Feed shortage in the dry season and even in the wet season is a major constraint to animal production in Ethiopia. Feed resources that mainly contribute to the animals are crop residues and natural pastures. Crop residues are noted for their poor feeding value in terms of protein and energy contents besides their low digestibility. Broiler litter has been used as a fertilizer in the region, even if it has greatest potential as a supplementary feed source for beef animals. This study was therefore targeted on examining effect of poultry litter on body weight gain of fattening cattle. Accordingly, six local cattle (270 Â± 45.66 kg initial body weight) were used and grouped into two treatments, and supplemented for 90 days. The data was analyzed by GMP 5 software using ANOVA. Significant difference of treatment means was determined using studentâ€™s t-test and the findings were highly statistically significant at p<0.05. There was very high difference in body weight gain between the supplemented and controlled group that is 66.73 and -5.4 kg for the supplemented and controlled cattle respectively. Based on the partial budget analysis, the supplemented cattle earn average net income of 1335.05 ETB which is higher than the controlled animalsâ€™ average net income of 466.66ETB per the fattening period. In addition, using the poultry litter as cattle feed minimizes the problem of environmental pollution. Therefore, poultry litter supplementation for cattle fattening is economically feasible and environmentally sound in the dry land of Ethiopia.
Keywords: Crop residue, body weight gain, income, environment.