Utilization of Rice Straws as Feed for Beef Cattle during the Dry Season in Merauke Regency, South Papua, Indonesia

Batseba M. W. Tiro, Petrus A. Beding, Khojin Suprihadi, Mariana Ondikeleuw, Usman, Subiharta, Rini Nur Hayati, Vyta W. Hanifah


Shortage of forages for ruminants was the main challenge faced by farmers, particularly in areas with a longer dry period of approximately 5–6 months, such as Merauke Regency, South Papua Province, Indonesia. Much research has been conducted to study the use of rice straw as feed for beef cattle in other provinces of Indonesia. However, there has been no research in Merauke Regency yet. On the other hand, this regency is central to food crop development, especially rice. Therefore, there are abundant numbers of by-products from rice cultivation that are unutilized, such as rice straws. This study examined the effect of different proportions of fermented rice straw as an alternative source of feed for beef cattle during the dry season. This study was conducted in Merauke Regency during the dry season from July to October 2020.  The research design involved fifteen crossbred Ongole beef cattle owned by local farmers.  The study employed a completely randomized block design (CRBD) with three treatments and five replications. The research findings indicated that feed treatments significantly influenced dry matter intake (DMI) at a significance level of P < 0.05 between treatments P2 and P1, as well as between P3 and P1. However, treatments P2 and P3 exhibited no statistically significant difference (P > 0.05). The provision of supplementary feed substantially enhanced the average daily gain (ADG), with significant effects observed between treatments P2 and P1 and between P3 and P1 (P < 0.05).  Conversely, the effect between treatments P2 and P3 was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). The maintenance system with treatment P3 appeared to be more profitable than treatments P2 and P1. On average, treatment P3 yielded a profit of Rp 9,798,333, whereas treatments P2 and P1 yielded Rp 9,143,333 and Rp 8,147,333, respectively.  The calculated benefit–cost ratios (BCRs) for treatments P3, P2, and P1 were 1.33, 1.32, and 1.29, respectively. This study applied different proportions of feed intake according to the local specific conditions, which provided a lesson for other regencies with similar local specific contexts, such as Merauke Regency.


Keywords: rice straws; beef cattle; dry season


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