 g during the next 45 days after weaning The male kids weaned at 2 - 3 months age and fed
at 90 days when the Malpura x Dorset half breds under feedlot achieved slaughter weights of 25 kg
were maintained on 50: 50 concentrate: roughage at 5 to 6 months age with a dressing of 48 to 51%.
feedlot ration. Kishore et al. (1984) recorded 205 The kids maintained under semi-intensive system
and 207 g ADG in Avikalin and Avikalin x Dorset reached the target live weight of 25 kg earlier than
terminal cross males fed ad lib on 70: 30 concen- those under intensive system. The kids under semi-
trate: roughage from 91 to 180 days. The dressing intensive required less feed for a kg of gain than
percentage was 51.9 and 51.6 in the two breed those under intensive feeding. The dressing % was
crosses respectively. The total live weight gains in superior under intensive system. The bone and lean
Malpura, Sonadi, Dorset x Malpura, Dorset x percentage was higher under semi-intensive and fat
Sonadi, Nellore, Mandya, Dorset x Nellore and % under intensive system (Singh and Sahu, 1997).
Dorset x Mandya were 9.1, 8.6, 11.7, 12.0, 8.3, Average daily gain was higher in lambs than kids
8.2, 12.5 and 12.2 kg respectively in feedlot over
under intensive system whereas the daily gains were
90 days from 91 to 190 days of age was observed.
similar under semi-intensive system. Dressing % in
The FCE was recorded to be 19.7, 27.6, 22.6 and
lambs and kids was found higher under semi-inten-
29.3 % superior in the crossbreds over contempo-
sive (Shinde et al. 1995). The daily gains, milk
rary natives. The growth rate of only 50 g and 54
intake, meat quantity and quality and feed efficiency
g a day was recorded in crossbred lambs on ad lib
were found superior in the Sirohi, Marwari and
cowpea and lucerne hay meal rations (Singh, 1985).
Kutchi kids maintained under semi-intensive as
The mutton synthetic lambs maintained on creep up
compared to those maintained under intensive or
to 67 days, on 70: 30 feedlot from 67 to 99th day
and on 50: 50 feedlot ration from 99 to 130th day extensive system. The milk yield during 150 days
reached a body weight of 30 kg in a record time of lactation was higher under intensive system than
of only 130 days exhibiting average daily gain of that under semi-intensive and extensive systems and
about 200 g through out the period (Singh and in Sirohi does than that in Kutchi and Marwari does.
Singh, 1984). The 60 days Mutton Synthetic and The overall production performance of Marwari
Malpura weaner lambs under intensive feeding had goats and kids was significantly better in semi inten-
160 and 151g ADG and 16 and 12 % FCE (Karim sive system of grazing management than that under
and Arora, 1997). While the removal of the lambs intensive and extensive systems in respect of live
at 20 kg body weight was uneconomical, the lambs weight and milk production. The intensive system
weighing 25 kg provided desirable carcass charac- however proved to be better than extensive system
teristics (Arora and Karim, 1995). Subsequent stud- in all respect (Singh, 2003).
ies indicated that a finishing weight of 25 kg could Series of experiments have been conducted to
be achieved by weaning the lambs at 60 days and develop economic feed formulations of lambs to
intensively feeding for 73, 91 and 136 days with attain 25 kg body weight at 130 days and 30 kg
160, 135 and 112g ADG and 18, 16 and 14 % body weight at 150 days of age under different
FCE in MS, M selected and M lambs respectively systems of feeding management. Several least cost
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

feed formulations involving leguminous fodders, tree Table 2. Performance of Indigenous and Crossbred sheep
and shrub leaves), cheaper energy supplements and under different Feeding Systems
low cost protein supplements were developed and Particulars Breed Rangeland Developed Developed Inten-
(Extensive) Pasture Pasture + sive
evaluated in the complete feeds to economize mut- (Semi- Concentrate
extensive) mixture
ton production. It was observed that the lambs main-
tained on complete feeds containing tree leaves as Lambing, % I 58.5 78.0 85.0 90.0
the roughage source performed better than those CB 55.0 65.0 75.0 80.0
Birth weight, kg I 2.5 2.8 2.9 3.0
receiving cultivated grass based rations. The feed
CB 2.8 3.0 3.2 3.4
grade damaged wheat being cheaper was tried and 3 m BW, kg I 9.2 10.5 12.5 14.3
successfully incorporated in the complete feeds as CB 10.5 12.0 14.6 16.5
a replacement of conventional and costlier energy 6 m BW, kg I 13.5 18.3 22.5 28.8
sources like Maize, Barley and Jowar etc. with the CB 15.2 20.0 26.0 35.0
Dressing, % I 38.5 43.4 46.3 48.5
objective to economize meat production without CB 40.5 45.2 48.7 51.4
seriously sacrificing the live weight gains. Similarly, Fleece weight, g I 620.0 810.0 980.0 1150.0
comparatively cheaper Guar meal, Guar korma, CB 710.0 920.0 1150.0 1340.0
Mustard cake and Urea were used as protein re- Adult mortality, % I 10.0 7.5 5.0 2.5
CB 15.0 10.0 7.5 5.0
placements of costlier Groundnut and Cotton seed
Lamb mortality, % I 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0
cake in the feedlot rations with the same objective CB 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0
in view (Karim et al., 2004). Based on these
I- Indigenous CB- Crossbred
studies following two packages of practices for im-
proving meat, wool and milk production in sheep financial assistance from the financial Institutions and
and goats have been developed (Table 1 and 2). subsidies being provided by the Central and State
Table 1. Performance of Goats under different Feeding
Governments. The registered sheep and goat flocks
Systems may be allowed to graze on these pastures judi-
ciously for 6 to 8 hrs daily. In addition to grazing,
Particulars Rangeland
Developed Developed Intensive
pastures pastures +Conc.
the pregnant ewes/ does during last 30 days of
(Semi- Supplementation pregnancy and the lactating ewes/does during first
extensive) (Semi-intensive)
60 days of lactation be supplemented with 300g/h/
Kidding rate, % 68.0 87.0 113.0 108.0
Birth weight, kg 2.7 2.9 3.4 3.2 d concentrate mixture containing 12%DCP and 65%
3 m BW, kg 9.0 11.0 16.0 14.2 TDN to ensure 2.5 to 3 kg birth weights and 14 to
6 m BW, kg 14.0 17.5 27.5 25.5 16kg weaning weights in male lambs and kids. To
9 m BW, kg 18.4 22.5 32.8 29.7 ensure a weaning weight of 14 to 16kg, these male
Dressing, % 40.5 44.3 50.5 52.0
150 day Milk yield, kg 65.0 86.0 110.0 94.0 lambs/kids should be provided ad lib suckling, creep
Adult mortality, % 10.0 7.5 2.5 5.0 ration and green/dry leguminous fodders during pre
Kid mortality, % 20.0 15.0 5.0 10.0 weaning period and completely weaned at 60 days
of age. These weaners may then be fed ad lib on
Package for progressive farmers complete feeds comprised of 50% concentrate and
Sheep and Goat Farmer Cooperative Societ- 50% roughage under stalls till they attain 25 to 30
ies may be formed in the sheep and goat rearing kg finishing weight at around 5 to 6 months of age.
areas. These Societies in association with the vil- Alternatively the lambs/kids be allowed to graze on
lage Panchyats should develop improved silvi-pas- available pastures and supplemented with concen-
tures on the available community grazing lands with trate mixture @ 2.0 to 2.5 % of the body weight
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

till they reach the desired finishing weights. These kids procured from the villages after weaning at 60
finisher lambs /kids should then be sold by the farm- days age may be intensively fed on complete 50:50
ers or their Cooperative Societies for slaughter to or 60:40 concentrate: roughage feeds under feedlot
the consumers or the traders directly avoiding in- up to 5 - 6 months of age when they attain finishing
volvement of middlemen. weight of 25-30 kg. These intensively fed lambs
and kids be then sold as live animals in the National
Package for enterpreneurs or International markets or slaughtered for selling
fresh meat or their meat may be processed and
The sheep and goat meat available in the In- converted in to different meat products for export
dian markets comes from old and culled adults and purpose. Similarly, the slaughterhouse by- products
male lambs/kids slaughtered any time between 6 be converted in to value added commercial prod-
months to 1 year of age. The quantity and the quality ucts for commercial sale.
of this meat is very poor due to poor market
weights, lower dressing percentage and narrow bone:
Summary and recommendations
meat ratio as these lambs/kids are maintained on
scrub vegetation like their dams and hence hardly Goats and sheep are important livestock spe-
attain a body weight of 15-16 kg at the age of 8- cies in India as they contribute greatly to the agrarian
9 months when they are usually marketed. The economy in arid, semi-arid and mountainous regions
dressing percentage varies from 35 to 40 and bone: and play a very vital role in the sustenance and
meat ration from 1:3 to 1:4. The studies conducted livelihood security of a large population of small and
at CSWRI have revealed that a marked improve- marginal farmers and landless rural poor. They are
ment may be achieved in finishing weights and car- not destroyers of vegetation more than the large
cass yield and quality through intensive feeding of ruminants as blamed. They in fact act as regenera-
the male lambs and kids. A package of practices to tors of vegetation through dispersal of seeds in their
be adopted by the entrepreneurs for intensive meat droppings and vegetative propagation through brows-
production has been developed. The male lambs/ ing. Biomass production of the community grazing
kids produced and reared by the farmers in general lands can be improved from 2.5 -3.5 to 25-30 q
and the progressive sheep/ goat breeders following DM/ha through silvi-pasture development. A marked
the recommended package of practices in particu- improvement in reproduction rates, milk yield, wool
lar be purchased by the entrepreneurs at around 60 yield, live weight gains and quantity and quality of
days of age and transferred from the villages to the meat production can be achieved by grazing sheep
Meat Production Complexes established near the and goats on developed two and three tier pastures
cities. This will help in reducing the grazing pressure and supplementing with concentrate mixtures and/or
on shrinking pasturelands, lowering mortality and cultivated leguminous fodders and tree leaves at
morbidity in the pre-weaned lambs/kids, early appropriate levels. It is possible to improve lamb
rebreeding and easy management of the flocks. and kid finishing weights from 15-16 to 30-35 kg
These Complexes may be equipped with a Feed and dressing yield from 35-40 to 45-50 % through
Compounding Plant capable of incorporating higher nutritional interventions. Similarly, the annual wool
proportion of cheaper low grade roughages and yield may be enhanced from 900-950 to 1800-
agro- industrial by-products to manufacture eco- 1900 g per sheep and milk yield in goats may be
nomic complete feeds, Feedlot Animal Houses for improved from 75-80 to 150-160 kg per lactation
intensive feeding of lambs/kids, Modern Slaughter through the suggested nutrition and feeding manage-
House, Meat Processing, Product Manufacturing ment system. The areas in arid and semi-arid regions
and By- Products Handling Machineries. The lambs/ that cannot support cattle and buffaloes should,
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

therefore, be identified, developed with low invest- Dastagiri, M. B. (2003) Indian J. Agric. Econom-
ment and utilized for small ruminant production. ics., 58: 729-740.
Community grazing lands should be improved in to F.A.O. (2004) Production Year Book. 58. Food
two and three tier perennial pastures through re-
and Agriculture Organization of the United
seeding with nutritious, perennial and high yielding
Nations, Rome.
grasses and legumes. Large-scale fodder tree plan-
tations may be taken up on rangelands, wastelands, F.A.O. (2005) Production Year Book. 59. Food
riverbanks, roadsides and bunds of ponds, canals and Agriculture Organization of the United
and agricultural fields. The extensive system of sheep Nations, Rome.
and goat rearing should be replaced with semi-in- Karim, S.A. and Arora, A.L. (1997) Indian J.
tensive and intensive systems for commercial meat Anim. Sci., 6: 536-537.
production. Strategic energy, protein and mineral
supplements need to be provided to grazing animals Karim S. A. and Santra A. (2000) Small Rumi-
for enhancing meat, milk and wool production. The nant Res., 37: 287-291.
locally available crop residues and agro-industrial Karim S.A., Santra A. and Singh V.K. (2004) Fat
by-products may be enriched and utilized for com- lamb Production. A Bulletin Published by
pounding cheaper complete feeds for different cat- CSWRI Avikanagar.
egories of sheep and goats as feed pallets and blocks.
Kishore, K., Rawat, P. S. and Basuthakur, A. K.
The suggested Packages of Practices may be popu-
(1984) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 54: 507-511.
larized for adoption by the Progressive farmers and
the Entrepreneurs for commercial meat production. Krishana Mohan, D. V. G., Reddy, K. S., Naidu,
Efforts should necessarily be made to provide re- C. M., Munirathnam, D. and Reddy, K. K.
munerative price of the produce to increase the (1984) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 54: 1170-1172.
returns to the farmers through improved post harvest Mann, J.S. and Singh, N.P. (1982) Livestock Ad-
technology, value addition, marketing and exploita-
visor 7: 23-29.
tion of export potential.
Mishra, R. K. (1981) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 51:
Parthasarthy, M., Singh, D. and Rawat, P.S. (1983)
Ahuja, K. and Rathore, M.S. (1987) Goat and Indian J. Anim. Sci., 53: 671-672.
Goat Keepers. Institute of Development Stud-
ies, Printwell Publishers, Jaipur. Parthasarthy, M., Singh, D. and Rawat, P.S. (1984)
Indian J. Anim. Sci., 54: 130-131.
Arora, A.L. and Karim, S.A. (1995) Indian J.
Anim. Sci., 65: 1046-1048. Patnayak, B.C., Singh N.P. and Karim S.A. (1995)
Transferable technologies for meat production
Bhatia, D. R., Mohan, M., Patnayak, B.C. and in sheep and goats. Proc. 3rd National Semi-
Ram Ratan. (1981) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 51: nar on sheep and Goat production and utiliza-
238-242. tion held at CSWRI, Avikanagar April 8-10.
Delgado, C.M., Rosegrant, M, Steinfeld, H.Ehui, S Prasad, V.S.S., Bohra, S.D.J. and Kamal Kishore.
and Courbois, C. (1999) Livestock to 2020: (1981) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 51: 118-120.
The next food revolution, Food, Agriculture and
Environment Discussion Paper 28. IFPRI, Sankhyan, S.K., Shinde, A. K., Karim, S. A. and
Washington, FAO Rome and ILRI, Nairobo, Patnayak, B.C. (1996a) World Rev. Anim.
Kenya. Prod., 30: 27-35.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Sankhyan, S.K., Shinde, A.K., Karim, S.A., Mann, Singh, N. P. and Singh, M. (1984) Feeding man-
J.S., Singh, N.P. and Patnayak, B.C. (1996b) agement of crossbred lambs for mutton pro-
Indian J. Anim. Sci., 66: 1194-1197. duction. Proceedings of the National Seminar
Sankhyan, S. K., Shinde, A. K. and Karim, S. A. of Animal Nutrition Society of India held on
(1999) Indian J. Anim. Sci. 69: 617-620. October 29-30, 1984 at HAU, Hisar.

Sankhyan, S.K.; Shinde, A.K., Bhatta, R.; and Singh, N.P. (1985a) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 54: 895-898.
Karim, S.A. (2002) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 72: Singh, N. P. (1985b) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 55: 715-716.
101-103. Singh, N. P. and Patnayak, B. C. (1987) feeding of
Sharma, K. (1987) Goat Rearing. A book pub- sheep and goats for meat production. Proceed-
lished by CIRG, Makhdoom, Mathura. ings of the National Seminar on Small Rumi-
Sharma, V.P. (2004) Indian J. Agri. Econo., 59: nant Production held on January 5-7 at
512-554. CSWRI, Avikanagar.

Shinde, A.K., Patnayak, B.C., Karim, S.A. and Singh, N.P. (1992) Indian J. Anim. Prod. Man-
Mann, J.S. (1994) Indian J. Anim. Nutr., 11: age., 8: 42-46.
85-89. Singh, N. P. (1996) Indian J. Small Ruminants,
Shinde, A. K.; Karim, S. A.; Singh, N. P.; and 2: 7-10.
Patnayak, B. C. (1995) Indian J. Anim. Sci., Singh, N. P. and Sahu, B. B. (1997) Indian J.
65: 830-833. Anim. Sci., 67: 87-89.
Shinde, A.K., Karim, S.A., Mann, J.S. and Singh, N.P. (2003) Indian J. Small Rum., 9:
Patnayak, B.C. (1996) Indian J. Anim. Prod. 96-99.
Manag., 12: 30-33.
Singh, N. P. and Sankhyan, S. K. (2003) Animal
Shinde, A.K. and Bhatta, R. (2002) Nutrition of Nutr. Feed Technol., 3: 189-194.
Sheep and Goat on Pasture. A Technical Bul-
Singh, N. P., Sankhyan, S. K. and Prasad, V. S. S.
letin Published by CSWRI Avikanagar.
(2003b) Asian Austr. J. Anim. Sci., 16: 655-
Singh, N. P. (1980b) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 50: 659.
Singh, N. P., Sankhyan, S. K. and Prasad, V. S. S.
Singh, N. P. (1980a) Indian J. Anim. Res., 14: (2003a) Indian J. Small Rum., 9: 13-15.
Singh, N.P., Sankhyan, S.K. and Shinde, A.K.
Singh, N. P. and Singh, R.N. (1981) Livestock (2004). Animal Nutrition and Feed Resource
Adviser 6: 7-10. Development Research. A bulletin published
Singh, N. P. (1982) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 52: by CSWRI, Avikanagar.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Heat stress and dairy feeding program

Jason Park
Cargill Animal Nutrition, India

General considerations Heat stress can increase nutrient requirements

Understanding heat stress and what to do to up to 20% and water requirements up to 30%.
alleviate its negative effects is the first step in However, while nutrient requirements increase, cows
improving the situation for us and for our animals. eat less with a decrease of dry matter intake that
can reach 35% (Figure 2). Sweat increases the
The most comfortable temperature range for
secretion of potassium while, with increased urina-
lactating cows is from 40 to 75o F (5 to 25o C) but
tion, cows lose more sodium as sodium bicarbon-
it varies with humidity. Heat stress problems start
ate in order to balance respiratory alkalosis. This
when the temperature is greater than 75o F (25o C)
results in a compensatory metabolic acidosis.
and humidity is greater than 80% (Figure 1).
Passage rate of ingesta and gut mobility de-
creases with a consequent decrease of intake. As
body temperature increases, skin blood flow in-
creases in an attempt to dissipate body heat. This
reduces blood flow to internal organs, decreasing
absorption and transport of nutrients and, as a re-
sult, milk production.

Fig. 1 Impact of temperature and relative humidity

on THI and heat stress levels for pure
Holstein breed.

In general problems start when the Tempera- Adapted from: Managing and Feeding Dairy Cows in
Hot Weather, Dr. Joe West, University of Georgia.
ture-Humidity Index (THI) reaches 80o F (27o C).
Severe conditions of heat stress occur when the Fig. 2 Impact of temperature on DMI, water consump-
THI increases above 90o F (32o C). The problem tion and milk yield.
is greater when the temperature remains high during A long period of heat stress causes a decrease
the night as well. Transition cows, first calf heifers of visible heat and irregular estrus intervals. As a
and high producing cows are affected the most. As consequence we should expect lower fertility de-
well, calving difficulties and birth of smaller and less rived from a decreased conception rate and em-
vital calves can occur along with a decrease of the bryonic mortality. An increase of uterus tempera-
immune response. ture of 1oF (0.5oC) may lower conception rate by
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

13%. During pregnancy heat stress may cause a

decrease of placenta growth.

Modifications of housing facilities

Mechanical interventions to modify housing en-
vironmental conditions yield the best results in a short
time and with a favourable cost/benefit balance.

General interventions: The first step is to

take full advantage of natural ventilation. Facilities
should have limited temperature differences from
inside to outside. A light wind of 1.5 to 2 feet/
second (0.5 to 0.7 meters/second) can be sufficient
to exchange the air in the interior of the facility
provided it is correctly oriented and located away Fig. 3 Changes in milk yield and maintenance
requirements as temperature changes.
from other buildings and obstructions. Facilities
should also provide adequate shade to limit exposure
to direct sunlight. speed close to the animals should not be less than
2.75 feet/sec. (0.9 meters/sec.). This can be ob-
tained with large fans that are able to move large
Specific interventions: The problem of heat
stress is acutely felt in locations with an environment volumes of air. Fans should be positioned 10 feet
characterized by high summer temperatures coupled (3 meters) apart for every 1 foot (0.3 meters) of
with high humidity levels. The problem will become fan diameter. They should be angled downward at
more acute as production levels continue to rise an angle of 15 to 30o so each fan is blowing at the
due to genetic improvements and developments in floor directly below the next fan.
the techniques of rearing and feeding cattle. Often the installation of these fans is done only
Therefore, we are faced with the dramatic necessity in the feeding area to encourage cows to spend
of finding effective methods to manage heat stress; more time there and therefore creating more favor-
to better the well being of the cattle, and to increase able conditions for greater intakes. This solution
production and quality of milk (Figure 3). often results in a greater number of animals standing
Water evaporation, an endothermic process, in this part of the barn with less time spent in the
is among the most effective techniques for cooling rest area. This can result in greater stress for the
the environment by lowering body temperature. cows. Therefore, it is typically necessary to venti-
In this case ventilation generates an exchange late the resting area as well.
of air in the housing facilities but most importantly,
generating air flow close to the animals helps them Evaporative cooling: One technique is to use
to disperse body heat. This technique can be ap- an evaporative cooling system based on the use of
plied with success in all types of housing. Even a large coolers fitted with water soaked pads through
modest airflow of 1-1.5 feet/sec. (0.3-0.5 meters/ which ventilation air passes. The air, cooled and
sec.) can help reducing heat stress. high in humidity, is released into the barn to give the
However, when air temperatures are higher than animals relief. This system gives good results in a
85 F (> 30o C) with high producing cows, air
o closed cowshed, if adequately insulated, and if it is
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

possible to use a system of forced and controlled decreased protein utilization and an increase in
ventilation. This system does not perform well in urinary catabolism.
high humidity locations. Diet formulation: Diet reformulation may alleviate
A second technique is the combination of fans some milk losses during periods of heat stress. Start
and misters. A series of high-pressure misters with high quality forages that contain a higher con-
distribute water in fine droplets, part of which centration of digestible NDF. This will allow a
evaporates into the atmosphere, lowering the decrease of the heat of combustion of the diet while
temperature, and part of which wet the animals. maintaining adequate ruminal fermentation.
Fans operate at the same time as the misters and Fat can be added to increase the energy density
enhance evaporation off the animals’ skin. Cows of the diet. Sources may include oilseeds, vegetable
can lose considerable quantities of heat, enough to oil, tallow, and rumen inert fats. Care should be
keep body temperature constant without production taken to ensure unsaturated fat levels remain low
losses, if evaporation is sufficient. This system will enough to prevent a decrease in fiber digestibility
not work as well in high humidity areas. and total fat levels should not exceed 6-7% fat on
a DM basis. Because fatty acids reduce absorption
Feeding of Ca and Mg in the intestine, requirements of these
minerals increase. In these cases diets should contain
Feeding management: During periods of heat at least 0.9% Ca and 0.35% Mg.
stress it is important to maintain a continuous supply
of fresh diet and it should be provided in the coolest During periods of heat stress protein excesses
aggravate the situation because nitrogen excretion
part of the feeding area. A continuous water supply
requires energy. Balance diets for amino acids to
must be available of linear water space per cow or
prevent the feeding of excess crude protein.
one water hole for every 10 cows.
Potassium, sodium and magnesium should be 1.5,
Water requirements increase during heat stress 0.45 and 0.35% of the DM, respectively. Use of
conditions because water loss is the main means for salts and buffers (sodium bicarbonate) has little effect
body heat loss and thermoregulation. Water in preventing heat stress but are useful in supporting
requirements also increase as a consequence of a cow’s homeostasis.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Code of practice on good animal feeding in relation

to food safety
M. R. Garg and B. M. Bhanderi
Productivity Systems Group
National Dairy Development Board, Anand 388 001, India

Food safety has become today a clear expec- established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission
tation from the consumer, world over. Healthy and (CAC), taking into account the special aspects of
safe animal products with minimum environmental animal feeding. The views expressed in the article
pollution are some of the new requirements the by the authors are based on the literature available,
animal feed industry is facing. As such guidelines not necessarily reflect the views of the organization
are necessary to lay down the approach to provide to which they belong.
general recommendation for safe feed to safe food.
Undoubtedly, India has enormous potential to Purpose and scope
strengthen economy through expansion of domestic
The main objective of this Code is to help
market and promotion of the export of processed
ensure the safety of food for human consumption
value added livestock products. In addition to eco-
through adherence to good animal feeding practice
nomic aspect, consumer’s health assumes paramount
importance vis-à-vis food safety (Gilbert, 2005). at the farm level and good manufacturing practices
One of the most important issues in the livestock (GMPs) during the procurement, handling, storage,
sector is good animal feeding, as it has a major processing and distribution of animal feed and feed
impact on the product, which ensues the Codex ingredients for food producing animals. This Code
Code of Practice on Good Animal Feeding, offi- of Practice applies to the production and use of all
cially adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commis- materials destined for animal feed and feed ingredi-
sion in 2004 the Task Force’s document, Code of ents at all levels whether produced industrially or
Practice on Good Animal Feeding, is comprehen- on farm. Environmental contaminants should be
sive and addresses all avenues of feed production. considered where the level of such substances in
The goal of the code is to establish a feed safety the feed and feed ingredients could present a risk
system for food-producing animals which covers to consumers’ health from the consumption of foods
the whole food chain, taking into account relevant of animal origin.
aspects of animal health and the environment. In
order to minimize risks to the health of consumers, General principles and requirements
it focuses specifically on feed manufacturing and Feed and feed ingredients should be obtained
on-farm feeding practices. and maintained in a stable condition, so as to protect
This Code is to establish a feed safety system feed and feed ingredients from contamination by
for food producing animals which covers the whole pests, or by chemical, physical or microbiological
food chain, taking into account relevant aspects of contaminants or other objectionable substances
animal health and the environment in order to mini- during production, handling, storage and transport.
mize risks to consumers’ health. In addition, the Feed should be in good condition and meet generally
Code applies principles of food hygiene, already accepted quality standards. Where appropriate, good
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

agricultural practices, good manufacturing practices l registration number if available;

(GMPs) and, where applicable, Hazard Analysis l Directions and precautions for use;
and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Principles l Lot identification;
should be followed to control hazards that may occur l Manufacturing date; and
in food. Potential sources of contamination from the l Use before or expiry date.
environment should be considered.
Traceability/product tracing and record keep-
Feed ingredients ing of feed and feed ingredients
Feed ingredients should be obtained from safe Traceability/product tracing of feed and feed
sources and be subjected to a risk analysis where ingredients, including additives, should be enabled
the ingredients are derived from processes or tech- by proper record keeping for timely and effective
nologies not hitherto evaluated from a food safety withdrawal or recall of products if known or prob-
point of view. The procedure used should be con- able adverse effects on consumers’ health are iden-
sistent with the working principles for risk analysis tified. Records should be maintained and readily
for application, in the framework of the Codex available regarding the production, distribution and
Alimentarius manufacturers of feed additives, in use of feed and feed ingredients to facilitate the
particular should provide clear information to the prompt trace-back of feed and feed ingredients to
user to permit correct and safe use. Monitoring of the immediate previous source and trace-forward to
feed ingredients should include inspection and sam- the next subsequent recipients if known or probable
pling and analysis for undesirable substances using adverse effects on consumers’ health are identified.
risk-based protocols. Feed ingredients should meet
Feed and feed ingredients manufacturers and
acceptable and, if applicable, statutory standards
other relevant parts of industry should practice self-
for levels of pathogens, mycotoxins, pesticides and
regulation/auto-control to secure compliance with
undesirable substances that may give rise to con-
required standards for production, storage and trans-
sumers’ health hazards.
port (Mcllmoyle, 2002). It will also be necessary
for risk-based official regulatory programmes to be
Labeling established to check that feed and feed ingredients
Labeling should be clear and informative as to are produced, distributed and used in such a way
how the user should handle, store and use feed and that foods of animal origin for human consumption
feed ingredients. Labeling should be consistent with are both safe and suitable. Inspection and control
statutory requirements and should describe the feed procedures should be used to verify that feed and
and provide instructions for use. Labeling or the ac- feed ingredients meet requirements in order to pro-
companying documents should contain, where ap- tect consumers against food-borne hazards. Inspec-
propriate: tion systems should be designed and operated on
Information about the species or category of the basis of objective risk assessment appropriate
animals for which the feed is intended; to the circumstances.
l The purpose for which the feed is intended;
l A list of feed ingredients, including appropriate Health hazards associated with animal feed
reference to additives, in descending order of All feed and feed ingredients should meet mini-
proportion; mum safety standards. It is essential that levels of
l Contact information of manufacturer or regis- undesirable substances are sufficiently low in feed
trant; and feed ingredients that their concentration in food

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

for human consumption is consistently below the for, ruminants. Control measures applied to reduce
level of concern. Codex Maximum Residue Limits unacceptable level of undesirable substances should
and Extraneous Maximum Residue Levels set for be assessed in terms of their impact on food safety.
feed should be applied. Maximum residue limits set The risks of each undesirable substance to con-
for food, such as those established by the Codex sumers’ health should be assessed and such assess-
Alimentarius Commission, may be useful in deter- ment may lead to the setting of maximum limits for
mining minimum safety standards for feed. feed and feed ingredients or the prohibition of cer-
Feed additives and veterinary drugs used in tain materials from animal feeding.
medicated feed should be assessed for safety and
used under stated conditions of use as pre-approved Production, processing, storage, transport and
by the competent authorities. Veterinary drugs used distribution of feed and feed ingredients
in medicated feed should comply with the provi- The production, processing, storage, transport
sions of the Codex Recommended International and distribution of safe and suitable feed and feed
Code of Practice for the Control of the Use of ingredients is the responsibility of all participants in
Veterinary Drugs. Borderlines between feed addi- the feed chain, including farmers, feed ingredient
tives and veterinary drugs used in medicated feed manufacturers, feed compounders, truckers, etc.
may be set to avoid misuse. Feed additives should Each participant in the feed chain is responsible for
be received, handled and stored to maintain their all activities that are under their direct control, in-
integrity and to minimize misuse or unsafe contami- cluding compliance with any applicable statutory re-
nation. Feed containing them should be used in strict quirements. Feed and feed ingredients should not
accordance with clearly defined instructions for use. be produced, processed, stored, transported or
Antibiotics should not be used in feed for growth distributed in facilities or using equipment where
promoting purposes in the absence of a public health incompatible operations may affect their safety and
safety assessment. lead to adverse effects on consumers’ health. Due
Feed and feed ingredients should only be pro- to the unique characteristics of aquaculture, the
duced, marketed, stored and used if they are safe application of these general principles must con-
and suitable, and, when used as intended, should sider the differences between aquaculture and ter-
not represent in any way an unacceptable risk to restrial-based production. Where appropriate, op-
consumers’ health. In particular, feed and feed in- erators should follow GMPs and, where applicable,
gredients contaminated with unacceptable levels of HACCP principles to control hazards that may af-
undesirable substances should be clearly identified fect food safety. The aim is to ensure feed safety
as unsuitable for animal feed and not be marketed and in particular to prevent contamination of animal
or used. Feed and feed ingredients should not be feed and food of animal origin as far as this is
presented or marketed in a manner liable to mis- reasonably achievable, recognizing that total elimi-
lead the user. The presence in feed and feed ingre- nation of hazards is often not possible. The effec-
dients of undesirable substances such as industrial tive implementation of GMPs and, where applicable,
and environmental contaminants, pesticides, radio- HACCP-based approaches should ensure, in par-
nuclides, persistent organic pollutants, pathogenic ticular, that the following areas are addressed.
agents and toxins such as mycotoxins should be Buildings and equipment used to process feed
identified, controlled and minimized. Animal prod- and feed ingredients should be constructed in a
ucts that could be a source of the Bovine Spongiform manner that permits ease of operation, maintenance
Encephalopathy (BSE) agent should not be used and cleaning and minimizes feed contamination.
for feeding directly to, or for feed manufacturing Process flow within the manufacturing facility should
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

also be designed to minimize feed contamination. Machinery coming into contact with dry feed or
Water used in feed manufacture should meet hy- feed ingredients should be dried following any wet
gienic standards and be of suitable quality for ani- cleaning process. Special precautions should be
mals. Chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other taken when cleaning machinery used for moist and
materials not intended for use in feed and feed in- semi-moist feed and feed ingredients to avoid fun-
gredients should be stored separately from feed and gal and bacterial growth.
feed ingredients to avoid the potential for manufac- All scales and metering devices used in the
turing errors and contamination of feed and feed manufacture of feed and feed ingredients should be
ingredients. Processed feed and feed ingredients appropriate for the range of weights and volumes to
should be stored separately from unprocessed feed be measured, and be tested regularly for accuracy.
ingredients and appropriate packaging materials All mixers used in the manufacture of feed and feed
should be used. Feed and feed ingredients should ingredients should be appropriate for the range of
be received, stored and transported in such a way weights or volumes being mixed and be capable of
so as to minimize the potential for any cross-con- manufacturing suitable homogeneous mixtures and
tamination to occur at a level likely to have a nega- homogeneous dilutions, and be tested regularly to
tive impact on food safety. The presence of unde- verify their performance. All other equipment used
sirable substances in feed and feed ingredients should in the manufacture of feed and feed ingredients should
be monitored and controlled. Feed and feed ingre- be appropriate for the range of weights or volumes
dients should be delivered and used as soon as being processed, and be monitored regularly.
possible. All feed and feed ingredients should be
Manufacturing procedures should be used to
stored and transported in a manner which mini-
avoid cross-contamination (for example flushing, se-
mizes deterioration and contamination and enables
quencing and physical clean-out) between batches
the correct feed to be sent to the right animal group.
of feed and feed ingredients containing restricted or
Transportation, of both raw materials and fin- otherwise potentially harmful materials (such as
ished feed products, can introduce hazards that may certain animal by-product meals, veterinary drugs).
compromise feed safety. Good, well managed stores These procedures should also be used to minimize
for raw materials will not prevent the introduction of cross-contamination between medicated and non-
hazards if vehicles used for their transportation are medicated feed and other incompatible feed. In cases
not clean or have previously been used to transport where the food safety risk associated with cross-
hazardous materials that may contaminate the load. contamination is high and the use of proper flushing
All personnel involved in the manufacture, stor- and cleaning methods is deemed insufficient, con-
age and handling of feed and feed ingredients should sideration should be given to the use of completely
be adequately trained and aware of their role and separate production lines, transfer, storage and
responsibility in protecting food safety. Feed and delivery equipment. Pathogen control procedures,
feed ingredients, processing plants, storage facilities such as heat treatment or the addition of authorized
and their immediate surroundings should be kept chemicals, should be used where appropriate, and
clean and effective pest control programmes should monitored at the applicable steps in the manufac-
be implemented. Containers and equipment used turing process.
for manufacturing, processing, transport, storage, Records and other information should be main-
conveying, handling and weighing should be kept tained to include the identity and distribution of feed
clean. Cleaning programmes should be effective and and feed ingredients so that any feed or feed ingre-
minimize residues of detergents and disinfectants. dient considered to pose a threat to consumers’
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

health can be rapidly removed from the market and animals.

that animals exposed to the relevant feed can be Land used for production of animal feed and
identified. feed ingredients should not be located in close prox-
imity to industrial operations where industrial pollut-
On farm production and use of feed and feed ants from air, ground water or runoff from adjacent
ingredients land would be expected to result in the production
To help ensure the safety of food used for of foods of animal origin that may present a food
human consumption, good agricultural practices safety risk. Contaminants present in runoff from
should be applied during all stages of on-farm pro- adjacent land and irrigation water should be below
duction of pastures, cereal grain and forage crops levels that present a food safety risk. Pesticides and
used as feed or feed ingredients for food producing other agricultural chemicals should be obtained from
animals. Three types of contamination represent haz- safe sources. Where a regulatory system is in place,
ards at most stages of on-farm production of feed any chemical used must comply with the require-
and feed ingredients, namely: ments of that system. Pesticides should be stored
l Biological, such as bacteria, fungi and other according to the manufacturer’s instructions and used
microbial pathogens; in accordance with Good Agricultural Practice in
the Use of Pesticides (GAP). It is important that
l Chemical, such as residues of medication,
farmers carefully follow the manufacturer’s instruc-
pesticides, fertilizer or other agricultural sub-
tions for use for all agricultural chemicals. Pesti-
stances; and
cides and other agricultural chemicals should be
l Physical, such as broken needles, machinery disposed of responsibly in a manner that will not
and other foreign material. lead to contamination of any body of water, soil
and feed or feed ingredients that may lead to the
Agricultural production of feed contamination of foods of animal origin which could
Adherence to good agricultural practices is en- adversely affect food safety.
couraged in the production of natural, improved
and cultivated pastures and in the production of On-farm feed manufacturing
forage and cereal grain crops used as feed or feed Feed ingredients produced on the farm should
ingredients for food producing animals. Following meet the requirements established for feed ingredi-
good agricultural practice, standards will minimize ents sourced off the farm. For example, seed treated
the risk of biological, chemical and physical con- for planting should not be fed. It must be recog-
taminants entering the food chain. If crop residuals nized that a wide range of raw materials are utilized
and stubbles are grazed after harvest, or otherwise by modern feed mills in the manufacture of animal
enter the food chain, they should also be consid- feed. While cereals and oil seed products make up
ered as livestock feed. Most livestock will consume a large proportion of these raw materials, a wide
a portion of their bedding. Crops that produce bed- range of by-products from the human food industry
ding material or bedding materials such as straw or are utilized as raw materials in the feed industry.
wood shavings should also be managed in the same Storage times and conditions can influence quality
manner as animal feed ingredients. Good pasture parameters of raw materials, which, in turn, can
management practices, such as rotational grazing affect feed safety.
and dispersion of manure droppings, should be used It is important, therefore, if feed quality and
to reduce cross-contamination between groups of safety is to be assured, that only high quality raw
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

materials must be sourced. Raw material quality period (if any) has been reached and records of
must feature high on any HACCP plan implemented these procedures must be maintained. Procedures
by a feed mill. Sourcing raw materials exclusively to ensure that medicated feed are transported to
from stores that have implemented a HACCP plan the correct location and are fed to animals that
and have been externally audited and approved, is require the medication should be followed. Feed
a useful starting point, if raw material problems that transport vehicles and feeding equipment used to
can impact on feed safety are to be avoided. Equally, deliver and distribute medicated feed should be
constant monitoring and evaluation of all raw mate- cleaned after use, if a different medicated feed or
rials must be carried out to ensure that documented non-medicated feed or feed ingredient is to be trans-
standards are maintained. ported next.
In particular, feed should be mixed in a man-
ner that will minimize the potential for cross-con- Stable feeding and lot/intensive feeding units
tamination between feed or feed ingredients that The animal production unit should be located
may have an effect on the safety or withholding
in an area that does not result in the production of
period for the feed or feed ingredients. Appropriate
food of animal origin that poses a risk to food safety.
records of feed manufacturing procedures followed
Care should be taken to avoid animal access to
by on-farm feed manufacturers should be maintained
contaminated land, and to facilities with potential
to assist in the investigations of possible feed-re-
sources of toxicity.
lated contamination or disease events. Records
should be kept of incoming feed ingredients, date The animal production unit should be designed
of receipt and batches of feed produced in addition so that it can be adequately cleaned. The animal
to other applicable records. production unit and feeding equipment should be
thoroughly cleaned regularly to prevent potential haz-
ards to food safety. Chemicals used should be ap-
Good feeding practices propriate for cleaning and sanitizing feed manufac-
Good animal feeding practices include those turing equipment and should be used according to
practices that help to ensure the proper use of feed instructions. These products should be properly
and feed ingredients on-farm while minimizing bio- labeled and stored away from feed manufacturing,
logical, chemical and physical risks to consumers of feed storage and feeding areas. A pest control sys-
foods of animal origin. Water for drinking or for tem should be put in place to control the access of
aquaculture should be of appropriate quality for the pests to the animal production unit to minimize
animals being produced. Where there is reason to potential hazards to food safety. Operators and
be concerned about contamination of animals from employees working in the animal production unit
the water, measures should be taken to evaluate should observe appropriate hygiene requirements
and minimize the hazards. to minimize potential hazards to food safety from
It is important that the correct feed is fed to feed.
the right animal group and that the directions for
use are followed. Contamination should be mini- Methods of sampling and analysis
mized during feeding. Information should be avail- Sampling protocols should meet scientifically
able of what is fed to animals and when, to ensure recognized principles and procedures. Laboratory
that food safety risks are managed. Animals receiv- methods developed and validated using scientifi-
ing medicated feed should be identified and man- cally recognized principles and procedures should
aged appropriately until the correct withholding be used. When selecting methods, consideration
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

should also be given to practicability, with prefer- Maximum levels of contaminants: The maxi-
ence given to those methods which are reliable and mum levels of aflatoxins, heavy metals, veterinary
applicable for routine use. Laboratories conducting drugs (antibiotics residues) and pesticide residues
routine analyses of feed and feed ingredients should are increasingly becoming areas of major food safety
ensure their analytical competency with each method concern. SPS measures permit members to adopt,
used and maintain appropriate documentation. if considered necessary, a higher level of protection
based on risk assessment. Some members, like the
Indian scenario to produce safe feed for safe European Union, have already enacted a new regu-
food lation prescribing very stringent levels of aflatoxins
in milk and feeds. In India, various institutions are
Food safety is defined as the fundamental un-
attempting to generate base line information on these
derstanding and control of hazards associated with
contaminants, in feed and milk. Maximum residual
the production, processing, preparation and con-
sumption of foods. Feed and food safety have been limits (MRLs) of pesticides, heavy metals and other
very much in public focus in recent times and this has undesirable substances in cattle feeds that are pro-
led to some dramatic changes in the practice of feed posed to Government of India (GOI) are g-BHC:
manufacturing and livestock production. It is essen- 20 ppb, DDT: 5 ppb, Endosulfan: 10 ppb, Aldrin:
tial that feed production and manufacturer be con- 1 ppb, Arsenic: 2 ppm, Lead: 5 ppm, Fluorine: 20
sidered as an integral part of the food production ppm and free gossypol: 2000 ppm.
chain, as there is direct link between feed and the Measures taken in India to control MRLs in
safety of foods of animal origin. Feed production must finished products
therefore be subjected to, in the same way as food Limit for aflatoxin B1: Aflatoxin B1 is ex-
production, quality assurance including food safety creted in milk as M1 to the extent of 1 to 3 per
systems based on the principles of Hazard Analysis cent. Codex limit for aflatoxin M1 in milk is 0.5
and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. Ap- ppb. To ensure that this level is achieved in Indian
plying HACCP-principles ensures that all potential milk, a maximum limit of 50 ppb has been pro-
safety hazards are thoroughly analyzed, assessed and posed in compounded cattle feed under Bureau of
effective systems for monitoring the critical control Indian Standards specifications, based on the analy-
points are placed in order for adhering to the strin- sis of large number of compounded cattle feed raw
gent parameters (Speedy, 2001). Some of the mea- materials, which is now under finalization. Besides,
sures that have been recently initiated on these as- use of toxin binders is being propagated in cattle
pects in India, are given below: feed, to minimize level of M1 in milk.
Quality and safety of finished products: In Restriction on heavy metals in mineral
India, attempts are being made in the organized supplements: Many a times, dairy animals ingest
sector that the finished products are manufactured, sizable quantity of lead and arsenic through poor
using internationally recognized systems of quality quality mineral supplements. A maximum limit of 20
assurance. ppm in mineral mixture has been kept for lead (Pb)
Hygienic practices of feed production: Feed and 7 ppm for arsenic (As). The maximum limits
should be produced using quality raw materials and kept for Pb and As in dicalcium phosphate are 30
Good Hygienic Practices (GHP). In India, and 10 ppm, respectively. All samples of mineral
programmes need to be implemented in organized mixtures and DCP are tested for these parameters
sector, ensuring improvement in the quality of fin- in different laboratories in India (Garg and Bhanderi,
ished products for animal feeding. 2006).
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Ban on the use of animal origin feed ingre- Gilbert, R. (2005) Global Feed Safety Codex and
dients for ruminants: As per the GOI’s directive, the Code. Proceedings of 47th National Sym-
cattle feed manufacturers in India shall not use any posium on Safety First: Farm to Fork orga-
of the animal origin ingredients in compound feed nized by CLFMA of India, at Goa between
and mineral supplements. Ingredients, which are pro- 16th & 17th September, 2005. pp. 52-60.
hibited for use in cattle feed and mineral mixture,
Mcllmoyle, W.A. (2002) Codes of good manage-
are blood meal, meat meal, meat and bone meal,
ment practices (GMP) for the animal feed in-
fish meal, silk work pupae meal, poultry byproducts,
dustry, with special reference to proteins and
dicalcium phosphate of bone origin and blood meal.
protein byproducts. In: Proceedings of Protein
Sources for the Animal Feed Industry, Expert
REFERENCES Consultation and Workshop held at Bangkok,
Garg, M.R. and Bhanderi, B.M. (2006) Feed quality 29th April-3rd May, 2002.
assurance: nutritional implications and regula-
Speedy, A.W. (2001) The Global Livestock Revo-
tory aspects. In Proceedings of XII Animal
lution: Opportunities and Constraints for the
Nutrition Conference on Technological Inter-
Feed and Livestock Industries, in Proceedings
ventions in Animal Nutrition for Rural Prosper-
of the 43rd National Symposium on Growth
ity held at Anand Agricultural University, Anand,
Prospects under Globalized Scenario vis-à-vis
January 7-9, 2006, pp. 119-123.
Livestock Production and Trade, Goa.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Metrological aspects and strategies to reduce uncertainties in

greenhouse gas emissions from livestock
Prabhat K. Gupta and Arvind K. Jha
Analytical Chemistry Section, National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi-110012, India

Methane produced as part of the normal Processes governing methane emission from
digestive processes of animals result in emissions enteric fermentation
that account for a significant portion of the global Methane emission is characteristics of anaero-
methane budget, about 65-100 million metric tons bic fermentation in fore-stomach of ruminants. Ru-
annually. Livestock is one of the most important minants have an expanded alimentary tract preced-
key-source categories and contributes about 61% ing gastric digestion in the abomasum. In the adult
of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Indian ruminant, the expanded gut (reticulo-rumen, gener-
Agriculture sector, which accounts for 78% CH4 ally termed rumen) represents about 85% of the
and 84% N2O emissions among all anthropogenic total stomach capacity and contains digesta equal
source sectors. Most of the methane production to the 10-20% of the animal's weight (Moss, 1994).
from livestock is from enteric fermentation (around Here large amount of coarse feedstuffs can be re-
90%). Ruminants (cattle, buffalo, sheep and goat) tained for a considerable period of time for exten-
play a major role and their contribution is very high sive fermentation of materials (Moss, 1994). There
(98%). Among these cattle and buffalo alone are several species and strains of bacteria and pro-
contribute to 92% of methane production from tozoa survive in the rumen of animals constituting
enteric fermentation and is considered as key more than 200 species and strains of microorgan-
isms, however only a small portion, about 10 to 20
source category. Methane emission estimates from
species, are believed to play an important role in
the ruminant animals or livestock have an element
ruminant digestion (Baldwin et al., 1983). The main
of uncertainty in some form or the other in the
function of this group is to degrade plant polymers,
activity data and emission coefficients. In order to
which cannot be digested by the host enzymes. Thus
reduce uncertainties and refine the inventories by these organisms help in degradation of cellulosic
adopting appropriate activity data and emission materials of feed intake for the digestion. The ma-
coefficients, which reflect the country specific terial is fermented in to volatile fatty acids, CO2 and
conditions (Indian) institutions comprising NPL CH4. These gases produced are waste products of
New Delhi, NDRI Karnal, and CLRI Chennai with fermentation as well as nutritional loss, which are
NPL as nodal has worked together. This paper mainly removed from rumen by eructation. In In-
touches GHG emission issues encountered during dian condition this loss may be about 8-28 g CH4/
years 2002-04 National Communication phase-I kg dry matter intake depending on species, pro-
(NATCOM-I) GHG measurements & inventory duction level, physiological state, and types of feed
compilation exercise for base year 1994 and intend taken by animal (Singhal, et al., 2005). Hindgut
to dwell upon future efforts required to fill gap fermentation is another important place of methane
areas and further reduce uncertainties in a well production in ruminants as well as monogastric
coordinated, metrological standardized and net- animals. In sheep, hindgut fermentation may be-
work mode. come important with diets of low digestibility. It has
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

been estimated that 10-30% of digestive organic stored in large piles or disposed of in lagoons/ liq-
matter is digested in hindgut (Moss, et al., 2000). uid systems. Methane emissions from manure man-
However most of the methane produced in hindgut agement are usually smaller than enteric fermenta-
is absorbed and excreted by the way of lungs and tion emissions, and are associated with confined
a very little amount is reported to pass as flatus. It animal management facilities where manure is
is estimated that almost 2- 15% of the gross energy handled in a manner resulting in establishment of
in the feed is lost as methane depending on level of anaerobic condition. Livestock manure is mainly
feeding, composition of diet and digestibility (Holter composed of organic material and water. When this
and Young, 1992,). organic material decomposes in an anaerobic envi-
Rumen methanogenic archaebacteria utilize hy- ronment, methanogenic bacteria, as part of an in-
drogen and carbon dioxide or formate, acetate, me- terrelated population of microorganisms, produce
thylamine and methanol for production of methane. volatile solids and methane. The principal factors
The involvement of these bacteria in interspecies affecting methane emission from animal manure are
(collaboration between methanogens and ferment- the amount of manure produced and the portion of
ing species) hydrogen transfer alters the fermenta- the manure that decomposes anaerobically and the
tion balance and results in shifts of overall fermen- climate of location. The end products of anaerobic
tation from less reduced to more reduced end prod- decomposition are CH4, CO2, and stabilized or-
ucts. The major substrate for methane production ganic material (SOM). Anaerobic decomposition
in rumen is hydrogen and carbon dioxide or for- process involves hydrolytic, acid forming, and
mate and minor substrate is acetate. The major methanogenic stages. Production of N2O during the
factors affecting rumen fermentation are rumen pH, storage and treatment of animal waste occurs by
the turnover rate and both of these are affected by both nitrification & de-nitrification of nitrogen con-
diet and other nutritionally related characteristics such tained in wastes. The quantity of nitrous oxide pro-
as level of intake, feeding strategy, forage/ feed duced depends on the manure nitrogen, the type of
roughage length and quality. Both ruminant animals bacteria involved in the decomposition process and
(cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat) and some non-rumi- amount of oxygen and liquid present in manure
nant animals (pigs, horses, mules, assess) produce management system.
methane. Cattle & buffaloes are the most impor-
tant source of methane from enteric fermentation in Enteric fermentation
India because of large population, large size and
Emission factor for individual animal depends
ruminant digestive system. Pseudo-ruminant animals
on bodyweight of animals, type of feed taken by
(horses, mules, asses) and mono-gastric animals
animal, amount of feed intake, methane conversion
(swine) have relatively lower methane emissions
factor, and performance of animal (Crutzen et al.,
because low methane-producing fermentation takes
1986). Indian livestock mainly survive on roughage
place in their digestive systems.
(crop residue) based diet. The important param-
eters in determination of emission factors are meth-
Methane and nitrous oxide emission from ane conversion rate (MCR) of different feed. Inter-
manure management governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has
Methane is produced from the decomposition given default MCR, which are compared with the
of manure under anaerobic conditions, especially Indian value, based on study in India (Table 1) and
when animals are managed in a confined area (dairy found to be significantly lower percentage of con-
farms and beef feedlots), where manure is typically version of feed.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Emission factors developed in India for inven- be the most appropriate for the livestock of each
torying GHG emission by different groups in due country. Further various workers tried to compute
course of time based on the available data source the emission factors based on available resource.
at that time are compared with IPCC default values Emission factors developed by NATCOM-I groups
in following Table 2. It may be said that IPCC in India for dairy cattle are compared with available
default values are relatively higher. The reasons are data for some of the Asian country and regional
discussed elsewhere (Gupta et al., 2003). data of world are compared (Table 3) along with
Table 1. Comparison of methane conversion rates (% of milk production data.
gross energy) for India (Swamy et al., 2004). Most of the buffalo population is confined in
Category IPCC ALGAS NATCOM-1 Asian countries. Table 4 gives comparative emis-
India sion factors for buffalo.
Cattle Dairy 6 0.5 7.0 4.8-6.0
Non-dairy (young) 6 0.5 7.0 4.8-5.0
Manure management
Non-dairy (adult) 7 0.5 7.5 4.8-6.0
Dairy 6 0.5 7.0 5.5 Country-specific emission factors for manure
Buffalo Non dairy (young) 6 0.5 7.0 3-4 management largely depend on the distribution of
Non dairy (adult) 7 0.5 7.5 5.5 animal population in different climatic zone (Gupta
et al., 2007). IPCC summarized three climatic zone
The IPCC (IPCC revised guidelines, 1996) based on temperature profile: cool (temp<15oC),
summarized the emission factors that are thought to temperate (temp. 15-25oC) and warm (temp >
Table 2. Comparison of methane emission factors (Kg CH4/animal/year) developed by various workers in India in
recent times for enteric fermentation
Category IPCC Singhal et al., NATCOM- Singh and ALGAS,
default 2005* 2004 Mohini, 1998
EF±SD 1996#
Dairy cattle Indigenous 46 33 28 ± 5 25.8 23
Crossbred 46 39 43 ± 5 37.8 32
Non dairy cattle 0-1 year 17 8 9±3 31.1 4
(indigenous) 1-3 year 25 16 23 ± 8 31.1 16
Adult 25 31 32 ± 6 31.1 20
Non-dairy cattle 0-1 year 17 10 11 ± 3 36 5
(Cross Bred) 1-2 ½ year 25 21 26 ± 5 36 10
Adult 25 33 33 ± 4 36 29
Dairy buffalo 55 69 50 ± 17 37.2 32
Non dairy Buffalo 0-1 year 23 6 8±3 29.8 7
1-3 year 55 17 22 ± 6 29.8 22
Adult 55 52 44 ± 11 29.8 27
Sheep 5 4 4±1 4.7 5
Goat 5 3 4±1 3.9 5
Horses & Ponies 18 IPCC IPCC
Donkeys 10
Camels 46
Pigs 1
*EF were consolidated based on weighted average; # They have derived EF on the basis of male and female
population. For sake of comparison we took female means mature female and male for all non-dairy.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Table 3. Comparison of methane emission factors for Table 5. Emission factors (kg/h/y) for manure manage-
dairy cattle (Asian countries**, India* and world ment in ruminants (data source IPCC EF data-
on regional# # basis) base otherwise specified)
Country Milk production Emission factor Region Climate Dairy Non-dairy Buffalo
(kg/h/y) (kg/h/y) cattle cattle
China 70.4 Western Europe C 14 6 3
Combodia 170 33 T 44 20 8
India* Indigenous ~620.5 28 Eastern Europe C 6 4 17
T 19 13 3
crossbred ~2091.5 43 North America C 36 1 9
Indonesia 1435 60 T 54 2 16
Japan Lactating 116.4 W 76 3 -
Dry 66.6 Western Europe C 14 6 -
Laos 200 34 T 44 20 -
Malaysia 477 40 W 81 38 -
Myanmar 392 38 Eastern Europe C 6 4 -
Philippines 2618 80 T 19 13 -
W 33 23 -
Vietnam 802 47 Oceania C 31 5 -
North Korea 2308 75 T 32 6 -
Mongolia 312 37 W 33 7 -
South Korea 8833 118 Latin America C 0 1 1
Taiwan 5414 111 T 1 1 1
Thailand 79 W 2 1 2
Regional data Africa C 1 0 -
North America 6700 118 T 1 1 -
W 1 1 -
Western Europe 4200 100 Middle East C 1 1 4
Eastern Europe 2550 80 T 2 1 5
Oceania 1700 68 W 2 1 5
Asia 1650 56 Asia C 7 1 1
Latin America 800 57 T 16 1 2
Africa & middle east 475 36 W 27 2 3
India 900 46 Indian Subcontinent C 5 2 4
India 460 29.5 T 5 2 5
W 6 2 5
India (ind.)* 329# 28 India* Indigenous 3.5±0.2 0-1Yr 1.2 DB 4.4+0.6
India (CB)* 1642# 43 (wt. avg. for 1-3Yr 2.8
* India's Initial National communication (NATCOM) whole country) Adult 2.9±1.4 NDB
**Kazuyo Yamaji et al.,2003 Crossbred 3.8±0.8 0-1Yr 1.1 0-1Yr. 1.8
# FAO statistics (web site) 1-2½Yr 2.3 1-3Yr. 3.4
Adult 2.5+0.9 4.0
# # Milk production data from FAO statistics and EF
data from IPCC, guidelines,1996 table 4.4, page 4.11 (*India's NATCOM, 2004); C-Cool, T-Temperate, W-Warm
DB-Dairy Buffalo, NDB-Non Dairy Buffalo)

Table 4. Comparison of methane emission factor (kg/h/y) for enteric fermentation for buffalo in Asian countries
India #China # #Thailand Other
Dairy buffalo 55 57-80# 50 + 17 67.5 51.6 45-67#
Non dairy 0-1 year 23 23-50 8+3 23-50
Buffalo 1-3 year 55 23-50 22 + 6 38.4 23-50
Adult 55 55-77 44 + 11 56.5* 54.9 55-77
*value is for others excluding breedable
** IPCC default for developing countries
*** IPCC data for Indian sub-continent (EF Data Base of IPCC)
# data for adult female in IPCC EF data base
## Kazuyo Yamaji, 2003
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Livestock population of India

Sheep & goat

Cattle Buffalo Other livestock

Methane Emission from rumen

Higher emission Larger uncertainties

Emission mitigation options Measurement of emission and emission factor (EF)

Precise EF and emission estimate Reduction in uncertainties

Energy for different Feed availability and Energy density of feed Gaseous emission
physiological purposes nutrient standards and other supplements measurements

NEm, NE a, NE l, NE Indian feed Calorimetry,

w, NEp, NE g, NE
standards and Facemask and Hood,
wool, DE, etc.
supply to SF6 tracer technique, IVDMD
livestock and Other methods
Measurement Measurement by Bomb
Calorimeter, etc.
GE/Feed intake

Methane emission factor

Methane emission mitigation
1. Increasing feed efficiency
2. Modification of rumen Reduced uncertainties and precise emission estimate
3. Increasing productivity, etc.

Reduced uncertainties and reduced methane emission

Abbreviations: MCR= methane conversion rate, EF= emission factor, NEm= Net energy for maintenance, NEa
MCR= methane conversion
=Net energy rate,
for activity, NEl=EF= emission
Net energy for factor, NE
lactation, NE = Net energy for maintenance, NEa =Net
m w= Net energy for work, NEp= Net energy for energy for activity,
NEl= Net energy for lactation, NE
pregnancy, NEg= Net energy for = Net energy for work,
w growth, NEw= Net energy for
NE = Net energy for pregnancy, NE = Net
p wool production (sheep), DE= digestible
energy for growth,
NEw= NetGE=energy for wool
Gross energy, production
IVDMD=In (sheep),
vitro DE=
dry matter digestible energy, GE= Gross energy, IVDMD=In vitro dry matter

Fig. 1 Targeted livestock areas and expected outputs of overall work elements
for future studies
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

25oC). India is a vast and diverse country. The remain unresolved due to several reasons. These
emission factors for manure management is devel- gap areas may be summarized as follow;
oped by NATCOM-I group based on weighted Data inadequacy in methane conversion
average of the distribution of animals in different factor: Study related to methane conversion of
climatic zone. IPCC has summarized emission fac- gross energy/ dry matter intake (% energy con-
tors for different regions of the world including In- verted to methane) of animals is confined to higher
dian sub-continent. These data were compared with bred (in terms of milk production) and must be
the emission factor developed by NATCOM group done extensively for indigenous bred also which
of India in Table 5.
represents most (~80%) livestock population hav-
Quantification of uncertainty reduced due to ing wide variations in their performance character-
adoption of indigenous emission factors istics in different agro-climatic regions. There is no
institution in India which has all the in-vivo methane
Total methane emission during 1994 from en-
measurement techniques viz. calorimeter, tracer,
teric fermentation & manure management is around
10.1 Tg (range 9 to 11 Tg). The livestock methane hood and mask techniques etc. to generate transfer
emission estimates from NATCOM are more (by functions. Also no such data is available in an ac-
23%) as compared to ALGAS (1998) and are less curate and standardized way, which can have inter-
(by 30%) when compared to estimates arrived by national traceability for GHG measurements.
using IPCC default emission factors. Conceptual Higher value of coefficients used in the
flow diagram (Fig.-1) depicts the targeted livestock calculation: Coefficients used in the calculation of
areas and expected result of overall work elements gross energy for animals are based on western
for future studies. equations in IPCC guidelines, hence may not be
In NATCOM-1 efforts, three different ap- appropriate for India. Calculated gross energy is
proaches were adopted and the results were finally converted to dry matter intake using energy density
averaged to give national emission factor. These ap- of feed. Some of the reports from country reveal
proaches were dry matter intake method (Singhal, et that IPCC good practice recommended energy
al., 2005), consideration of available nutrient in dif- density value (18.45 MJ/kg dry matter) is higher.
ferent Indian feeds (Feeding standard based) and the Other coefficients used in calculating GE intake of
third based on IPCC good practice guidance equa- animals are based on survey conducted in western
tions on energy balance. In the IPCC guide lines 1996 countries (viz. coefficients for pregnancy for single/
document, data of body weights, milk production and double birth, for calculating net energy for mainte-
gross energy intake etc. were mainly considered nance, and activity corresponding to animal feeding
based on western countries practices including higher situation, etc.). The energy density of feed has to
values for different animal performance data. The be generated for country specific feed given to the
emission factors developed during NATCOM-1 were animal. It is important to determine the quality of
based on existing Indian specific data source of live- feed in terms of nutrient and energy. Several meth-
stock information that were believed to represent the odologies at various institutions are available for
realistic condition in the country and are summarized chemical characterization and energy evaluation of
elsewhere (Gupta et al., 2003).
animal feed. However these methodologies may be
compared and tested for their data quality, preci-
Data gaps sion and accuracy. Further this data has to be com-
Several data gap and discrepancies were parable and traceable to national and international
identified/ encountered during NATCOM-1, which level to ensure quality of measurements.
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Body weight of non-descript bred is not sition of different types of livestock, livestock feed
available: Most of the cattle researches in terms and climatic condition. The above data gap may be
of energy intake and GHG emissions are devoted overcome in future by planned and coordinated
for crossbred cattle in India. Some of the indig- study. It is, therefore, important to undertake a
enous breeds (more productive in terms of milk) holistic study of methane and nitrous oxide emission
are also studied, and majority of such cattle (even from livestock of agriculture sector so that uncer-
species is not known for some of the cattle, but tainties stated above will be reduced in future GHG
kept by farmers) constitutes more than 80% in India budget for NATCOM-II from India. Such studies
(however this percentage is decreasing gradually). will generate capacity and will provide opportuni-
Their body weight, feeding habits, milk productiv- ties to accomplish research needs of above gap
ity, etc. are either not well surveyed or even not areas in the livestock area of agriculture sector.
described in majority of Indian states. This has lead
to assumptions, uncertainty and bias in feed intake
GHG measurement methodology and metro-
estimation as well as GHG emission estimates.
logical aspects
Proper survey may be undertaken by the network
institutions to generate this data. Several techniques are used for CH4 measure-
ment from enteric fermentation of ruminants. These
Data gap/ mismatch for the estimation of
techniques may include short-term in-vitro rumen
feed availability and feed required by animals:
liquor incubation to in-vivo respiration calorimeter
There are various reports available for the feed
(IAEA, 1992). The main techniques are enclosure
availability and ration given to livestock in various
technique, tracer technique and indirect methods.
states as well as national level. However there ex-
Enclosure technique comprises either total enclo-
ists wide dissimilarity in terms of reporting format
sure of animals or enclosure of their head area (head
as well as quantity. Some of the reports describe
box, ventilated hood or face mask). Open circuit
availability/ deficiency in terms of crude protein (CP),
calorimetry is one of the important enclosure tech-
Organic matter (OM), Acid detergent fibre (ADF),
niques, which was previously used for studying heat
etc. However some other reports describe green
production (Cammell et al., 1980) in animal. This
fodder, straw, hay, concentrate, etc. and some other
technique may be precisely applicable for methane
in format of dry matter, forest produce, etc & there
measurement from ruminants in which whole animal
too reporting value mismatch. Proper survey and
can be kept in metabolic cage and emissions can
normalized reporting of feed data, which should have
be measured from rumen fermentation. In India,
high quality (chemical characterization) is essential.
IVRI has an established calorimetry technique where
Utilization pattern of dung / manure man- experiments were conducted in the past
agement system: No reliable data are available (Chandramoni et al., 1998; Chandramoni et al.,
on different manure management system adopted in 2000). Another important technique for measuring
country and that too based on temperature profile methane from enteric fermentation is SF6 tracer
(regional). Further there is variation among the feed- technique (Johnson et al., 1994). This technique
ing rations given to the animals, which reflect in the was used at NDRI Karnal for methane emission
dung characteristics. There is a need for proper study from livestock (Berman et al., 2001; Mohini
survey of manure management systems and related and Singh, 2001). Before use of SF6 tracer tech-
field methane & nitrous oxide measurement studies. nique in India, workers tried to estimate methane
Since India is a big country and there exist emission by in-vitro technique. Earlier facemask
wide regional variation in livestock breed, compo- technique was applied to study methane emission
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

from enteric fermentation in India (Krishna, et al., Conclusion

1978). Good practice guidance should be followed for
In would be appropriate to establish all facili- the targeted groups of livestock, for the methane emis-
ties (SF6, Calorimeter, Hood/ Face mask, Indirect sion measurement using various techniques, which are
technique) at one or two prime institutions in India. of major source category like cattle and buffaloes
This will enable to generate transfer functions among with others viz. sheep & goat if possible. Earlier stud-
these techniques. Further simpler technique like ies were mainly confined to crossbred and higher bred
Hood/ Face mask may be applied in the field con- varieties, and majorities of the Indian livestock are
dition to get desired database for the country re- nondescript. There may be large variation in meth-
garding in-vivo methane conversion of different ane emission within and between different agro-cli-
feeds. Metrological aspects may be taken care for matic regions of the country as well as animal cat-
these techniques, which may be used, to generate egory based on their feeding regime and other char-
data through a calibrated/ standardized practice in acteristics. The future network, which may represent
a coordinated manner and QA/QC may be main- most part of major livestock population and climatic
tained by using reference gas standards having na- regions, should be capable to generate data regard-
tional and international traceability in measurements. ing feeding pattern, digestibility of different feed ra-
Animal feeds may be characterized by several sim- tion and bodyweight by quality survey and standard-
pler chemical/ instrumental approaches already in ized traceable measurements for methane and nitrous
practice by various institutions. These methods, which oxide. Such metrological approach will reduce un-
analyze organic carbon, nitrogen, carbohydrate, etc., certainties in GHG estimation from Indian livestock.
can be standardized also. A multi-institutional In-
dian network is necessary to carryout various tasks REFERENCES
and responsibilities in different parts of the country
and ensuring the quality of measurements through ALGAS. (1998) Asia Least cost Greenhouse gas
inter-comparisons, proficiency testing of the partici- Abatement Strategy, Asian Development Bank,
pating institutions, standardization of equipments cali- Global Environmental Facility, United Nations
bration and measurements so that to have data Development Programme, Manilla, Phillipines.
traceable to international standards or top metro- Baldwin, R.L. and Allison, M.J. (1983) Rumen me-
logical quality. tabolism. J. of Anim. Sci. 57: 461- 477.
Besides these aspects related to quantification Berman, K., Mohini, M. and Singhal, K.K., (2001)
of uncertainty and improving accuracy in nation in- Indian J. Anim. Nutr., 18, 325-329.
ventory estimate of methane, efforts should also be
made for the in-vivo reduction of methane genera- Cammell, S.B., Beever, D.E., Skelton, K.V. , and
tion. There are several methods including supple- Spooner, M.C. (1980) Lab. Prac. 30, 115-119.
mentation of extra chemicals, lipids, plants extracts, Chadramoni, C.M. Tiwari, S.B. Jadhao, Khan,
etc. emphasizing rumen process manipulation. How- M.Y., (1998) International J. Anim. Sci., 13:
ever care should be taken in using chemicals so that 33-36.:
there should not be any adverse impact on animals
or their production potential. Moreover there should Chadramoni, Jadhao, S.B., Tiwari, C.M. and Khan,
not be traces of undesired chemicals in animal prod- M.Y. (2000) AFST: 83: 287-300.
ucts before commercializing these methods for re- Crutzen P J, Aselman, I. and Seiler,W. (1986)
duction of GHG emissions. Tellus 38B: 271-284.
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Gupta, P.K., Jha A.K., Tomar, M., Singh, N., ernmental Panel on Climate Change
Swamy, M., Singhal, K.K., Garg , S.C., and
Krishna, G, Razdar, M. N. and Ray, S. N. (1978)
Mitra, A.P. (2003) Greenhouse Gas Emission
Indian J. Anim. Sci., 48: 366-370.
Uncertainty Reduction in Indian Agriculture Sec-
tor: Livestock", in Proceedings of the Mohini, M. and Singh G.P. (2001) Indian J. Anim.
NATCOM workshop on Uncertainty Reduc- Nutr., 18: 204-209
tion in GHG inventories, 4-5 pp. 139-146.
Moss, A.R. (1994) Nutr. Abstr. Rev. (Series B)
Gupta, P.K., Jha, A.K., Koul, S., Sharma, P., 64: 785-803
Pradhan, V., Gupta V., Sharma, C., and Singh,
Moss, A.R., Jouany, JP. and Newbold, J. (2000)
N., (2007) Environmental Pollution. 146:
Ann. Zootech, 49: 231-253.
NATCOM (2004) India's Initial national communi-
Holter J.B. and Young, A.J. (1992) J. Dairy Sci,
cation (NATCOM) to the United Nations
75: 2165-2175.
Framework Convention on Climate Change,
IAEA (1992) Manual on measurement of meth- Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt of
ane and nitrous oxide emissions from agri- India June 2004, pp 35.
culture, International Atomic Energy Agency,
Singh, G.P., Mohini, M. (1996) Current Sci. 71:
Vienna, Australia, 45-67.
IPCC. (1996) Emission factor database: Inter-
Singhal, K.K., Mohini, M., Jha, A.K. and Gupta,
governmental Panel on Climate Change
P. K. (2005) Curr. Sci. 88: 129-127.
www.ipcc- nggip.iges.or.jp/EFDB/main.php
Swamy, M., Singhal, K.K., Gupta, P. K., Mohini,
IPCC. (1996) Good Practices guidance and un-
M., Jha, A. K. and Singh, N., Reduction in
certainty management in National GHG
Uncertainties From Livestock Emissions, In
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Climate change and India: Uncertainties re-
mate Change.
duction in green house gas inventory esti-
IPCC. (1996) Revised IPCC Guidelines for Na- mates. Universities Press (India) Pvt Ltd,
tional Greenhouse Gas Inventories Inter-gov- Hyderabad, pp. 223-241.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Environmental pollution and animal productivity

D. Swarup
Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar-243122, India

“In the future, the problem of declining living rapid and extensive over the past 5 decades than
standards in poor countries is likely to be worsened ever before, largely to meet rapidly growing de-
by environmental degradation. Today, environmen- mand for foods. At one time environment referred
tal problems already affect the health and liveli- to only public health and sanitation, and pollution
hoods of hundreds of millions. If drastic steps are was defined in relation to human health hazard. But
not taken, the coming century will see billions of today, the environment and pollution has assumed
people suffer the consequences of pollution and vast connotation with ever widening frontiers in-
scarcity of natural resources, especially, agricultural volving several disciplines. As such, the effects of
land and water” ( Frans Doorman, 2003) pollution are considered far extensive affecting vari-
Pollution can be defined as the human alter- ous units of the biosphere. The major emphasis is
ation of chemical or physical characteristics of the now placed on multidisciplinary problem-solving
environment to a degree that is harmful to living approaches, and the animal scientists can contrib-
organisms. Some forms of pollution exert a de- ute greatly to issues related to animal production,
structive influence on human, animals and wildlife quality of the produce and the environment (Pow-
by killing or impairing the health of individuals. ers, 2003).
Synthetic chemicals, oil, toxic metals, and acid rain
are included in this category of toxic pollutants. Sensitivity to pollutants
Autopsy lesions of ‘black lung disease’, similar to Different species vary in their sensitivity to toxic
that observed in the coal miners, in the pollutants. Many domestic and wild animals have
archeologically discovered body of an Eskimo natural instinct and behavior to protect themselves
woman who apparently had died about 1600 years against untoward environmental hazards. For ex-
ago in a landslide in the Bering sea region suggest ample, grazing ruminants generally reject certain
that the anthropogenic pollution of the environment harmful plants; horses excrete in certain areas, which
dates back to antiquity (Bell et al., 1990). How- they avoid for grazing, and dogs instinctively take
ever the magnitude of pollution has increased many emetics to protect themselves. Birds are unusually
folds during 20th century with rapid industrialization sensitive to odorless coal gas and other air pollut-
and expansion of mechanical transport and agro- ants in coalmines (Schawbe, 1984). Behavior pat-
industrial sectors. In recent times, humans release tern of fish to avoid contaminated water and nesting
thousands of synthetic chemicals into the environ- behavior of birds on water bodies are used as in-
ment that has altered the distribution of many natu- dicators of water pollution and population trend of
rally occurring substances, thereby creating condi- birds in a habitat provides indication to the quality
tions that human, animal and wildlife species had of ecosystem. Pheasants are important indicator
never experienced before. On the basis of Millen- species and their presence or absence in an area is
nium Ecosystem Assessment conducted between a good indicator of the health of ecosystem (Anon.
2001 and 2005, United Nations reported that an- 2004). In general, impact of the environmental
thropogenic changes in ecosystem have been more pollution on animals can be categorized as:
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

l Pollutant burden without adverse effects, and tality in cattle and buffaloes due industrial lead tox-
minor adaptive physiological or behavioral icity was responsible for significant financial losses
changes to farmers (Swarup and Dwivedi, 2002).
l Sub-clinical/sub-lethal effects characterized by
minor pathological or behavioral changes- in- Health impacts and production loss
cluding decreased predator avoidance capac-
The severity of health impact of pollution
ity resulting in increased susceptibility to preda-
depends on kind of pollution and pollutants, pres-
tors, diminished foraging efficiency or success
ence of interacting chemicals, extent and route of
in prey capture, decreased fecundity, and im-
exposure, and species, age, physiology and nutri-
paired nest- building, courtship and prenatal
tion of the exposed population. Undernourished,
young, old, physiologically stressed and debilitated
l Lethal toxicity characterized by high morbid-
animals are more susceptible to pollution effects.
ity and mortality
Various industrial, transport and other polluting
l Population and community effects character- sources release host of specific and common pol-
ized by change in population structure and func-
lutants such as oxides of sulfur, nitrogen and car-
tion i.e. change in age structure or sex ratio, and
bon, halogen gases, toxic heavy metals, volatile
density, abundance, or bio-mass of indigenous
hydrocarbons, oxidants and ozone, to name a few.
Many of these pollutants persist in the environment
and can build up to high levels, even if released in
Impact of pollution
small quantities. Many others undergo transforma-
The impacts of pollution on animals are asso- tion and are converted into more dangerous forms
ciated with serious economic losses arising due to than parent compounds. For example, inorganic
adverse effects on health and production. Residues mercury is converted into more toxic methyl mer-
of pollutants have been detected in food products cury by certain bacteria in aquatic sediment. In
originating from healthy animals harbouring pollut- ‘Minamata disaster’, the microorganisms converted
ant burden and living in the industrial vicinity. This inorganic mercury that was present in the effluent of
may adversely affect quality of milk, meat or eggs
a plastic manufacturing factory into methyl mercury.
and many a times rendering these products unfit for
It was taken up by plankton algae and concen-
human consumption.
trated in fish and subsequently caused illness in cats
Adverse impact of pollutants on health and and fishermen (Klaassen, 1996). Exposure to higher
economy of livestock are reported globally. Fre- concentration of toxic chemicals induces specific
quent epizootics of lead toxicosis in lead smelting acute toxicities, where as long term low level expo-
areas in US caused heavy economic losses to equine sure causes chronic toxicity.
husbandry (Schwabe, 1984). The impact of fluoride
pollution on Cornwall Island cattle Industry was so Pesticide pollution: Chemical pesticides were
immense that the majority of farmers switched from introduced as an important tool for pest control and
dairy to beef cattle, and 63 of the 82 dairy cattle have been used extensively in human health opera-
on a farm near aluminum smelter were slaughtered tions and agricultural applications since late 1940s.
in one year (Krook and Maylin, 1979). One of the The wide spread use, solubility in lipids, environ-
major hindrances to broiler industry is the adverse mental persistence and bio-magnification potential
effects of ammonia produced within the house due of pesticides soon precipitated health hazards in
to microbial degradation of litter. It is manifested in animals. It has been noted that among all farm
chronic respiratory diseases and, consequently, death chemicals, pesticides owing to their toxic potential,
leading to huge economic loss. In India, heavy mor- pose the greatest hazard and are incriminated as
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

the most common cause of poisoning in animals. immune and endocrine systems. Pesticides are also
Pesticides accounted for 85 (17.65%) of the 487 classified as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC)
reported cases of poisoning in animals globally during and their effects on endocrine system may be re-
1986 to 1996 (Swarup, 2002). sponsible for reproductive, immunotoxic, develop-
Principal portal of pesticides’ entry to livestock mental and carcinogenic effects. Many pesticides
is their extensive and indiscriminate use in agricul- mimic or interact with estrogen hormone and this
ture and veterinary practices. Animals may become ability has been linked to breast cancer in women.
contaminated with pesticides when treated with these Increase in occurrence of breast cancer was asso-
compounds or via exposure to contaminated water, ciated with increased use of pesticides in US.
feed, buildings or pastures. Insecticides and fungi- The pesticide residues in milk may be much haz-
cides are common pesticides contaminating animals. ardous to vulnerable populations, especially chil-
Once in the livestock system number of pesticides dren, who not only consume more milk, but are
such as DDT, heptachlor, linden, etc persist and also more sensitive to toxic substances due to their
bioaccumulate in the biological system owing to their higher metabolic rate and larger brain size in pro-
lipid soluble nature. Residues of these compounds portion to body size than adults. Further, children
in milk are of special concern because milk is con- have variable ability to activate, detoxify and elimi-
sumed in large quantity by vulnerable population nate toxic compounds from the body. However,
and they tend to concentrate in milk fat. It was despite findings pointing to presence of pesticide
above permissible limits in considerably high pro-
estimated that 40% of the pesticides in human diet
portion of milk samples in India, little information
are found in meat, milk and egg and this exposure,
are available on chronic effects of pesticides on
except for occasional out-breaks has decreased in
animal health and production.
the past few years. In India, number of studies
have revealed residues of DDT and BHC above Heavy metal pollutants: Metals have been
MRL in most samples of the milk and milk prod- used by mankind for diverse purposes and their use
ucts (Meral and Boghra, 2004). It has been ob- for range of industrial activities in the modern pe-
served that with imposition on use of these pesti- riod has been responsible for their ubiquitous pres-
cides, their residue levels in milk have decreased ence in the environment as chemical contaminants.
Various anthropogenic activities such as burning of
considerably of late (Unnikrishanan et al., 2005).
fossil fuel, mining and metallurgy, industries and trans-
However, milk samples collected from areas where
port sectors redistribute toxic heavy metals into the
DDT had reportedly been used to kill mosquitoes
environment, which persist for a considerably longer
revealed high levels of DDT and 25% samples had
period and are translocated to different compo-
residue levels above MRL (Surendra Nath et al.,
nents of environment including biotic segment. Bio-
2002). The noticeable levels of DDT and HCH logically, heavy metals play both beneficial and
residues have also been reported in tissue samples detrimental role. Metals such as copper, zinc, iron
such as adipose tissues, liver and kidney of cattle, selenium, magnesium and manganese are essential
sheep and goats in India (Surendra Nath et al., components of several enzyme systems involved in
1998). variety of physiological activities. Some other heavy
Exposure to pesticides via contamination of metals such as cadmium, lead, arsenic and mercury
livestock system may not always occur at a level have little or no known beneficial biological activity
sufficient to cause acute effects and it is more likely and are generally regarded as toxic heavy metals.
to precipitate chronic, sub clinical and subtle ef- Irrespective of their role heavy metals tend to
fects. At low level of exposure, effects are diverse accumulate in the body because of their persisting
and can involve many systems including nervous, nature and they generally combine with one or more
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

bio-active ligands viz –OH, -COO-,- OPO3 H-, 0.38 ppm) in milk after 6 weeks of discontinuation
>C=O, -SH, -S-S, NH2 and >NH that are essen- of exposure (Dey et al., 1996). Other than lead,
tial for normal physiological function and activate higher levels of cadmium and mercury have been
several enzyme system. reported in livestock in some pockets of the coun-
Because of their universal presence in the en- try.
vironment, toxic heavy metals are translocated into Of all the toxic metals, lead has posed much
livestock system via various sources such as con- serious problem to animal health and production in
taminated feed and fodder, water and soil. More India and abroad. It is one of the commonest causes
often than not, contamination occurs due to indus- of poisoning in farm animals, particularly cattle and
trial pollution. But some times, natural sources may young animals are more susceptible. Sheep, goat
contribute to higher levels of toxic metals in envi- and horses are also affected, but pigs are rarely
ronment. To cite an example, arsenic contamination exposed. The major sources of lead that can cause
of ground water is an important cause of poisoning accidental lead poisoning in animals include paints
in many countries including India, and most cases which contain lead oxide (red lead), triplumbic
of arsenic exposure are associated with intake of tetraoxide, lead carbonate (white lead), lead sul-
contaminated water (Jin et al., 2004). An estimated phate or lead chromate. The chief sources of lead
6 million people in WB, India are presently drinking poisoning in cattle and other animals also include
water contaminated with arsenic >50 µg/L in an discarded waste materials including batteries, dump
area of 38, 865 km2 (Chowdhury et al., 2001) oil, oil paint container and bone-fire ash. Use of
which is well above the recommended permissible lead containing grease, motor vehicle lubricating oil
limit (WHO 1993). Ground water contamination also leads to accidental lead poisoning. Indiscrimi-
with arsenic is also reported from Vietnam, Cam- nate eating habits and pica in cattle, possibly due to
bodia, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Argentina, Japan, Thai- phosphorous deficiency resulting in eating of hard
land, Chile, Mongolia, Finland, Hungary and the object with impunity, enhances the chance of eating
likes. Once in the animal system, the heavy metals lead containing substances resulting in lead poison-
can contaminate food chain and pose public con- ing in ruminants. Contamination of forage and wa-
cerns. Milk and milk products could be contami- terways close to shooting activities enhances the
nated when milch animals consume water, feed lead content of the soil. However, maximum re-
and fodder grown in polluted environment (Swarup ports of chronic lead poisoning in cattle were due
and Dwivedi, 2002) to environmental pollution from lead, iron and steel
Various surveys conducted by us revealed industries, zinc smelter plant and from automobile
higher levels of heavy metals in milk, eggs and other exhaust. Animals reared around the industrial area
tissues of animals from industrial vicinity. Higher lead and highways have higher blood lead level over and
burden in blood and milk from animals reared in above the minimum toxic level (0.25ppm) that is
urban localities and around polluting industrial units attributed to emission from industries and motor-
have been documented from various parts of the ized vehicles. Emission into air leads to fall out of
India and elsewhere in the world (Baars et al., lead on to the soil and fodder for animal use.
1990). Milk lead concentration is exponentially re- Continual ingestion of such contaminated fodder
lated to blood lead (Swarup et al., 2005). It is results in chronic lead poisoning in animals. The
expected that animals exposed to industrial lead poisoning is also emerging as a serious concern
will excrete higher lead in milk. In a study, buffaloes with the growing industrialization in India and sev-
that had suffered from acute industrial plumbism eral reports documenting lead poisoning in livestock
were found to excrete high level of lead (1.13 ± in various parts of the country are now on record
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

as compared to very few before 1980 (Dey et al. minal atony is accompanied by constipation in early
1996, Dogra et al.,1996, Swarup et al., 2005). It stage followed by foetid diarrhea. Animals remain
could be due to expansion of lead-based industrial unwilling to eat and drink and stand still, reluctant
operation and cumulative toxic potential of lead. to walk, dull and depressed and sometimes, while
Toxic effects of lead range from peracute, walking reveals drunken gait. In some other cir-
acute, subacute to subtle depending upon the physi- cumstances, animals remain recumbent and die
cal and chemical nature of the lead compounds, its quietly. Major differentiating observations of
composition, particle size etc. In acute poisoning, polioencephalomacia from lead poisoning is that in
case fatality may be as high as 100%. In cattle, the former eye preservation reflex is normal while in
there is sudden onset of signs and the animal at the latter it is absent or markedly diminished. Lead
pasture may succumb within 24 hours. Staggering, is also classified as a potential EDC, and may be
muscle tremor particularly of head and neck with responsible for reproductive and other hormonal
champing of jaws and frothing from mouth are mainly problems in animals.
encountered in acute toxicity. Nystagmus and snap- Fluorosis: Small amounts of fluorine were con-
ping of eye lids are not uncommon. Blindness, cer- sidered essential for prevention of dental caries and
vical, facial and auricular twitching is consistent in osteoporosis in human. However, continuous inges-
acute lead poisoning in animals. Animals eventually tion of excess fluoride results in chronic fluoride tox-
fall with tono-clonic convulsions, pupillary dilata- icity commonly referred as fluorosis. In animals, the
tion, opisthotonus and muscle tremor. Animal be- condition is manifested by bony exostosis, lameness,
comes hyperesthetic to touch and sound with in- poor weight bearing, loss in performance and pro-
creased heart and respiration rate. An adult animal duction, inability to masticate food materials, reduced
exhibits a characteristic frenzy maniacal blind look feed conversion efficiency, poor digestibility and death
and use to charge fences and walls and attempts to (Swarup et al., 2001). Skeletal fluorosis is charac-
climb or jump over objects. Head pressing is a terized by hyperosteosis, osteopetrosis and os-
characteristic sign in acute lead toxicity. Gastrointes- teoporosis. Lameness is the first signs noticed in af-
tinal involvement is manifested in diarrhea, cramp- fected animals and animal often crawl on knee pos-
ing, abdominal distension and pain. Central nervous ture due fracture of phalanx.
system involvement is seen up to 90% of lead Long-term exposure to sub-toxic doses of fluo-
poisoned cases, where as 60% cases show gas- ride can induce changes in cellular metabolism and
trointestinal problems. Death usually supervenes macro- and micro-nutrient imbalances. Fluoride
during the period of convulsions, mostly due to exposure also impairs reproductive functions and
respiratory failure. induces teratogenicity. High prevalence of sterility,
In subacute lead toxicity in cattle, animal re- repeat estrous cycle, stillbirth and birth to weak
mains alive for three to four days and shows the calves are often associated with chronic fluorosis.
clinical signs of dullness, anorexia, depression, loss Intake of comparatively low dietary fluoride (8-12
of weight and eye sight, incoordination, staggering mg/kg) for a year was responsible for significant
and sometimes, circling. The circling is not consis- increase in post-calving anoestrus and decline in
tent and animal changes the direction of circling fertility in cows (Van Rensburg and de-Vos 1966).
when it is confined within a stall or box. Muscle Gaseous and other air pollutants: The air,
tremor, hyperesthesia and grinding of teeth are which animals breathe, is frequently contaminated
common along with mild abdominal pain, salivation, with air-borne pollutants such gases, particulates
lachrymation and alimentary tract dysfunction. Ru- and bioaerosal and endotoxins. Some of these pol-
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

lutants may have industrial origin, but more often, Growing pressures on air, water, and land resources
these arise from the animals facilities themselves. and increasing incidence of animal and human health
Gases like ammonia, hydrogen sulfide , methane, problems due to industrial pollution has focused
carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide mainly origi- global attention in recent years on finding novel ways
nate from decomposition of organic matters and to sustain and manage the environment. Specific
respiratory excretions. They are collected in animal toxicity , such as plumbism and fluorosis that posed
houses, particularly under poor ventilation and over- serious health problems in animals in the developed
crowding conditions and affect the health, growth countries some years back, have shown their emer-
and production of animals. Excess ammonia in pigs gence in India in the recent past. Although, there
has been associated with decreased growth, low- has been growing interest amongst researchers in
ered average number of pigs weaned and porcine clinico-epidemiological and management studies
stress syndrome. Ammonia is considered as the most pertaining to pollution related animal diseases, still
significant air pollutant in cattle barns and a concen- several gaps exist in the knowledge in this direction,
tration of 100ppm in poorly ventilated house can which need attention of veterinary researchers and
adversely affect pulmonary function in cattle. Hy- field veterinarians. Further, chemical pollutants may
drogen sulfide, an irritating gas, produces local in- pose a major concern to food quality. Increase use
flammation of moist membranes of eyes and respi- of chemicals in veterinary practice as drugs, pesti-
ratory system. cides and feed additives, expanding industrial sec-
tor and food processing methods and environmen-
A host of particulates, consisting mainly dust
tal contamination are the principal portal of entry of
and microorganisms are dispersed in air of animal
chemical pollutants into livestock system and food
houses from feed litter, manure and animal them-
products of animal origin. The presence of many of
selves. They can induce mechanical, chemical, in-
these chemicals, even in the residual form may be
fectious, immunosuppressive and toxic effects in
detrimental to public health. These pollutants, which
animals. High dust levels in animal houses can be can find their way in animal products as environ-
associated with mechanical irritation, overloading of mental contaminants can be reduced through
lung clearance, lesions of mucus membrane and
judicious use and by improving management condi-
reduced resistance to infection. The high concen-
tions at farms, periodic monitoring of residues level,
tration of dust appears to cause reduced perfor-
establishment of regional laboratory with quality
mance, and clinically recognizable diseases such as
assurance facilities, strict implementation of SPS
atrophic rhinitis in pigs. Microorganisms and dust
measures, extension of Hazard Analysis and Criti-
together may induce allergic and hypersensitivity
cal Control Point (HACCP) from farm to consum-
reactions, and intoxication by bacterial and fungal
ers stage.
toxins. Airborne endotoxins have been implicated in
the pathogenesis of hypersensitivity pneumonia. In
cattle and horse, asthma, allergic rhinitis and alveolitis REFERENCES
are primarily associated with dust and toxins origi- Anonymous. (2004) Pheasants of India. World
nating form mould feed, hay and straw. All these Pheasant Association India. New Delhi, pp.3-
conditions are often associated with poor produc- 5.
tivity in animals. Baars, A. J., Beek Hvan, Visser, I. T. R., Delft, W.,
Van, Fennema, G., Lieben, G.W., Lautenberg,
Conclusion K., Nieuwenhuijs, J. H. M., Coulander,
The quality of life on Earth is linked inextri- PADEL, Pluimers, F. H., Haar, G. Van, De,
cably to the overall quality of the environment. Jrna, T., Tuinstra L. G. M. T., Zandstra, P. and
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Bruins B. (1990) Tijdschrift voor Williams & Wilkins. pp.562-77.

diergeneeskunde 115: 882-890 Surendra Nath B, Sarwar, Usha MA and
Bell, P. A., Fisher, J. D., Baum, A. and Greene, T. Unnikrishanan V. (2002) Indian J. Dairy
C. (1990) Environmental Psychology. 3rd Biosci., 13: 98-101
Edition. Harcoust Brace Jovanovich College Surendra Nath B, Unnikrishnan V, Gayathri V, Chitra
Publ. PS Preeja CN and Raama Murthy MK.
Chowdhury, U. K., Rahman, M. M., Mandal, B. (1998) J. Food Sci. Technol., 35: 547-548.
K., Paul, K., Lodh, D. and Biswas, B.K. Swarup D and Dwivedi S K. (2002) In: Environ-
(2001) Environ. Sci., 8: 393-415. mental Pollution and Eeffects of Lead and
Dey S, Dwivedi S K and Swarup D. (1996) Vet. Ffluoride on Animal Health. Indian Council
Record, 138: 336. of Agricultural Resaerch, New Delhi
Dogra R K S, Murthy R C, Srivastava A K, Gaur Swarup D, Patra R C, Naresh R, Kumar P and
J S, Shukla L J and Varmani B M. (1996) Shekhar P. (2005) The Sci. Total Environ.
Archives of Environ. Contamination and 347: 106-110.
Toxicology., 30: 292-297. Swarup D. (2002) Domestic Animal Impacts. In:
Jin Y, Sun G, Li X, Li G, Lu C and Qu L. (2004) Enclyclopedia of Pest Management. (David
Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 196: 396-403. Pimentel, ed.). 201–03.
Klaassen C D. (1996) Heavy metal and heavy metal Swarup D, Dey S, Patra R C, Dwivedi S K and
antagonists. In: Goodman and Gillmans. The Ali S L. (2001) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 71:
Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 1111-1116.
Krook L and Maylin G A. (1979) Cornell Veteri- Unnikrishnan, V, Bhavadasan MK, Nath BS and
narian, 69: 1-77. Chand Ram. (2005) Indian J. Anim. Sci., 75:
Meral M and Boghra VR. (2004) Indian J. Dairy 592-598
Sci., 57: 291-303. Van Rensburg S W J and de-Vos W H. (1966)
Powers W J. (2003) J. Dairy Sci., 86: 1045– Onderstepoort J. Veter. Res., 33: 185-94.
1051 WHO. Guideline for drinking water quality:
Schwabe C W. (1984) Veterinary Medicine and Recommendations. (1993) Vol. I, 2nd Edn.
Human Health. 3rd edn. Baltimore/ London, Geneva.

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Safety and wholesomeness of genetically modified crops for

livestock, poultry and aquaculture: focus on insect-
protected crops in India
G. F. Hartnell and B. G. Hammond
Monsanto Company, St. Louis, MO (USA)

Safety and wholesomeness is the top priority For the first time, India grew more Bt cotton
in developing new crops through biotechnology. (3.8 million hectares) than China (3.5 million hect-
Each genetically modified (GM) crop has under- ares) and moved up the world ranking by two places
gone rigorous testing and assessment based on the to number 5 in the world, overtaking both China
latest guidance from regulatory agencies and na- and Paraguay (James, 2006).
tional and international scientific organizations. As
a result, commercialized GM crops (herbicide tol- Insect-protection traits
erance and insect protection traits) have seen an
Insect-protected plants commercialized to date
unprecedented adoption by farmers globally over
are generally enhanced to produce insect control
the past decade. In 2006, the global area of biotech
proteins in planta like those made from Bacillus
crops has grown to 102 million hectares (252 mil-
thuringiensis (Bt) (Fischhoff et al., 1987; Perlak,
lion acres) of which 68%, 19%, and 13% were
1990). Bt is ubiquitous gram-positive soil bacte-
planted with herbicide tolerant, insect protected, or
rium that forms crystalline protein inclusions during
combination of these traits, respectively (James,
sporulation (Höfte and Whiteley, 1989). The inclu-
2006). From 1996-2006, this crop technology saw
sion bodies consist of Cry proteins (Cry is an ac-
an unprecedented 60 fold increase, the fastest adop-
ronym for crystal) which are selectively active against
tion of any crop technology in recent history (James,
certain lepidopteran, dipteran or coleopteran pests.
2006). According to James (2006), 10.3 million
Microbial Bt products containing Cry proteins were
farmers from 22 countries planted biotech crops in
first commercialized in 1961 for use in agriculture
2006. Of the 10.3 million, 90% or 9.3 million
and have been used for over 40 years (Baum et
were small, resource-poor farmers from developing
al., 1999) with an exemplary safety record (Betz et
countries whose increased income from biotech
al., 2000). The first Bt microbial formulations were
crops contributed to their poverty alleviation. Of
based on Bt kurstaki strain HD 1 which produces
the 9.3 million small farmers, most of whom were
four Cry proteins (Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac and
Bt cotton farmers; 6.8 million were in China, 2.3
Cry2Aa) active against lepidopteran pests
million in India, 100,000 in the Philippines, several
(Hammond et al., 2002). The cry1Ab and cry1Ac
thousand in South Africa, with the balance in the
genes in the Bt HD1 strain are the prototypes for
other seven developing countries which grew biotech
the genes currently expressed in maize and cotton.
crops in 2006. This initial modest contribution of
In planta production of these Cry proteins confers
biotech crops to the Millennium Development Goal
plant protection throughout the growing season.
of reducing poverty by 50% by 2015 is an impor-
tant development, which has enormous potential in Bt cotton, which confers resistance to impor-
the second decade of commercialization from 2006 tant insect pests of cotton, was first adopted in
to 2015 (James, 2006). India as hybrids in 2002. India grew approximately
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

50,000 hectares of officially approved Bt cotton the use of insecticides (Gianessi and Carpenter,
hybrids for the first time in 2002, and doubled its 1999). The accumulative reduction in pesticides
Bt cotton area to approximately 100,000 hectares for the decade 1996 to 2005 was estimated at
in 2003. The Bt cotton area increased again four- 224,300 MT of active ingredient, which is equiva-
fold in 2004 to reach over half a million hectares. lent to a 15% reduction in the associated environ-
In 2005, the area planted to Bt cotton in India mental impact of pesticide use on these crops, as
continued to climb reaching 1.3 million hectares, an measured by the Environmental Impact Quotient
increase of 160% over 2004. In 2006, the record (EIQ) - a composite measure based on the various
increases in adoption in India continued with almost factors contributing to the net environmental impact
a tripling of area of Bt cotton from 1.3 million hect- of an individual active ingredient (James, 2006).
ares to 3.8 million hectares. In 2006, this tripling The work of Bennett et al. (2004) confirmed
in area was the highest year-on-year growth for that the principal gain from Bt cotton in India is the
any country in the world. Of the 6.3 million hect- significant yield gains estimated at 45% in 2002,
ares of hybrid cotton in India in 2006, which rep- and 63% in 2001, for an average of 54% over the
resents 70% of all the cotton area in India, 60% or two years. Taking into account the decrease in ap-
3.8 million hectares was Bt cotton - a remarkably plication of insecticides for bollworm control,
high proportion in a fairly short period of five years which translates into a saving, on average of 2.5
(James, 2006). sprays, and the higher cost of Bt cotton seed,
Brookes and Barfoot (2006) estimate that the net
Benefit of insect-protected traits economic benefits for Bt cotton farmers in India
Farmers sustain billions of dollars in crop loss were $139 per hectare in 2002, $324 per hectare
or reduced yield due to pests that have the poten- in 2003, $171 per hectare in 2004, and $260 per
tial to be controlled by Cry proteins (Gianessi and hectare in 2005, for a four year average of ap-
Carpenter, 1999). Insect damage can predispose proximately $225 per hectare. The benefits at the
plants to fungal growth and mycotoxin contamina- farmer level translated to a national gain of $339
tion. Therefore protection of plants against pest million in 2005 and accumulatively $463 million for
damage from pests can reduce fungal and myc- the period 2002 to 2005. Other studies report
otoxin contamination. Munkvold et al. (1999) were results in the same range, acknowledging that ben-
the first to show that Fusarium ear rot and fumonisin efits will vary from year to year due to varying
contamination were dramatically reduced in an in- levels of bollworm infestations. The most recent
sect-protected Bt maize compared with non-Bt study by Gandhi and Namboodiri (2006) reported
maize over several years of field trials. This has a yield gain of 31%, a significant reduction in the
been substantiated by Dowd (2000) in the US and number of pesticide sprays by 39%, and an 88%
by Pietra and Piva (2000) and (Bakan et al., 2002) increase in profit or an increase of $250 per hect-
in the EU. are for the 2004 cotton growing season.
In planta protection against insect pests can
reduce the use of insecticides on the plant. Cotton Safety assessment of cry insect-control pro-
plants are normally heavily sprayed with insecti- teins
cides posing risks to the environment as well as to The safety assessment of insect-protected
humans especially in developing countries. Follow- cotton (Hamilton et al., 2002) and maize (Sanders
ing the commercial introduction of insect-protected et al., 1998) have been published. The introduced
Bt cotton, there has been a significant reduction in protein is extensively characterized to understand

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

how it functions and how similar it is to proteins varieties, over 2500 separate analyses were per-
already present in foods. Bt proteins have been in formed on 67 components of the cottonseed and
use for over 45 years with their mode of action well oil including nutrients such as protein, fat, moisture,
understood. The amino acid sequence of the intro- calories, minerals, amino acids, and antinutrients such
duced protein(s) has been compared to known as cyclopropenoid fatty acid, and gossypol
toxins and allergens to assure the protein in neither (Hamilton et al., 2002).
a mammalian toxin nor an allergen or closely re- To confirm that new GM foods and feeds are
lated to either. Proteins are a key component of safe as their conventional counterparts, subchronic
food and feed and therefore digestibility is an im- (26- or 90-day) comparative toxicity studies are
portant aspect of the safety evaluation. To confirm performed with the grain from the GM, near isogenic
the safety of the protein, it is tested for toxicity by control and conventional varieties. A robust and
testing in animals at high levels (thousands to hun- internationally recognized testing approach is uti-
dred of thousands times greater than the highest lized. In addition, Monsanto conducts livestock,
predicted consumption) to assure no adverse ef-
poultry and/or aquaculture wholesomeness studies
fects. As expected, given the nature and digestibil-
with the GM crop or products derived from that
ity of proteins, no toxicities have been observed in
crop. Nutritional/compositional equivalence is dem-
these tests.
onstrated when compared to the results obtained
The likelihood of the protein being an estab- from the feeding of the near isogenic control and
lished allergen or becoming an allergen is also as- conventional non-GM varieties. These studies are
sessed in detail according to international standards. used to detect any biologically significant unexpected
Once the safety of the protein as been as- effects relative to the conventional non-GM plant
sessed it is important to assess the agronomic and varieties.
morphological or phenotypic parameters and com-
pare them to those of the conventional counterpart Mode of action
to assure there are no relevant unintended effects
caused by the transformation process or the intro- Cry proteins are produced as protoxins that
duced genes/trait. Very stringent criteria must be are proteolytically activated upon ingestion (Höfte
met for plants developed through biotechnology. and Whiteley, 1989). Cry proteins bind to specific
Cockburn (2002) provides an example of the pa- receptors on the surface of midgut cells of suscep-
rameters needed when comparing maize. Next a tible insects and form ion-selective channels in the
comprehensive comparison of the composition (key cell membrane (English and Slatin, 1992). The cells
nutrients, anti-nutrients, toxins, and other compounds swell due to an influx of water which leads to cell
naturally found in the plant) of the plant and grain. lysis, the insect stops eating and dies (Knowles and
The GM plants, their near isogenic control and as Ellar, 1987).
well as commercial varieties are grown under a If receptor binding does not occur, the Cry
number of different environments and field condi- protein will have no effect on that organism. Re-
tions. Typically, 60-90 different compositional sults of several studies have failed to find Cry-pro-
analytes are compared to determine if the GM crop tein-specific receptors on gut cell membranes of
values fall within the range of values obtained from various non-target mammalian species such as mice,
the non-GM conventional varieties and published rats, monkeys, and humans (Hofmann et al., 1988;
values for that crop (Hammond et al., 2002). In Noteborn et al., 1993). This explains why the Cry
assessing the nutritional and compositional equiva- insect-control proteins are acutely toxic to target
lence of Bollgard cotton to conventional cotton insects at mg/kg body weight doses, but are non-
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

toxic to mammals dosed acutely with greater than lactating dairy cattle, growing cattle, broiler chick-
1 x 106 mg/kg Cry proteins (McClintock et al., ens and swine have not detected the presence of
1995; Sjoblad et al., 1992). transgenic protein in products and tissues from farm
As a condition of registration of insect pro- animals fed currently available biotechnology-de-
tected crops in the US, the US EPA requires Cry rived (CAST, 2006; Flachowsky et al., 2005 ). In
insect-control proteins that will be introduced into addition, no unexpected adverse effects were re-
the plants be administered acutely at very high ported in multigenerational studies comparing diets
dosages (generally in the thousands of mg/kg range) with non-GM and insect-protected (Bt) maize with
to laboratory rodents as part of an overall safety quail and laying hens for 10 and 4 generations,
assessment. To date no biologically relevant ad- respectively,(Flachowsky et al., 2005 ; Halle et al.,
verse effects have been observed in rodents dosed 2006).
with Cry proteins that have been bioengineered into
plants that are commercialized. Based on the ab- Compositional analysis
sence of mammalian toxicity for the Cry proteins Assessment of compositional analysis is done
tested to date, it is concluded that those Cry pro- to determine if biologically meaningful differences
teins pose not meaningful risk to human or animal occur between GM and non-GM crops (CAST,
health. 2006). Analyses provide information on things such
The class of Cry1, Cry2 and Cry3 proteins as antinutrient factors, macronutrients, micronutri-
are readily digested in vitro using simulated mam- ents, naturally occurring toxins. The specific nutri-
malian gastric fluids (EPA, 1995; Noteborn and ents for each crop to consider have been identified
Kuiper, 1994). All commercialized Bt products by OECD (CAST, 2006).
(Cry1Ac, Cry1Ab, Cry1F, Cry3A, Cry1Ab2, Insect-protected Bt corn and cotton crops have
Cry3Bb1, Cry34Ab1, and Cry35Ab1) except for been shown to be comparable in composition to
Cry 9C have been quickly inactivated in the digest- their non-Bt counterparts. No biologically mean-
ibility studies. These proteins are typically 60-130 ingful differences in the composition of nutrients/
kDa in size and are degraded in simulated digestion
antinutrients in grain, seed, oil, silage or other crop
models to polypeptides of less than 2 kDa
byproducts have been observed between Bt-ex-
(Hammond et al., 2002). Bioinformatic analyses
pressing crops and their non-Bt counterparts
are used to verify the absence of structural similar-
(Berberich et al., 1996; Sanders et al., 1998). Bt
ity of Cry proteins or their degradation products to
crops are therefore agronomically and phenotypi-
known allergens, toxins or pharmacologically active
cally equivalent to their non-transgenic counterparts.
Human and animal digestive systems are de-
Livestock, poultry and aquaculture studies
signed to effectively degrade dietary proteins to
peptides and amino acids which are absorbed and Trait providers such as Monsanto are commit-
used to synthesize new proteins to support growth, ted to sponsoring studies to affirm that palatability
maintenance, reproduction and milk or egg produc- is unchanged and there are no relevant differences
tion. (CAST, 2006). Thus, Cry proteins would not in performance, meat, milk or egg quality and com-
be expected to be absorbed intact from the gut. position. In addition, the fate of the transgenic DNA
Also, based on the simulated mammalian gastric and protein were also investigated. Based on the
digestion assay, one would expect the Cry proteins fact the GM crops were previously deemed to be
to be rapidly digested. The results of studies with safe and compositionally equivalent to their non-

Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

GM counterpart, it was not unexpected for all of lactating crossbred (Karan Swiss x Karan Fries)
the animal feeding studies to confirm this by report- cows per day for four weeks. No differences in
ing no meaningful differences in animal performance body weight (BW), average milk yield, milk com-
or meat, milk or eggs products and no transgenic position (i.e., fat, protein, lactose, SCC, fatty acid
DNA or protein were detected in milk, meat or composition), dry matter intake per 100 kg BW,
eggs. (Aumaitre et al., 2002; CAST, 2006; Clark and nutrient digestibility. No Bt protein was de-
and Ipharraguerre, 2001; Flachowsky et al., 2005 ; tected in milk or blood. Singh et al. (2002) fed
Hartnell et al., 2001). To date, there have been nonGM cottonseed and Bollgard cottonseed to each
over 100 feeding studies conducted with herbicide- of 10 lactating Murrah buffaloes for 35 days. No
tolerant and insect-protected traits either singly or significant differences were reported in dry matter
more that one trait stacked together. Studies in- intake, body weight gain, total erythrocyte count,
volved, broiler chickens, laying hens, quail, lactating hemoglobin, packed cell volume, plasma glucose,
dairy cattle, lactating water buffalo, growing swine, serum total proteins, albumin, globulin, triglycerides
growing cattle, beef cows, sheep, growing rabbits, and high density lipoprotein. Researchers concluded
goats, and fish This paper will focus on the studies that Bollgard cottonseed was nutritionally similar to
conducted with Bt traits in cotton and maize, high- the nonGM cottonseed with no adverse effects on
lighting those studies conducted in India. the health status when fed to buffaloes. Singhal et
al. (2006b) fed two groups of 10 lactating cross-
Cottonseed bred cows either a concentrate containing 40% of
a crushed nonGM cottonseed or Bollgard II cot-
The Cry proteins expressed in the commer-
tonseed for four weeks. Bollgard II cotton ex-
cialized Bt-cotton developed by Monsanto include
presses Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab2 proteins. No dif-
Cry1Ac in Bollgard® and Cry1Ac plus Cry2Ab2
ferences were reported in body weight, milk yield,
(both stacked) in Bollgard® II. The Cry 1 class of
dry matter intake, or milk composition. The 4%fat-
proteins has selective toxicity to certain category of
corrected milk was higher for the Bt group but was
insects, in this case bollworms, and requires certain
attributed to chance occurrence. No Cry1Ac or
specific conditions for their effective action. The
Cry2Ab2 proteins were detected in the milk and
protein has to be ingested by the target insects which
plasma. Authors concluded that Bollgard II cot-
happens when the caterpillars feed on the transgenic
tonseed was nutritionally equivalent to nonGM cot-
plant tissues. It requires an alkaline pH of 9.5 or
tonseed when fed to lactating dairy cows. Castillo
above for effective processing and also specific
et al. (2004) fed 2.5 kg of cottonseed that were
receptors (on the brush-border membrane of mid-
either nonGM or Bollgard or Bollgard II to lactat-
gut epithelium cells of target insect) for binding before
ing Argentinean Holstein cows per day for four
it can kill the target insect. All these conditions are
weeks. Dry matter intake, milk yield, milk compo-
available in bollworms and therefore the caterpillars
sition, body weight and body condition score did
succumb when they feed on Bt-cotton plant. The
not differ among treatments. NonGM, Bollgard
protein cannot act in the human or animal intestine
and Bollgard II cottonseed were fed to goats in
because their intestine is acidic, pH is about 1.5
India for 90 days (Monsanto unpublished data).
and there are no receptors. Hence, Bt protein is
Body weight, feed intake, blood chemistry, hema-
safe to such non-target organisms.
tology, organ weights, and pathology and histopa-
Ruminants: Singhal et al. (2006a) fed 2 kg thology of organs were not different among treat-
of nonGM cottonseed or 2 kg of Bollgard cotton- ment groups (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/
seed expressing the Cry1Ac protein to each of 10 SC0605/S00039.htm; Accessed 18JUN2007).
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Poultry: Elangovan et al. (2003) fed cotton- that the animal’s tissues and organs are never exposed
seed meal from Bt (Cry1Ac protein) and nonBt cot- to the protein. Numerous other possibilities such as
ton to broilers for 6 weeks. Cottonseed was incor- high pesticide residues http://stinet.dtic.mil/oai/
porated into the diet at 10% of the diet. Rapidly oai?&verb=getRecord&metadata Prefix=html
growing chicks would be sensitive to any toxic ef- &identifier=AD0840311; accessed June 25,2007),
fect. No differences in feed intake, body weight gain, high levels of nitrates (Bourke and Carrigan, 1992),
feed conversion or carcass characteristics were ob- high levels of gossypol (Morgan et al., 1988; Randel
served between the Bt and nonBt groups. In a sec- et al., 1992) or other toxicants in the cotton leaves
ond study, Mandal et al. (2004) fed cottonseed meal needs to be investigated. These compounds are
derived from nonBt and Bollgard II (Cry1Ac and found in or on cotton residues independent of the
Cry2Ab proteins) cotton for six weeks. Body weight cotton being nonGM or Bollgard.
gain, feed intake, feed conversion, nutrient utilization, Table 1. Livestock, poultry and aquaculture studies feed-
blood constituents and carcass traits were not sig- ing Cry proteins expressed in maize.
nificantly different. Hamilton et al. (2004) reported Species Bt Protein Reference
no differences in body weight gain, feed intake or
Lactating Cry1Ab (Barrière et al., 2001; Donkin et
health in quail fed Bollgard II (10% of the diet as raw dairy cows al., 2003)
cottonseed meal) for 5 days followed by 3 days on Cry3Bb1 (Grant et al., 2003)
the basal diet.. Cry1F (Faust et al., 2003)
Fish: Hamilton et al. (2004) reported the re- Beef Cattle Cry1Ab (Böhme et al., 2001; Folmer et
al., 2002)
sults of a study where catfish were fed a diet con-
Cry3Bb1 (Vander Pol et al., 2005)
taining 20% processed cottonseed meal from either
Sheep Cry1Ab (Barrière et al., 2001)
nonBt or Bollgard II cotton for 8 weeks. There
Poultry Cry1Ab (Aeschbacher et al., 2005;
were no significant differences in survival, weight Rossi et al., 2005; Taylor et al.,
gain, feed conversion, or fillet composition between 2003a)
the treatment groups. Similar results were found in Cry3Bb1 (Taylor et al., 2003b)
studies with fish fed Bollgard or Bollgard II cotton- Cry1F
seed meal at the Central Institute of Fisheries Edu- Cry1A.105,
Cry2AB2 (Taylor et al. in press)
cation, Mumbai, India (Monsanto unpublished).
Swine Cry1Ab (Piva et al., 2001; Reuter and
Allegations: Anti-biotechnology groups have Aulrich, 2003; Weber and
alleged that Bt cotton is unsafe based on reports of Richert, 2001)
sheep dying when grazing Bt cotton residues in In- Cry3Bb1 (Hyun et al., 2005)
dia. This is in spite of the fact that there has not been Cry1F (Stein et al., 2004)
one animal feeding study to date where genetically Marine Fish Cry1Ab (Sanden et al., 2005)
modified cotton was fed that has shown an unex-
pected adverse effect on the health of the animal (:// Maize
www.gene.ch/genet/2006/Jun/msg00007.html; Ac- Numerous studies have been conducted with
cessed 18JUN2007)). Therefore, based on the sci- insect-protected maize with all concluding that the
entific studies conducted with the Bt proteins, there insect-protected maize is as nutritious and whole-
is no basis for the consumption of Bt proteins to be some as its nonGM counterpart (Aumaitre et al.,
the causative agent in this allegation. Cry1Ac pro- 2002; Clark and Ipharraguerre, 2001; Flachowsky
tein is rapidly digested to amino acids and thus no et al., 2005 ). As pointed out earlier, in some
intact protein is absorbed into the bloodstream so cases Bt maize is safer than nonGM due to the
Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

lower fumonisin content (Dowd, 2000; Munkvold Baum, J. A., Johnson, T. B. and Carlton, B. C.
et al., 1999; Pietra and Piva, 2000). Table 1 pro- (1999) Bacillus thuringiensis natural and re-
vides a listing of the species and Cry protein(s) fed. combinant bioinsecticide products. Methods in
Measurements included feed intake, body weight, biotechnology 5: Biopesticides: use and deliv-
milk yield, milk composition, feed efficiency ery: 189-209.
(Gain:Feed), carcass characteristics, and meat qual- Bennett, R., Ismael, Y., Kambhampati, U. and
ity and composition. No unexpected adverse ef- Morse, S. (2004) AgBioForum, 7: 1-5.
fects were observed in any of the species fed the
Cry proteins confirming the safety of the Cry pro- Berberich, S. A., Ream, J. E., Jackson, T. L.,
teins that have been commercialized. Wood, R., Stipanovic, R., Harvey, P. , Patzer,
S. and Fuchs, R. L. (1996). J. Agric. Food
Kan and Hartnell (2004) reported no differ-
Chem. 44: 365-371.
ences in broiler performance when fed dehulled
soybean meal that expressed the Cry1Ac protein. Betz, F. S., Hammond, B. G. and Fuchs, R. L.
(2000). Regulatory Toxicol. Pharmacol, 32:
Historically, Bt proteins have been demon- Böhme, H., Aulrich, K., Daenicke, R. and
strated to be safe since the early 1960’s. Geneti- Flachowsky, G. (2001) Arch. Anim. Nutr.
cally modifying crops to express Bt proteins has 54: 197-207.
provided protection against a certain class of in- Bourke, C. A., and Carrigan, M. J. (1992). Aust
sects resulting in a reduction in the application of Vet J 69: 165-167.
chemical pesticides benefiting the environment as Brookes, G., and Barfoot, P. G. (2006)
well as the farmer. Bt crops or their byproducts AgBioForum, 9: 139-151.
have been evaluated in feeding studies with lactat-
ing dairy cattle, lactating water buffalo, beef cattle, CAST (2006) Safety of meat, milk, and eggs from
poultry, swine, sheep, and fish. All studies have animals fed crops derived from modern bio-
concluded that Bt crops are as safe, nutritious, and technology. Council for Agricultural Science and
wholesome as their nonBt counterparts. Technology Issue Paper No. 34, : 1-8.
Castillo, A., Gallardo, M., Maciel, M., Giordano,
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Silver Jubilee Year of Animal Nutrition Society of India TROPNUTRICON - 2007

Potential of GM plants, current status, feeding to

animals and open questions
Gerhard Flachowsky
Institute of Animal Nutrition, Federal Agricultural Research Centre (FAL)
Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany

According to the FAO statistics human popu- Plant breeding and cultivation are the starting
lation will increase from current about 6.5 to 9 billion points for feed and food security during the next
people (about 40 % more) on the earth in 2050 years. The perspectives mentioned above are real
(Steinfeld et al., 2006), but the estimated need for challenges for plant breeders all over the world.
meat (from 229 to 465) and milk (from 580 to The most important objectives for plant breeders
1043 mio t per year) will nearly double in this time. can be summarized as followed
The reason for such a development is a higher
- High yields with low external inputs (low input
demand of food of animal origin with increased
varieties) such as water, phosphorus, fuel, plant
income in many countries (Keyzer et al., 2005).
protection substances etc.
The consumption of meat, fish, milk and eggs con-
tributes to meet the human requirements in amino - Lower concentrations of toxic substances such
acids and many trace nutrients. Furthermore, foods as secondary substances, mycotoxins from
of animal origin have a consid