Need for Fiber Feeds
The development of the ruminant industry in Malaysia (beef and dairy cattle, sheep and goats) depends greatly on the availability of moderately priced local feed resources, particulaly the fiber components. The oil palm industry provides an abundant supply of fiber from fronds, trunks, empty fruit bunches, palm oil mill effluent, palm kernel cake and palm press fiber. Current use of these fiber by-products, especially palm kernel cake and oil palm frond, has been extended to feed for dairy and beef cattle, sheep and goats.
Processing of Oil Palm by-Products for Feed
By chopping, drying, cubing and pelletizing, oil palm fronds can be transformed into an attractive source of ruminant feed, while oil palm trunks are a readily available source of fiber in feed. Oil palm fronds, used either alone or combined with other ingredients such as palm kernel cake and palm oil mill effluent, have been successfully transformed into feed in pellet or cube form for ruminant animals.
Feed/Weight Gain of Cattle Fed on Oil-Palm by-Products
Beef cattle fed a diet based on oil palm byproducts gained between 0.5 to 0.7 kg per day in feedlots. Such feeds are also suitable for the maintenance of dairy cows. Beside fulfilling the country's requirements for roughage feeds, oil palm fronds in pellet or cube form are a good export prospect.
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