Evaluation of mulberry based silages for their quality as animal feed
Chandrashekhar S and Divyashree HJ
A Study was conducted during 2016-17 at College of Sericulture, Chintamani, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru to evaluate the different silages prepared by using mulberry, the sole food plant of silkworm Bombyx mori L., maize and napier grass and their six combinations for physical parameters (Colour, odour, pH, mould growth, dry matter content) and palatability for ruminants. The present study revealed that, all the silages including their combinations recorded acidic pH ranging from 5.3 to 4.3 and had dark green to light green colour with sweetish o dour. The Palatability test of the silage was done on sheep, where their acceptance was found to be more in the silages prepared by mixing 75 per cent mulberry shoots with 25 per cent maize. It is palatability was 85 per cent while that of sole mulberry leaves was 80 per cent. The silage prepared from 100 per cent Napier grass was found to be the least accepted silage by sheep and palatability was 40 per cent. The study showed that, the mulberry can also be used as alternate good silage crop in raising the livestock with combination of other forage crops. Thus it opens up a new arena for utilization of mulberry as silage crop beyond it is use for the silkworm rearing.