FARM TRIALS WITH MADURA CATTLE:
Supplements for village diets
A 'VILLAGE PROFILE' FOR LIVESTOCK COMPONENT
FSR IN JAVA
Farming Systeme Support Project
Institute of Food and
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611
Office of Agriculture and
Office of Multisectoral Development
Bureau for Science and Technology
Agency for International Development
Washington, D.C. 20523
NETWORKING PAPER NO. 4
This Networking Paper marks a new departure for the FSSP
Networking Paper Series. It contains two papers from one region --
indeed from a single country (Indonesia) -- on related FSR/E topics.
The FSSP believes that collections of short papers on various relevant
aspects of the FSR/D process are of vital interest to practitioners in
the same country, in neighboring countries, or in a given region.
Indeed, the FSSP management believes that some collections of FSR/D
papers may be relevant to FSR/E practitioners worldwide. When such is
the case, the project will circulate these papers to the entire
Newsletter mailing list. We especially welcome response from readers
of this pilot Networking Paper as the relevance of this publication
policy to your own FSR/E situation.
This Networking Paper contains two papers from Indonesia which
both address various issues encountered in conducting livestock FSR
with farmers. While the FSR/D approach is sometimes criticized for
not doing more to explicitly integrate research and extension, the
approach is more often faulted for a general inability to address
relevant livestock research issues on-farm. There is no doubt that
on-farm research in livestock-predominant systems is in its infancy in
the FSR/D approach. However, much of this difficulty can be
attributed to the long-term nature of livestock research itself, and
the traditional separation of the major disciplines involved in
livestock research -- veterinarians, animal nutritionists, animal
scientists and pasture management specialists. The FSSP management
believes that the two papers included herein raise some of the
pertinent issues which must be addressed by both FSR/D practitioners
and those livestock disciplines which hope to become more and more
involved in relevant, on-farm research.
In the first paper, "Farm Trials with Madura Cattle: Supplements
for Village Diets," the authors detail a set of on-farm trials with
cattle in two Madura villages (Madura is a smallish island directly
off the northeastern coast of East Java, Indonesia). In summarizing
the first year's results, the authors state that, while there were no
statistical differences between treatments or between treatments and
farmer control practices, many factors contribute to explaining why
this might be. Indeed, the significance of this paper for FSR/D
practitioners lies in (1) pointing out the importance of observing
current livestock practices in any village setting before attempting
to modify them and (2) the importance of any on-farm intervention in
leading to important, relevant follow-up research topics which can be
addressed at either the farm or experiment station level.
In the second paper, "A 'Village Profile' for Livestock Components
FSR in Java," the authors present the detailed results of their
project's diagnostic phase, as well as detailed suggestions for
livestock interventions in the village of Pandansari, Bogor District,
West Java, Indonesia. The diagnostic process followed is the village
profile approach as proposed by Bernsten, Rochim, Malian and Basa in
1980. The authors of this paper also list predominant problems
encountered by type of livestock, zero in on doing the bulk of their
research on sheep because they are the most frequently-encountered
livestock type in the village, and detail researchable components
while stressing the importance of monitoring current farmer practices
in livestock for a minimum of one season.
Again, since the project has been working in the field for
slightly more than one year, no detailed results are available at this
time. However, of most interest to the reader should be the
decision-making process which the on-farm team members go through in
progressing from the diagnostic to the design and testing phases of
the FSR/D continuum.
We hope the readers of this Networking Paper find these two papers
useful. We of the FSSP management already have.
Finally, for your information, the approximate exchange rate for
the first paper is U.S. $1.00 = Rupiah 833.00, while tha approximate
exchange rate for the second paper is U.S. $1.00 = Rupiah 1000.00.
Associate Director, FSSP
FARM TRIALS WITH MADURA CATTLE :
Supplements for village diets
.Petheram, R.J., Susanto Prawirodigdo and Hardi Prasetyo
(Research Institute for Animal Production, Bogor, Indonesia)
A study of feeding practices in two Madura villages revealed that
quality of forage fed as the sole diet by most farmers is
inadequate for rapid growth of stock (Petheram and Boer, 1984).
Dry season forage was of particularly poor quality (see Appendix
I), although some farmers employ a high degree of skill in
combining available forage species to avoid weight loss at that
time of year. No grazing is practiced in these intensively
cropped villages, and most farmers keep only one to three
animals. Some purchase forage and even feed rice bran when it is
Records of annual liveweight gain of young stock confirmed that
average growth rates in villages were low (150 g/day) compared to
the best recorded rate of 550 9/day over the same annual period.
The average annual gain of 55 kg per beast was worth about Rp.55
000 on the market and was achieved for an average expenditure of
about two hours per day, or 90 man days of the farmers labour
(mostly collecting forage) per year. In the dry season labour
use is commonly over three hours per day per beast, for a return
of around 15kg liveweight gain.
Such inefficient production, especially in the dry season, has
two important repercussions in the village. Firstly the low.
profitability of the cattle enterprise directly affects the
economic welfare of rural families. In Peltong over 90% of
families had cattle while in Sopaah the figure varied from 40 to
60% with time of year. The second aspect is the inefficient use
of village (energy) resources. In the dry season particularly,
large quantities of scarce forage are fed to cattle for virtually
no return to villagers.
This trial was conducted with the cooperation of Government
Livestock Services personnel who were interested in finding
supplements which could.be incorporated in cattle credit schemes
- to increase profitability to farmers and also to improve
efficiency of use of village forage resources.
Sajakin and Hanafi of Dinas Peternakan, Pamekasan,
assisted valuably with the trial.
The four aims of the trial were :
1. To test some readily available substances as supplements to
village cattle diets; the aim being to find supplements
costing around Rp.15 000 per head over the six dry months
which would result in at least a return of expenditure for
only a small increase in forage consumed.
2. To compare the performance of cattle in two contrasting
villages on the supplemented diets.
3. To assess the practicality of the supplements for farmer
use, and the reaction of farmers to the use of supplements.
4. To assess the feasibility of running "on-farm trials" with
On-farm trials with livestock are a new and important field of
research in Indonesia. Most research to date has been on
research stations where feed and conditions are very different to
those in villages. However the problems and feasibility of
conducting farm trials needs special study, as most small farmers
are totally unaccustomed to the concept and procedures of
experimentation and are too busy and poor to devote much time to
non-income earning activities.
Fifty-eight farmers belonging to a cattle credit scheme in the
two villages volunteered to take part in the trial. These two
villages were selected for their contrasting farming systems and
factors affecting livestock husbandry such as farmer attitudes
to their livestock, labour and forage availability. Land in
Peltong village is all used for dryland cropping, while Sopaah is
about half irrigated ricefield and the remainder dryland
Each participating farmer had one bull only, aged between 12 and
18 months. The average size (chest girth) of bulls at the start
of the trial was 138cm in Peltong and 125cm in Sopaah village.
Cattle were randomly allocated to four treatment groups in each
village (5-S head/group), from three size (chest girth)
categories, to achieve groups of approximately equal liveweight
and size range. Animals were treated for internal parasites
before the trial commenced, with Nilvern, as faecal samples had
revealed with infestation.
There were two treatment periods; animals were supplemented first
during the "late wet" season period from 25th March to 25th'June,
followed by a one month break from supplementation. They were
then re-randomised and allocated to treatment groups, except that
no animals were included in the control group for both the
periods. The second ("dry" season) feeding period was from 25th
July to 25th October.
The supplements were mixed and supplied for farmers every 30
days during the trial. Plastic bins with lids were provided for
storage of supplements in the cow sheds. The dangers, symptoms
and treatment of urea toxicity were discussed with Livestock
Services staff and farmers, and a supply of acetic acid was
provided in each village. Animals were introduced slowly to
supplements, which all contained small amounts of urea.
Special lightweight cattle scales for village use were made for
the trial, with a wooden platform mounted on four load cells, and
a digital readout (see photo 1). As these scales were available
only half way though the trial, chest girth measurements were
taken throughout the trial but liveweight only for the Dry Season
Choice of ingredients for the supplements was governed by
suspected major nutritional limitations, and by considerations of
price, availability and practical feeding problems. Molasses was
included in one treatment because it is cheaply available on the
mainland of Java (not on Madura) and local marketing could be
organized if its use were shown to be beneficial to small
farmers. Livestock services personnel suspected a phosphorus
deficiency in local feedstuffs, although this has not been
verified by chemical analysis. Triple super phosphate (TSP) was
provided as a phosphorus source, particularly for the supplement
containing molasses. Salt was given to all treatment groups, as
this is normally fed by farmers. The treatments and their costs
are shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Ingredients and costs of supplement treatments
TREATMENT INGREDIENTS OF SUPPLEMENT(grams) Cost/head
NO. Molasses Ricebran Urea TSP Salt Water /day (Rp)
I 0009g 40g 40g 50g l00g 50
2 600 40 50 42
3 600 40 40 50 46
4 Control 50 2
During Dry Season 59g of Sulphur added to Treatments 1,2,3.
The base feed for all treatments was the normal forage ration
cut by hand in the village and fed in the stall at the farmer's
house (see Appendix 1). The type, quality and quantity of forage
provided varied with season and between farmers because of
differences in source and access to labour, land and forage.
Assessment of practicality of feeding the supplements was
achieved by observation of farmers' problems with feeding, health
and mortality of stock, and discussions with farmers and
Livestock Services personnel during and after the trial.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Comparison of supplementary feeding treatments
There was no significant difference in (chest-girth) growth
response between any treatments in either village, during either
feeding period. Average growth rate in Peltong village was
higher than in Sopaah during both seasons. These results are
shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Cumulative increase in chest growth in two villages
over two seasons
For Figure 1. See Apendix 2.
For key to Treatment numbers, see Table 1.
Liveweight data were only available for the dry season period.
Comparison of (liveweight) growth rates in the four treatments in
the dry season yielded the same results as the chest girth data
ie. no differences between treatments but higher growth rate in
Peltong than in Sopaah village.
Probability of farmers making a profit
From a farmers point of view, the decision of whether to adopt a
supplement or not is likely to depend at least partly on whether
the new practice will improve the chance of his making a profit
on his cattle. Tables 2 and 3 show the probability for farmers
in each treatment group of
a) recovering the cost of the supplement, and
b) gaining at least 15 kg -in three months (ie.' twice the,
previous recorded average dry season growth rate)
over a dry season feeding period of three months.
Table 2. Probability of recovering cost of supplements over
three months in dry season in Peltong village
I II .III IV
Mean weight qain (kg) 29.2 32.1 27.5 29.2
Standard deviation 14.4 14.1 14.9 11.6
Cost of supplement Rp. 4500 3800 4200 200
P (Wt. Gain > Cost) 0.95 0.97 0.93 0.99
P (Wt. Gain > Rp 15000) 0.90 0.95 0.88 0.99
Rp. 1000 was approximately equal to USS 1.2
(Reference on statistical method: Steel and Torrie, 51-56)
In Peltong the farmers with animals in the control group had a
better chance of recouping costs and making a profit than farmers
feeding a supplement. This result may have been influenced by a
tendency for farmers in the control groups to add more of their
own rice bran and "jamu" (medicine) to the diet than farmers in
other groups (see discussion on p.9).
Table 3. Probability of recovering costs of supplements over
three months in dry season, in Sopaah village
I II III IV
Mean weight gain (kg) 13.6 17.2 17.3 12.3
P (Wt. Gain > Cost) 0.76 0.78 0.91 0.77
P (Wt. Gain > Rp 15000kg) 0.59 0.69 0.79 0.77
In Sopaah the farmers on treatment III appear from Table 3 to
have had a better chance of recovering costs and making a
Rp.10,000 margin, than farmers in other groups.
Practicality of supplementation and farmer opinion of
The feeding of urea even at such low levels presented serious
toxicity problems.- Despite careful instructions on feeding and
warnings on the danger, symptoms and treatment of toxicity, four
animals died of urea poisoning during the trial. Mixing of
supplements was by Livestock Services Personnel at central
locations. Supplements were stored in large plastic bins with
lids and special plastic cups were provided for measuring the
The deaths in Peltong were in animals on treatment I while in
Sopaah the death was on treatment II. -Three deaths occurred in
Peltong between week eight and 24 of the trial and one in Sopaah
in the 24th week. This delay after commencement of the trial may
indicate that mixing or feeding nutrition had been diregarded
with time. Some animals however never took to the taste of urea
and had to be drenched with the supplement throughout the trial.
These animals should perhaps have been discarded from the trial.
Although the cost of the dead animals was borne by the credit
scheme, these mortalities obviously affected farmer opinion of
the supplements. Most farmers interviewed expressed satisfaction
with the results, but this may have been mainly in gratitude for
the free supplements given. Their willingness to feed urea based
supplements in the future will be assessed later.
Three possible explanations could be suggested for the lack of
response to supplementation of village diets with small amounts
of protein and energy.
1. Levels of protein and energy in the basal forage diet were
not limiting to growth of the young bulls.
Although the bulk of feed in the dry season was of poor
quality, farmers were able to increase quality by
adding tree leaves and other village supplements, to a
greater degree than expected. In Peltong even the
control group grew well. -In Sopaah most animals in the
control group gained some weight over the period. The
initial analysis of feedstuffs took no account of
2. The type and method of supplementary feeding were not
adequate for overcoming the deficiencies of protein and
energy needed for increased growth.
This explanation may provide at least part of the
reason for the results of the trial. Molasses is known
to be a poor energy source for use with urea
(Steenkamp, 1?72), and was incorporated in the trial
mainly because of its potential availability at- times,
of the year when rice bran. is scarce. Analysis of,
samples of the supplement towards the end of the trial
showed that high' levels of hulls (50%)- had been
included in rice bran treatments. This meant that
energy (and natural protein) supplied by rice bran was
much lower than anticipated from initial analyses.
In addition to questions about the suitability and quality
of ingredients of supplements, some problems with
controlling the frequency and method of feeding also arose
during the trial, and these are discussed later.
3. The basic ration of animals in the control groups may have
been higher quality than that in other treatment groups.
Although farmers appeared to understand the purpose of
the trial there may have been a tendency for some to
feed extra supplements of rice bran and "jamu"
(medicine).- There was evidence that some farmers with
cattle in the control groups were more likely to feed
their own supplements than the farmers given rice bran
or molasses based supplements.
This practice may have been seen by farmers more as a pursuit of
their tradition of occasional supplementation of forage diets
with rice bran and "jamu" than as a departure from agreed
procedure for the trial. Farmers were asked to feed "normal
village feedstuffs", but the fact that other farmers were feeding
free supplements may have stimulated control group farmers to
feed more than traditional amounts of rice bran and "jamu".
The mixing of ingredients of supplements at a central location
had merits in terms of control, but because farmers had not mixed
their own rations, they may have lacked confidence in future use
of supplements. However the local Livestock Services staff were.
impressed by the visual appearance of animals in Treatment 3 and
consequently arranged for 300 farmers in another area to feed
this supplement for two months prior to marketing their stock.
There were no deaths, and cattle fetched good prices, but growth
rates were unfortunately not measured.
The large difference in growth rate of bulls observed between
sites probably reflects
a) differences in importance of cattle and attitude to
cattle between the two villages.
b) differences in nutritional quality of forage and other
feedstuffs given to cattle, between the two villages.
In -Peltong cattle play a vital role in the life of almost every
family. They are important for ploughing, income from fattening
and security (banking). The village's dryland farming system is
well adapted to providing forage for cattle. Vast amounts of
family labour are devoted to collecting forage, especially in the
By contrast, cattle in Sopaah are relatively unimportant. They
are kept by less than half of the families, and often only as a
means of temporarily banking capital gained through the major
activity of. tobacco growing. During the tobacco season (May-
October) there is a marked shortage of labour for gathering
cattle forage. With rice and tobacco occupying most of the
arable land, the main forages available are poor quality grass
and weeds from hillside, and rice straw (see Appendix 1B).
Assessment of feasibility of running the farm trial
The discussion above of possible technical explanations for lack
of response to the supplements given, revealed many inadequacies
in the design of this farm trial. These are summarised with some
possible remedies, irr the following list.
a. High variation between farmers in quality of basal forage
Possibly, a method of ranking farmers for their skill
in feeding and quality of feed could be developed over
the period of the trial to assist in analysis of
b. The difficulty of controlling quality of materials used in
supplements, even when these were mixed for farmers.
A rapid field test for checking levels of hulls in rice
bran (Budi Tangenjaja and Lowry, 1984) may be valuable
in future trials of this type. A hygrometer could be
used for field checks on molasses quality.
c. The difficulty of controlling frequency of feeding.
Some farmers were observed to finish the supplement
supplied for one months feeding, in three weeks, while
other farmers had some left at the end of the one month
period. Farm trials require a level of supervision and
control which is difficult to achieve. One solution
could be the separate bagging of daily supplements -
but this would prevent the assessment of farmer ability
to adopt the practice.
d. The difficulty of ensuring that animals in the control group
receive only the normal feed, and no extra supplement.
This difficulty is increased even further if single
farmers are given more than one treatment. In practice
it is impossible to be certain about the treatment of
control animals, unless it is feasible to give a
'placebo' treatment as the control. One proposal
(Little, personal communication) is that the control
should be a complete supplement and' the treatments
should be deletions rather then supplements.
e. The danger of urea poisoning.
The fact that 92% of farmers avoided poisoning over the
six month feeding period indicates that proper use of
urea is well within the ability of the better farmers.
Training in the dangers and proper use of urea may be
sufficient to avoid problems amongst farmers
voluntarily adopting urea supplements as these are
likely to be the better managers. On the other hand
the use of urea supplement amongst less capable farmers
(eg. as a condition of a cattle credit scheme) may be
It could be concluded that the trial was fraught with
difficulties, many of which may be met in almost any farm trial
with livestock. There are possible remedies to some of these
difficulties, but the problems surrounding the achievement of a
proper "control", raises serious questions about the validity of
attempting farm trials of this nature.
Experience with small farmers suggests that farm trials should
not be attempted with livestock until a strong contact with
farmers has been established, and cooperative individuals can be
selected for the testing of ideas that have a good chance of
adoption. The farmers in this group may have felt some pressure
to participate in the trial, because of their membership of the
cattle credit scheme.
Testing of ideas or techniques on individual farms should proceed
farm trials of the type attempted in this study. Their success
can be assessed by comparing costs and productivity with known
village averages, and by assessing farmer opinion and adoption
of the idea.
PETHERAM, R.J. and MURSAL BOER. Composition and quality of
forage fed to ruminants in four Javanese villages.
Centre for Livestock Research, Bogor. Unpublished
STEELE R.G. and J.H. TORRIE (1980). Principles and procedures of
statistics, with special reference to the biological
sciences. McGraw Hill, New York.
STEENKAMP, J.D.G. 1972 Feeding urea to beef cattle. Dept. of
Conservation and Extension. Zimbabwe. 4-6.
BUDI TANGENJAJA and J.B. LOWRY 1984 Improved utilization of
rice bran : a rapid field method for estimating hull
content. Submitted to Ilmu dan Peternakan, Bogor,
Appendix 1. Approximate percentage composition of hand fed
cattle diets and seasonal contributions to bulk
and crude protein
A. PELTONG Village
a b (c) a b (c) a b (c) a b
Fresh Grass/130 14 (39) 40 12 (41):45 8 (38)1 -
weeds I I
Dry Grass/4<--415 14 ( 5): i 150
Fresh maize 130 14 (36):40 12 (41)! 5 9 ( 5) -
tops I I
Maize stover - 120 7 (15)_ -
Stored maize! 5 4 ( 2)1 1 10 4
stover 1 I
Cassava/bean: 5 12 ( 5) 5 20 ( 8)110 16 (17) 5 14
Tree leaves 1 5 13 ( 6): 1 5 14 ( 7) 10 13
Fresh rice 15 8 (10)!10 7 ( 7) -
Dry rice 1 -5 3
Tree legume - 5 21 (11) 10 20
.Bamboo leaves 5 7 ( 3) - 5 7
Banana leaves 5 8 ( 3) 5 8
Protein : 11.5%
(c) to CP rank
- 1 31% 1st
5 (32 11 3rd
( 5) 1 llth
( 9) 9 4th
(17) 6 6th
( 2) 12th
(26) 7 6th
( 4) 2 10th
( 5)1 2 9th
All figures are percentages.
a Average percentage composition of diet in that period.
b Average Crude Protein of this forage type during period.
(c) Approximate percentage contribution of this forage type
during period a x b
(c) = --------- x 100
(a x b)
B. SOPAAH Village continued overleaf....
.~j,. U *_0/
B. SOPAAH Village
a b (c)
Fresh Grass/ 30
Dry Grass/ 130
Fresh maize 110
Maize stover! -
Stored maize! -
Tree leaves 110
Fresh rice i -
Stored rice -
Tree legume 5
Bamboo leaves 5
Banana leaves 5
a b (c)
13 (37)145 12
4 (11) -
14 (13) 5 12
- 5 7
14 ( 9) -
13 (12) -
- 45 8
20 (10) -
7 ( 3) -
8 ( 4) -
a b (c) a b (c) to CP rank
5 9 (26) 10 7 (1)! 32 1st
0 6 (14)160 4 (37); 16 2nd
- 5 6th
- 1 10th
5 5 ( 3)1 1 11th
5 16 ( 9)1 4 7th
0 14 (16) :10 15 (23)1 13 3rd
5 7 (12): 12 4th
5 5 ( 8): 5 3 ( 2)1 4 Sth
5 21 (13) 5 20 (15) 9 5th
- 5 7 ( 4) 2 9th
- 5 S ( 5) 2 8th
I I I
a p a a __________________
8.7% 6.5 % 1
Figure CUMULATIVE INCREASE IN CHEST GIRTH IN 4 TREATMENT GROUPS,
DESA PELTONG AND SOPAAH IN TWO SEASON
Late Wet Sea son
--0 0 5"-------------3--
25/3 1014 2514 1015 2515 1016 2516
25/3 10/4 25/4 10/5 25/5 1016 2516
25/7 10/8 25/8 10/9 25/9 10/10 26/10
2517 1018 25/8 1019