Cattle could feed on paper waste
The 100 tons of paper waste a company produces daily could turn into a nutritional alternative for dairy cows of the municipality of Ubaté.Bogotá D. C., 16 de mayo de 2016 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
However the intention is not for cows to feed only on paper. In fact it is only an option which could imply 15% of their food intake and the remaining 85% would continue to be conventional food.
The project will begin with a dozen sheep of the same area because as small ruminants, they have the same metabolism as cattle but at a smaller rate.
This is the work of Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Zootechnician and Animal Production M.Sc. George Jaime Tenjo to address two issues in the region; first avoid this waste to turn into a pollutant and second that a part of this waste turn into feed for cattle in lean periods for small and medium-sized cattle farmers.
Lack of rain during certain periods of time has a bearing on the absence of forage or grass to feed cattle. Given that paper waste has a cellulose component which also is part of pastures; it may be replaced to feed livestock.
This project which has an investment of COL 64 million (USD 21,400), half of which is exclusively devoted to materials and supplies; they hope 300 farmers can have the input to offset the lack of food when the climatic situation turns dire.
Historically work with cellulosic residue, such as paper has always focused on producing biofuels and research has also focused in that direction.
However cattle and sheep intestinal microflora has the capability to breakdown cellulose including grass and paper.
“A series of bacteria combine to act upon the substrate and carry out a fermentation process to provide energy to animals,” said Jaime.
According to Jaime the rain deficit which produced forage or pasture shortage demonstrated that small producers of these areas are not prepared for these kinds of events.
Use of silage (fermented, high-moisture stored fodder) or planting forage crops are viable alternatives but they can be insufficient in case of lack of food for cattle.
Generally, Ubaté does not have great availability of water during the year. With the El Niño phenomenon which occurs every three to seven years this issue could become more serious.
If medium and large-sized producers are not prepared for a new El Niño event, they could have serious issues such as death of many cattle because food would be scarce and those which do have enough food probably will not have the production they normally have.(Por: Fin/HEVC/MLA/APBL