News and updates on research on livestock value chains by the International Livestock Research Institute and partners

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Feeding dairy cattle: Regional experts develop manual for farmers in East Africa

The East Africa Dairy Development project has produced a manual aimed at helping farmers in the region boost the productivity of their dairy cows through adoption of improved animal feeding practices.

The manual was developed by a team of animal science experts from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and the University of Nairobi.

The topics include the basic nutrient requirements of dairy cows; pasture management; production of forage such as hay and silage; feed supplements; practical aspects of feeding calves, heifers and dairy cows; and how to control forage diseases like Napier grass head smut.

Whereas the information has been synthesized in such a way as to be applicable to the East African region, some information may be site specific, and in some instances information that is generalized may need to be customized to suit specific areas.

The manual builds on an earlier version produced by the Smallholder Dairy Project and the Kenya Dairy Development Program that was designed to guide extension workers and smallholder dairy farmers through the basics of feeding dairy animals.

Although dairy farmers are the primary audience of the manual, it may also be a useful information resource for extension workers as well as students of animal production.

For more information, please contact ILRI feed scientist Ben Lukuyu (b.lukuyu @
Download the manual

Lukuyu B, Gachuiri CK, Lukuyu MN, Lusweti C and Mwendia S (eds). 2012. Feeding dairy cattle in East Africa. East Africa Dairy Development Project, Nairobi, Kenya.

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