The rearing of livestock plays an important role in the development of rural economy.The livestock husbandry not only provides milk, meat, wool, manure, urine energy etc. butalso provides self-employment for unemployed youth. In India at present about more than50% of the rural population is engaged in rearing of livestock. India largest milk producer inworld, shares 15 per cent in the global output of 630 million tones. India ranks first in themilk production due to large number of cattle population, about 185 million. However, the productivity of milch animals is very low.As per last 17
census, crossbred cattle constitute 13.3 per cent of the total cattle and86.7 per cent are indigenous cattle. There is tremendous increase in the crossbred in thecountry i.e. 22.8 per cent but while indigenous cattle population is declining. This increase incrossbred population can enhance the milk productivity/animal provided they are managedscientifically.
Crossbred cattle population in India during 1997 and 2003Crossbred cattle 19972003Per cent increase/decrease
Crossbred cattle20.09 million24.6 million22.82 per centIndigenous cattle178.7 million160.5 million-10.23 per centTotal198.8 million185.2 million-6.89 per centIn addition to the above, proper feeding of the dairy animals is must in order toharness their full genetic potential. Since, there is a shortage of green fodder especially duringthe months of May-June and October-November during the year. As a result, dairy farmersface great difficulty in feeding their dairy animals for getting optimum production. Hey andsilage making practices has not been adopted by farmers on large scale. Under such situation,crop residues such as rice straw, wheat straw, maize stalks and natural herbage like grass, tree