Common Forages

Shrubs

Brachiaria Humidicola

Centrosema pubescens

This leafy, climbing perennial herb was introduced from Latin American. At maturity Centrosema may reach a height of 40-45 cm. It grows well in a variety of soil types from loamy to clay, and does not require fertilizers. The deep rooted shrub is able to withstand excessive dry periods. However, seedling growth is slow, and it needs light grazing for the first six months to eliminate other plants overrunning the herb.Centrosema makes good hay, but may require mixture with other forages such as Panicum maximum (Guinea grass) to reduce leave shattering.

mulberry

Morus alba (Mulberry)

Mulberry is a shrub that has traditionally been used for feeding the silk worm in some parts of the world. It is also grown for its fruit, which is used for the production of juices and preserves.

trichanthera

Trichanthera gigantea

A tree of South American origin, Trichanthera adapts to a wide range of tropical ecosystems. It is established by cuttings.Reports suggest that Trichanthera has been used to feed sheep, goats, and pigs, and is also incorporated in feed for poultry. Leaves are highly digestible and protein content ranges between 17 and 22%.

Conserved Fodder

hay

Hay

Activities in livestock production should involve fodder conservation. Animals need to be fed throughout the year and hay is particularly useful during periods of drought and whenever grass growth is poor. The basic steps for hay making involve harvesting good quality forage. The forage should be allowed to dry in the field, and then stored in bales.

silage

Silage

Forages can be preserved by fermentation process using acids and/or a source of soluble carbohydrates such as molasses. Simple steps in making silage involve harvesting good quality grass by cutting into small portions, then compacting while adding acids or molasses when the material is placed into a silo.Pitfalls to avoid in making good quality silages are exposing the plant material to excess moisture, air and soil. This conserved material will remain for years without any deterioration in quality.

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