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Articles by H. Rong
Total Records ( 4 ) for H. Rong
  Lanyasunya , T.P. Wang , H. Rong , E.A. Mukisira , S.A. Abdulrazak and N.K. Kibitok
  An In vitro gas production study was conducted to determine the effect of age and soil treatments on fermentation characteristics of Sorghum almum, Commelina benghalensis and Vicia villosa Roth. The soil treatments were: T1-not fertilized and T2 received DAP fertilizer. Forage samples used were obtained from herbage materials harvested at 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 weeks of growth. Dry samples (65 C for 24 h, 200 mg DM) of the harvested materials, were incubated in glass syringes with rumen fluid obtained from 2 Friesian steers fitted with permanent fistula. The gas volumes were recorded at 0, 4, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96 and 120 h and the data fitted to the model P = a + b (1e-ct) after correction with blanks using in vitro gas fit-curve program. Forage chemical analyses were done according to standard procedures. The resulting data was analyzed using SAS. Results showed that nutrient composition of this forage, varied with both age at harvest and treatment. The overall means of the fermentation fractions (b) and (a + b) in T2 were higher than in T1 (p< 0.01) across the 3 forages. Strong correlation was observed between chemical composition and gas production. Pattern of gas production was strongly influenced by both treatment and age at harvest. It was therefore, concluded that, age at harvest, negatively affected rumen fermentation of these forages. Application of fertilizer improved in vitro gas production, suggesting enhanced fermentation.
  T.P. Lanyasunya , Wang , H. Rong , E.A. Mukisira and S.A. Abdulrazak
  Kenyan dairy industry is a smallholder activity in terms of both milk production and volume of sales. The challenge, however, is how to sustain it amid myriad of constraints. The current study was carried out in Bahati division of Nakuru District over a period of 3 years. The objective was to quantify performance of dairy cows on smallholder farms. Out of the 120 smallholder households interviewed during the preceding feed survey, 60 of them were selected to participate in the trial. They were all trained on data collection. Dam weights and milk yields were monitored on monthly and daily basis respectively over 2 to 3 consecutive lactations. The collected data was stratified according to zero, semi-zero and free grazing systems and stored in MS Excel. SAS (ANOVA and proc. GLM) models were used to compare the differences between systems. Scatter plots were developed using Lotus. The study revealed that, of the many constraints facing smallholders, lack of sufficient land for forage production, is the most critical. Majority of farmers owned between 0.5 to 5 acres out of which over 80% was committed to food crop production. Established acreage of Napier grass, which is the most popular fodder crop among smallholder resource-poor farm was low (ranged: 0.125 to 0.5 acres). This was further complicated by farmers` inability to conserve feeds (silage or hay). Consequently dairy cows` performance was observed to be low across the 3 production systems. Body weights and milk yields showed a wide variation both within and between systems. Dairy cows in zero grazing systems recorded higher body weights (480±75; range: 345-601 kg) compared to those in free (338±39; range: 275-410) and semi-zero (397±59; range: 280-490 kg) grazing systems respectively (P< 0.0001; r2 = 59%). A similar trend was observed with milk yield (free: 5-12; semi-zero: 6-16 and zero grazing system: 8-24 kg/cow/d) (P< 0.0001). Cases of dairy stock morbidity and mortality due to diseases (tickborne, worms) exacerbated by malnutrition were also recorded. It was therefore concluded that, since little can be done on land scarcity, building farmers capacity on feed production, conservation and utilization would be the way forward. Development of suitable fodder crops, cost effective methods of feed production and ration formulation is therefore critical.
  T.P. Lanyasunya , Wang , H. Rong , S.A. Abdulrazak and E.A. Mukisira
  Inadequate feeding and high disease prevalence are considered as the major setback to dairy production on smallholder farms in Kenya. Under such circumstances, heavy losses of young calves occur. This is the situation presently on these farms. The current study was conducted in Bahati division of Nakuru district over a period of 3 years. Out of 120 smallholder farmers randomly visited and interviewed, 60 of them were selected to participate in the trial, based on whether they have dairy cattle and willing to collaborate. The selected farmers were trained on data recording and provided with a heart-girth measuring tape, a spring balance (25 kg), a 10-litre plastic bucket (for feed weighing), a 1-litre graduated jug (for measuring milk) and a record book. They were then divided into two groups (Control and test) of 30 each. Control group was asked to continue with their ordinary calf management, where supplementation was not offered. Test farmers were asked to strictly follow the research calf-feeding schedule where Napier grass cv Bana was fed as a basal diet and supplemented with protein rich forages (Lucernne; Sweet potato vines cv Munsinya; Desmodium cv Green leaf and fodder shrubs (Leucaena leucocephala and Sesbania sesban). Parameters of study were growth rate, mortality, morbidity and dynamics. The collected data was stored in MS-excel and later subjected to appropriate statistical models (SAS) to established the calf performance difference between the 2 farm groups and livestock production systems. The results showed that calves in test farms performed better (370 g/d) compared to those in control farms (307 g/d)(P< 0.01). The study further revealed that calves supplemented with an assortment of protein rich forages showed a rapid body weight gain (375 and 417 g/d) compared to those offered SPV as a sole protein supplement (345 g/d) (P< 0.05). It was further observed that the overall female calf mortality in zero grazing test farms was low (6%) compared to semi-zero and free grazing test farms (15 and 20%, respectively)(P< 0.05). In the same farms mortality of male and female calves was different (P< 0.05). Mortality for male calves was observed to be higher (Test-zero: Male – 13%; Female – 6%; Control-zero: Male – 11% and Female 9%). The same trend was observed across the test and control farms in semi-zero and free grazing systems. On calf dynamics, off-take for male (33 – 78%) calves was observed to be much higher that for female calves (6 – 33%)(P< 0.001). It was therefore concluded that protein supplementation, using farm grown forages improves performance of dairy calves on smallholder farms. The authors recommend that resource-poor farmers emphasize on cultivation of forage legumes so as to have sufficient protein rich diets for young dairy calves.
  Lanyasunya , T.P. Wang , H. Rong , A.L. Chek , E.A. Mukisira and S.A. Abdulrazak
  This study was conducted in Naivasha, Kenya over a period of 15 weeks to determine the effect of maturity on mineral content in Commelina benghalensis (Giant var M). Immediately after field preparation, representative soil samples were taken for mineral profiling. Thereafter, 60 plots of 2x2 sq. m size were demarcated and allotted to 5 similar blocks of 12 plots each in a randomized complete block design. Each plot received a total of 50 vines (15 cm long with 3 nodes each) evenly planted in 5 rows (2 m length and 30 cm apart). All the plots were planted on the same day and kept weed free throughout the study. The forage was harvested at 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 weeks after planting (excluding the 1st 7 days considered as rooting period) in sequential manner beginning with block 1 to 5, each time leaving a stubble height of 5 cm. From each plot, representative herbage grabs were made, chopped into 2 cm pieces and mixed thoroughly. Two composite samples of about 1 kg each were then taken for dry matter determination and mineral analysis through the standard procedures. Results showed wide variations in the plant tissue concentration change patterns of different mineral elements over the study period. From the results, it was noted that P and Mg levels recorded a marginal decline of 0.6 and 13.8% respectively between 6 and 14 weeks. This represented decline rates of 8.93 and 7.14 mg kg -1 DM d -1. On the contrary, K registered a 31.39% increase from 6.18 at 6 to 8.12% at 14 weeks. Sodium and Ca recorded 35.19 and 49.78% drop in concentration over the same period. The level of Cu was fairly consistent throughout the study. That of Mn was observed to be inconsistent. Zinc levels however showed rapid decline 66.68% over the study period. From the results presented it was concluded that, macro-mineral content in Commelina benghalensis significantly decreased with advancing age of the forage. Trace elements, though were not significantly affected by age, their concentration occurred in quantities below ruminant livestock requirements suggesting the need for trace mineral supplementation. It was further concluded that, owing to high macro-mineral content, the giant Commelina benghalensis has a potential for enhancing the levels of essential minerals in the diets of ruminant livestock on smallholder farms in Kenya.
 
 
 
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