Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 297–307 | Cite as

Effect of supplementing a high-protein ram press sunflower cake concentrate on smallholder milk production in Zimbabwe

Original Article


Ram press sunflower cake protein concentrate was formulated locally and its effect on the performance of dairy cows was compared with that of a commercial dairy concentrate. The effects of concentrate on roughage dry matter intake, milk yield and milk composition, live weight and calving intervals were similar for all concentrates, which indicated that the home grown dairy concentrates were as effective as the dairy commercial concentrate. The lack of significant differences in the concentrations of rumen NH3-N, pH, VFAs and total AA in all the cows between concentrate types supported this. The results indicated that in the low-resource and low-input production systems, crossbreds were as productive as Jersey and Red Dane cows. The exotic cows were more susceptible to tick-borne diseases and mastitis, and showed higher incidences of calving problems and retained placenta compared with crossbred cows. The economics of feeding ram press sunflower concentrate were compared with those of a commercial dairy concentrate on the performance of crossbred, Red Dane and Jersey cows. The gross margin was higher when feeding sunflower cake than when feeding commercial dairy concentrate (p < 0.05).


Cow performance Crossbred Sunflower concentrate Supplement Rumen parameters Zimbabwe 



amino acids


acid detergent fibre


amino acids truly absorbed


crude protein


digestible energy


dry matter


ether extract


General Linear Model


milk collection centre


metabolizable energy


neutral detergent fibre


Statistical Analytical System


undegradable dietary protein


volatile fatty acids


metabolic weight: live weight of an animal to the power 0.75


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. T. Ngongoni
    • 1
  • C. Mapiye
    • 2
  • M. Mwale
    • 2
  • B. Mupeta
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of ZimbabweMt Pleasant HarareZimbabwe
  2. 2.University of ForthareDepartment of Livestock & Pasture ScienceAliceSouth Africa
  3. 3.Plan InternationalHarareZimbabwe

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