What’s on the menu for the goats and cattle?

A new feedstock featuring a local grass could provide a more reliable and nutritious food supply for livestock in Malaysia.

Napier Grass is commonly used as silage for ruminant feed.

Napier Grass that had been planted in systematic ways for Napier silage production.

Researchers from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) have formulated a new feedstock for goats and cattle using a local Malaysian crop called Napier grass. The grass is combined with molasses, microbes, vitamins and minerals to optimize fermentation, ultimately producing a fodder or “silage” in 21 days that can last for up to two years.

The long-lasting silage can help stabilize the feedstock supply and prices throughout the year, especially during drought and monsoon seasons when farmers often have to pay higher prices for imported feedstocks. By providing consistent nutrient levels, the silage is also expected to help improve the health of livestock.

The research team, led by Associate Professor Dr. Afzan Mat Yusof, successfully demonstrated their process and formula maintained heathy weight and production of 20 goats.

Napier grass is easily grown in Malaysia and forms the foundation of a healthy fermented food for goats and cattle. The Napier silage feedstock is comprised, by weight, of: 70% to 90 % Napier grass, 6% to 9% molasses, 8% to 10% microbial extract, 0.1% to 0.5% vitamins, and 2% to 3% minerals. The ingredients are mixed together, packed in Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) plastic bag, compressed with semi-automated vacuum technology to ensure optimum low-pH fermentation conditions. After 21 days, the mixture is ready and lasts for two years.

The Napier silage can not only help stabilize feed shortages, but also can contribute to economic growth in Malaysian agriculture
Dr. Afzan Mat Yusof

The research team has filed a patent for their Napier silage, which won an International Invention & Invention Awards 2019 Gold Medal at Malaysia Technology Expo 2019 and won a silver medal at the International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition, Malaysia (ITEX).
The researchers plan to further innovate other Napier silage products.

 

For further information, contact:
Associate Professor Dr. Afzan Mat Yusof
KULLIYYAH OF NURSING
IIUM Kuantan Campus
[email protected]

Left: Napier grass before fermentation Right: After fermentation (Day 21)