She qualified as a doctor in , trained as a general physician in Cambridge and London, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. Watson, 14 who has been of outstanding service in the organization of this work, makes an important comment on the origin of the student population there:. If so, cannot modern society do this by studying and adopting the programs developed through centuries of experience by the primitives? The gateway to them with which the traveling world is familiar is from Interlaken by way of the Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald valleys. The evidence seemed to indicate clearly that the forces that were at work were not to be found in the diseased tissues, but that the undesirable conditions were the result of the absence of something, rather than of the presence of something. International Food Policy Research Institute, This is one of the principal purposes for getting the growing boys and girls of the community into sunsuits for tanning their bodies.
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Relationship between intake and liveweight gain in cattle, Mali, Lambourne et al Scope for improvement The scope for alleviating nutritional problems will depend very much on the characteristics of the system being studied. In pastoral systems, where the range vegetation is the major source of feed, improvements in animal nutrition may be virtually impossible without first addressing issues related to land tenure communal grazing 11 and management e.
While in mixed cropping systems, technologies which increase the quantity and nutritive value of stover fed to animals at the end of the cropping season might be applicable Powell It should be remembered that in livestock systems research, the solution to a particular problem may not always be technological.
For instance, it may be more important to correct particular aspects of policy before significant improvements in production can be achieved. Feasible technological solutions to improve animal nutrition may come through one or more of the following pathways: In mixed systems of production, livestock nutrition may be enhanced by improving the quantity and nutritive value of crop residues used by stock through: This involves changing livestock management strategies to match feed availability with livestock feed requirements.
For instance, Wagenaar et al and Wilson and Sayers have shown that change in the timing of births to match feed demands with feed supplies can have significant effects on conception rates and parturition number in sheep and goats.
These involve ranching schemes which aim to improve the management of the range and raise productivity, principally through increasing in the amount of available forage. The available evidence suggests, however, that such schemes have mostly been unsuccessful in Africa Danckwerts, ; Behnke, The redistribution of water points to better utilise grazing resources is another example of a pasture improvement strategy. Fodder banks are concentrated stands of forage, often legumes, sown either on natural grass or fallows to provide dry-season supplementary grazing Bayer, ; Mohamed-Saleem, ; Taylor-Powell and Ingawa, However, widespread adoption of forage legumes is constrained by competition for land with food crops, labour shortages during crop operations and lack of adapted species Reed and Goe, Among fodder trees, leucaena and sesbania have been shown to be suitable for animal feed supplementation by the ILCA alley farming programme in Nigeria Atta-Krah, Browse gardens and multipurpose trees have also been tried Reed and Soller, Types of data Animal data Feed data.
The objectives of data collection in this case are to Table 3: With some of these data e. It is recommended that, when such dab are required, the ARC standards should be used. Types of animal data used to diagnose animal nutrition problems. Objective Types of data Production effects Liveweight gain, condition scores, traction power, milk production, wool production Amount of feed consumed Feed intake Composition of feed consumed Oesophageal or rumen fistula samples, faecal samples, grazing behaviour studies selection data Feed data The principle objective, in this case, is to determine the nutritive value of the feed consumed and digested by the animal.
This may also involve an assessment of sources of feed as yet unutilised but with the potential for introduction into the diet. In particular, data will be collected on digestibility, the energy value of feed dry matter, dry organic matter, digestible energy and metabolisable energy , and crude protein content When assessing the nutritive value of feed, differentiation on the basis of season or system of production which affect feed sources and feed availability will often tee useful.
Under certain circumstances see Part D below , data on the mineral content and fibre composition of a diet may be necessary. When determining mineral content, samples of the feed consumed and of blood or bone may be needed. Methods of data collection Effects of nutrition on animal production performance Composition of consumed feed Feed digestibility Nutritive value of feed. The discussion in Module 11 of different methods of data collection is generally applicable to all types of diagnostic research, and the user is encouraged to read it before embarking on studies of animal nutrition.
The emphasis here is on those methods which have been tested by ILCA staff. Following the format adopted in Part C of this module, these methods have been grouped into methods used to measure: Effects of nutrition on animal production performance The production performance of an animal often reflects its nutritional status.
Liveweight and body condition, for instance, provide a measure of the nutritional response, integrated over weeks or months Lambourne et al, Studies which attempt to isolate the key factors influencing animal production performance may, therefore, be the first step in the diagnosis of animal nutrition problems see Part B above.
If nutrition is identified as the critical constraint to performance, further studies on specific aspects of nutrition related to the animal or the feed may be needed. The various methods used to assess animal production performance are discussed in Module 5, and the reader should refer to it if detailed diagnosis of production performance is envisaged.
For instance, there may be data available from range evaluation and animal production studies and farm management surveys, which specifically identify nutrition as the critical constraint to production.
Feed intake Intake, or the amount of feed an animal consumes, can be estimated by using either digestibility data or 'markers'. When such data are available, intake can be estimated by multiplying the dry-matter weight of faeces by a digestibility factor.
The factor is known as the feed: Digestibility and intake data can be derived from the indigestible components of a diet, known as 'markers'. Markers are classified as internal, if they are ordinarily present in the diet e.
Synthetic organic substances such as beads, rubber and ribbon have also been used, since they can be easily separated from the feed. Van Soest provides a detailed account of the various markers used to estimate intake and digestibility, and of their advantages and disadvantages. The term 'indicator' is sometimes used instead of 'marker' Dicko-Touré, , Church and Pond, ; Lambourne et al, The formula to estimate faecal output is: An animal is dosed with 50 g of chromic oxide per day to determine its daily faecal output.
The concentration proportion of marker in the dry-faeces sample is 5. The dry-matter weight of faeces excreted per day is g and 5. The proportion of the marker in the diet is 3. Calculate the DM intake of the animal. These can then be related to such variables as seasonal rainfall, stocking rate, management practices or plant composition to isolate its main determinants.
Summary The normal procedures to estimate DM digestibility and intake are to: This requires the further estimation of faecal output either by total faecal collection or dosing with known quantities of, for instance, chromic oxide. When facilities for laboratory analysis are not available or are inadequate, intake should be calculated on the basis of digestibility.
Simple methods to estimate digestibility are given in the text which follows. Composition of consumed feed There are various methods used to determine what the animal is eating. Those discussed here are: The botanical composition of feed consumed by an animal can be determined by using a surgical fistula inserted into an animal's oesophagus.
The food eaten passes into a collection bag attached to the neck, and samples are taken directly from the bag after allowing the animals to graze for not more than two hours before re-inserting the fistula plug. The oesophageal fistula method provides an accurate indication of the botanical composition of the feed consumed. An illustration of this type of approach is given by McLean et al However, because of salivary contamination of the samples, accurate direct estimates of the chemical composition of feed eaten are restricted to nitrogen, neutral detergent solubles, calcium, magnesium, sulphur and copper Little, ; Dietary phosphorus concentrations can be estimated accurately only from oesophageal extrusa labelled with radioactive P Little et al, It also tends to be time-consuming and costly, and farmers are unlikely to cooperate when their own stock is involved.
Nevertheless, ILCA research workers have used the method in the field. In Kenya, for instance, oesophageal fistulae were fitted to cows which had been purchased from Maasai pastoralists and herded with farmers herds during three seasons in several locations Semenye, a, b.
The data obtained on feed composition were then complemented by studies on grazing behaviour of the type discussed below. Material collected with the fistula method can be used in the determination of digestibility by in vitro estimation procedures see page This method is applicable to both cattle and smallstock and allows direct sampling of the contents of the rumen by means of a cannula surgically inserted into the rumen.
It involves physically emptying the contents of the rumen by hand before the animal goes to graze and then taking samples from the freshly ingested material two to three hours after the animal started grazing. It is therefore more likely to be applicable to on-farmlon-range experiments described in Section 2.
Direct observation of grazing habits. The content of food consumed by grazing animals can be guesstimated by following selected animals in a herd or flock at distances which are close enough to observe what is being eaten. Each selected animal is observed at regular intervals. Two field examples demonstrate the principles. De Leeuw and Chara used the technique to compare goat and sheep browse preferences in mixed Maasai flocks in Kenya.
Observations were carried out during the dry season with randomly selected animals being followed for periods of one to two hours by one or two observers who were familiar with the local flora. Because the animals were familiar with humans, observations could be made at distances of m. The aim was to obtain an equal number of 'hits' for sheep and goat - a 'hit' occurring each time a particular plant species was eaten.
Hits per plant species were then summed and compared with the total number to determine the proportion of each plant eaten. These figures were then used to derive an index of preference or selection.
Between and hits were collected for both sheep and goats in each sample flock. Nyerges observed the grazing habits of sheep, by following each for a period of 20 minutes measured by stop watch. Animals were followed at distances of m and the shrub and ground species consumed including ground litter during the observation period were recorded. Direct observation can also be applied to other studies of animal grazing behaviour, e. These variables can then be related to such parameters as intake, digestibility, stocking rate and distance to water, to isolate the more important determinants of grazing behaviour Lambourne et al, , pp.
A modification of the direct-observation method was used by Dicko-Touré in Mali to determine the composition of feed consumed. Selected animals were followed for a period of one minute, and distance walked as well as the number of mouthful taken during this period were recorded. A sample of forage was then collected by hand from the area grazed during the one-minute observation period.
The size of the sample taken was in proportion to the observed number of mouthfuls one hand-grab for every five mouthful. Similar measurements were made for each selected animal every 45 minutes throughout the day in order to obtain comprehensive data on feeding habits and feed composition. Lambourne et al argued that, for most purposes, such rapid-survey techniques provide sufficient detail on diet composition.
They are low-cost, require minimal supervision and can be completed in a relatively short time. Observers should, preferably, have a good knowledge of local flora, but it is more important for them to be observant.
If hand samples are collected to mimic grazing habits, these can be analysed at a later stage by someone who is thoroughly familiar with the flora. Data on diet composition can be complemented by opinions obtained from herdsmen in the area. Their knowledge about species differences in terms of selectivity and palatability is often very precise. Pasture analysis before and after grazing.
The 'before' and 'after' method involves the demarcation of quadrats in a paddock before and after animals are released into an area for grazing Figure 4.
Adjacent to each fenced quadrat is an equally sized area, with similar vegetation characteristics. The biomass and vegetation composition of the two 'paired' areas are measured using one of the techniques described in Module 6 and animals are then released into the area to graze t'Mannetje, Schematic representation of the pasture analysis method.
After a prescribed period e. The method will give reasonable estimates provided that the two areas are not highly variable in terms of species composition. When vegetation is highly variable, the number of paired samples required must be increased, making measurement more time-consuming.
Faecal samples have been used for microscopic analysis of the plant part they contain, to provide an indication of the vegetation consumed by an animal Stewart, However, as an indicator of dietary composition such samples tend to be unreliable since the indigestible portion of the diet may bear little relationship to the portion actually consumed.
The faeces may, for instance, contain high proportions of woody ligneous material consumed during browsing. This does not necessarily mean that the diet also contains similar proportions of this component. Feed digestibility The methods used to assess digestibility are based on: Of these, only the first three are relevant to the diagnostic phase of livestock systems research.
The in vivo method is more applicable to on-station research and involves intensive laboratory work and careful supervision. The use of markers. When it is impossible or inconvenient to measure total feed intake or to collect total faeces, markers can be used to determine intake see pages as well as digestibility. The formula used to calculate apparent digestibility 16 is: Calculate the apparent digestibility of the feed. To obtain data for the analysis based on markers, follow this procedure: There are two obvious sources of error in such a methodology.
First, lignin may be partly digestible and is thus not always a reliable indicator marker. Second, the feed samples taken will often be not truly representative of actual intake, particularly when pasture is highly variable, and where the choice of samples is entirely dependent on the enumerator judgement.
There are various methods available to sample faecal output in the field, including: This method is practical in a range context. Schneider and Flatt, However, Dicko-Touré, , p. She argued that the costs of using indicators to estimate faecal output would, in fact, have been more expensive since this method would have involved sending samples to another country at a cost that is at least 10 times higher than the cost actually incurred by using the bag-collection method.
Thus, the methods adopted in any diagnostic study to sample faecal output should be tailored to the particular circumstances of the study, bearing in mind the financial and manpower resources of the research team. The use of faecal indices. The methods using faecal indices to estimate digestibility are based on established regression relationships between faecal indices and the digestibility of dry or organic matter Van Soest, The general model for these relationships is: The two variables merely happen to go together i.
The estimation of digestibility via faecal indices involves the following steps: The main advantages of this method are that it is relatively low-cost and results can be obtained fairly quickly.
Its chief disadvantage is that it is site-specific, and the derived parameters and relations In vitro analysis of consumed feed. When digestibility is analysed by in vitro methods, samples of feed ingested are subjected to artificial tests which simulate digestibility under controlled conditions. The more commonly applied methods involve the use of rumen fluids, chemical fermenters and nylon bags see Church and Pond, Rumen fluids are extracted from rumen-fistulated animals and used in combination with buffers to simulate the action of saliva.
The Tilley-Terry method, which is widely used, involves an additional stage in which the feed is further digested with acid pepsin for another 48 hours. The residual represents the indigestible portion of the feed.
Chemical fermenters added to the feed have been used to predict digestibility. The method is also used to study rumen function and the metabolism of certain compounds, e. The advantage of the two methods is that the analysis is not expensive if laboratory facilities are available and that it can be performed fairly quickly.
The methods can also be used to assess the digestibility of grab samples of grass or of cut samples of stover and straws taken after crop harvesting. These are inserted into the rumen of test animals and removed after a prescribed period. The loss of material from the bag as a result of fermentation is then calculated. The method is more applicable to on-station research, but it can be used together with the rumen cannula method to determine intake.
Nutritive value of feed This part of the module focuses on the methods and techniques used in estimating the supply of different nutrients to animals in particular situations or systems, in relation to their need for these nutrients. It starts with a general section on estimating the main feed components. It then goes straight to fibre analysis because of the difficulties involved in estimating feed values in very fibrous diets.
Finally, it looks at some of the techniques in use for the physical sampling, from stands of different kinds of feed, for laboratory analysis. Methods to estimate feed components The feed value of a source of feed can be assessed on the basis of its energy value, crude protein content and mineral content, using methods specifically designed to estimate these components of feed.
The energy yield of a source of feed such as natural pasture can be estimated from its dry-matter weight per unit area. Module 6 discusses the various methods used to estimate biomass or dry-matter weight under rangeland conditions.
Many of these methods rely on the use of predictive equations based on the relationship between biomass and the vegetation characteristics e. Samples can be taken to establish similar predictive relationships for the estimation of dry-matter weight of crop residues. Powell , for instance, used grain yield to predict total stover dry-matter weight and stalk and leaf dry-matter weights for millet and sorghum.
The relationships, which were based on data obtained from randomly chosen sites in Kaduna State, Nigeria, were highly significant Figure 5. Van Raay and de Leeuw adopted a similar procedure to determine the DM weight of crop residues in Katsina, Nigeria.
They established predictive relationships on the basis of stalk and stand density, plant height and plant edibility subjectively estimated. Relationships between sorghum and millet grain yields and stover dry-matter DM yields.
Having obtained an estimate of dry-matter yield, an estimate of digestibility is then required before the desired approximation of the energy yield can be calculated. The fibrous portions of a feed must, therefore, be considered before more accurate estimates of nutritive value can be made.
Feeds with a high biomass per unit area are often low in energy since they also contain a high proportion of indigestible fibrous matter.
Methods of fibre analysis have been devised to separate those portions of fibre which can be utilised by the ruminant from those which are essentially indigestible.
Fibre analysis is thus particularly important in the assessment of the nutritive value of these feeds. For the purposes of illustration, however, the following average relationships can be used: Let us calculate the feed energy requirements of a kg liveweight ox for maintenance, foraging and production, and compare these with the availability of energy to that animal from its feed supply.
The maintenance fasting metabolism requirement is determined as follows: Km tends to lie in the range 0. We can call this 'foraging'. The energy requirement for foraging Ef are given by the formula: To gain weight, an animal needs between 12 and 27 MJ of ME per kg liveweight, depending on the percentage that fat constitutes in the meat accumulated.
We can now compare supply and requirements of feed energy per ox for the 90 days of the dry season as follows: The standard laboratory method for the estimation of crude protein is the Kjeldahl method which is described in most texts on animal nutrition e. McDonald et al, ; Church and Pond, The analysis is used to determine the crude protein content of a sample of grass or stover, and the results can then be used to establish predictive regression equations similar to those illustrated in Figure 5.
When estimating the crude protein content of browse plants and crop residues, it should be borne in mind that the presence of certain phenolics tannins in these feeds can affect the availability of nitrogen to the ruminant. This is particularly true of feeds high in insoluble polyphenolics, for which the calculated crude protein content may overestimate the amount of nitrogen which can actually be synthesised into protein e.
Woodward and Reed, Analysis should only be attempted if mineral deficiencies are clearly evident. Even then, if other nutrients such as energy or crude protein are more limiting as is likely to be the case on African rangelands , the mineral constraint should be dealt with only after the primary deficiencies have been rectified Little, The methods used by ILCA researchers to diagnose the more common deficiencies involve blood, bone, liver, milk and faecal samples and are discussed in general terms below.
All the methods outlined rely on adequate laboratory facilities. For a more detailed account of symptoms of mineral deficiency and the role of minerals in animal nutrition, the user is referred to basic nutrition texts, e.
Cullison and Church and Pond Whole blood, blood serum and blood plasma samples have been used to diagnose mineral deficiencies particularly phosphorous and magnesium in livestock. Values significantly below 'normal' concentrations or ranges indicate the nutritional status of an animal with respect to a particular mineral, but the evidence is not always conclusive McDowell et al, Precautions must, for instance, be taken when samples are taken in less than optimum conditions since exercise, stress, temperature and other factors can alter mineral concentrations.
Such factors are often difficult to control in African conditions Mtimuni, and have resulted in high concentrations of phosphorous in serum when the concentration in forages consumed was, in fact, extremely low. Little et al described a method for obtaining accurate estimates of blood inorganic P concentrations, but the difficulties of interpretation of such data were noted by Gartner et al Basically, only low blood inorganic P values have any diagnostic value.
Because of the problems just described, tests using bone samples have been developed to test for phosphorus deficiency in livestock. Samples of rib bone can be obtained by simple surgery. For FSR diagnostic work, simple measurements that can be made on certain long bones at slaughter can provide results which are generally more reliable than those obtained from blood samples.
These methods have been described by Little Liver samples have been used to diagnose for copper, cobalt and vitamin A deficiencies in African livestock Tartour, ; van Niekerk, ILCA has used samples of milk to diagnose mineral deficiencies in cattle in Ethiopia. However, since milk composition is influenced by such factors as cow age, stage of lactation and genetic potential, milk sampling tends to be unreliable. The 'let-down' problem associated with zebu cattle Module 5 also means that it is cliff cut to obtain representative samples in field studies.
Large variations in butterfat content between successive milkings of the same cow reflect this problem Lambourne et al, However, milk samples are very useful in the diagnosis of iodine deficiency Committee on Mineral Nutrition, Apart from their use in digestibility and intake studies, faecal samples have been used to diagnose for phosphorus and sodium deficiencies Little, Sodium problems are diagnosed more accurately, but with more difficulty, from saliva samples.
However, the analysis of mineral deficiencies is probably best done by feed analysis at the diagnostic phase of farming systems research.
The methods described above are more applicable to specific problems requiring more sensitive analysis Little, A knowledge of the symptoms involved will provide further confirmatory evidence e. The opinions of traditional herders will also be useful in identifying mineral deficiencies particularly the need for salt , as will be the movement of stock over large distances to natural sources of minerals.
Fibre analysis The crude-fibre Weende method is described in most texts on animal nutrition. The method has been widely used to determine the fibre content of feed, but it has two serious shortcomings, particularly with respect to highly fibrous feeds such as crop residues, straws etc. Ruminants can, however, utilise some cellulose and hemicelluose though lignin is essentially indigestible. The digestibility of a feed therefore tends to be underestimated.
As a result, a portion of these components is included in the nitrogen-tree extract sugars and starches and is, therefore, assumed to be highly digestible. The digestibility of a feed therefore tends to be overestimated. Because of these shortcomings, Van Soest devised a method which separates feed dry matter into two fractions - one of high or uniform digestibility and the other of low or non-uniform digestibility.
Feed samples are boiled in a neutral-detergent solution and components are separated as follows: This fraction more closely corresponds to the true fibre fraction than the estimate of the Weende crude-fibre analysis. However, NDF is not a uniform chemical entity, its overall nutritive value is considerably influenced by the amount of lignin present. To determine this amount, the feed is treated by acid detergent, and the procedure is known as the acid-detergent fibre ADF analysis.
By heating the NDF in acid detergent, the presence of tannins can also be detected. The detergent analysis and its different procedures are discussed in greater detail by Van Soest and Reed and Van Soest Because of the high costs of reagents and apparatus used in detergent analysis, developing countries have been slow to adopt the method.
ILCA's Animal Nutrition Section has recently developed a low-cost micro-fibre apparatus which uses one tenth of the amount of reagent used in conventional detergent analysis experiments.
Feed sampling for laboratory analysis The types of feed usually sampled for laboratory analysis are crop residues and hays, grains and fresh forage or silage. Crop residues and hays. Most African farmers store crop residues and hays in stacks, and the nutritive value of the feed tends to be highly variable both within and between stacks. This increases sampling requirements and complicates the procedures involved. Because of the variability in the nutritive value of crop residues and hay commonly encountered, it is useful to make a visual estimate of the variation in a selected stack before sampling begins, and to interview the farmer about the time of harvesting, the methods of stacking used and the composition of the stack i.
Sampling may be done with a coring device or by hand. Samples should always be taken from a cross-section of each chosen stack. When large stacks are encountered, dismantling may be necessary to ensure that samples from the less accessible parts are obtained. When the coring device is used, at least 10 samples should be taken per stack. The material gathered should be properly mixed, weighed and stored in a dry place before dispatching it to the laboratory.
The combined dry weight of corings taken per stack should not be less than 2 kg. The samples should be clean and stored in a porous paper or a piece of cloth to avoid moisture contamination. Relevant information date, feed type, sample weight, identification should be recorded in duplicate.
When samples are taken by hand, several visits are normally required to ensure that the nutritive value of the stack is properly assessed. At each visit, grab samples should be taken from the face of the stack and mixed.
They should be taken at every an, as the farmer makes use of the stack. If the farmer finishes one stack and starts another, or alternates between different stacks, new samples should be taken following the same procedure.
Although hand-sampling is tedious, changes in feed quality over time e. With coring, several return trips would be required if specific information on quality change over time was needed. Grain samples are usually taken with a grain probe. Between cores should be taken at random from the storage bin. The samples should then be mixed and separated into subsamples of about g. Each sub-sample should be placed in a porous paper or cloth sack and properly labelled before dispatch or storage.
These are usually fresh forage or silage. If it is not possible to weigh the sample when it is taken, one half should be placed in a sealed plastic bag to retain moisture and then weighed after returning from the field. This fresh weight is needed to calculate dry-matter content after drying. The other half of the sample should be kept in a porous paper or cloth sack for other analyses than dry-matter content. In the event that samples cannot be transported to the laboratory the same day, they should be dried either by hanging under cover or by spreading them out on paper in a dry and protected place.
Alternatively, samples can be hung in sacks above the coil of a kerosene refrigerator.