Agric Consult Ghana
    
 

teitter

 

 

 Fodder

      

The availability of fodder is one of the limiting factors in animal husbandry. Organic husbandry should be mainly based on the fodder produced. As is the case with humans, there is a direct link between the food and the health of the animals.

A diverse and balanced mixture of food is a pre-condition for good animal health.
Grazing and shed feeding both have their advantages as well as disadvantages.
Overgrazing is a major threat to soil fertility.

Food requirements of animals
If farm animals are to be productive (milk, eggs, meat etc.), it is important that they get suitable food in sufficient quantities. If the fodder production of one's farm is limited (which usually is the case), it might be economically valid to keep less animals but supply them with sufficient food. The appropriate quantity and the mix of feed items will of course depend on the type of animal, but also on its main use (e.g. chicken for meat or egg production, cattle for milk, meat or draft etc.). In milk production for example, cows producing milk should be given fresh grass and possibly other feed items of sufficient protein content. On the same diet, draught animals would rapidly become exhausted, this is where we come in to supply you with high quality fodder.

A balanced diet will keep an animal healthy and productive. Whether or not a farm animal receives the appropriate amount and kind of fodder usually can be seen by the shine of its hair or feathers.
For ruminants, a majority of the fodder should consist of roughage (grass, leaves). If concentrates or supplements are used (e.g. agricultural by-products and wastes), they should not contain growth promoters and other synthetic substances. If mineral content in the available fodder is not sufficient to satisfy the animal's requirements, mineral salt bricks or similar feed supplements can be used as long as they do not contain synthetic additives.

Pasture management
The management of pastures is crucial for a good herd management. It is also important to practice appropriate management throughout the year. There are many different types of grasses, and every climatic region has grasses which are specifically adapted to the conditions. In some cases it may be worth considering to till the grazing site and sow grass varieties that are more appropriate to the animal's needs.

Overgrazing is probably the most significant threat to grass land. Once the protective grass cover is destroyed, the top soil is prone to erosion. Degraded pastures or land with little plant cover is difficult to re-cultivate. Therefore, it is important that the use and intensity of grazing on a particular piece of land is appropriate to its production capacity. Sufficient time must be given to a pasture to recover after intensive grazing. Fencing off of areas and rotation of the grazing animals on several pieces of land is a suitable option. This will also reduce infection from parasites encountered while the animals graze.

The intensity and timing of grazing as well as the cutting of the grass will influence the varieties of plants growing in the pasture. If certain weeds are a problem, the organic farmer will have to change his management practises as herbicides can not be used.

Feeding value
Nutritive value:
Leaf has CP content of 21-38%, commonly about 26%. Much lower for stem (7-20%). Grain contains 20-28% CP. Digestibility ranges from 55-76%, commonly >60% (leaves). Grain high in vitamins A, B and C.
Palatability/acceptability
Leaf is highly palatable, but stem has low palatability. Palatability of grain is low to moderate depending on variety.
Toxicity
Leaf does not contain anti-nutritive factors such as tannins. Mixed plantings with forage sorghum prevents the occurrence of bloat. Grain contains tannins, and phytate and trypsin inhibitors. Concentrations vary among varieties. Soaking or cooking reduces the activity of these compounds

Benefits of Agric Consult Ghana Fodder Production
1. Saving of Land - 1000 Kg of Hydroponic fodder requires 300 sq feet land area against 2700 Sq Feet for conventional fodder.

2. Saving of Water - Production of 1 Kg fodder requires 3 litres ofwater against 80 Litres/Kg of conventional Fodder.

3. Saving of Time - Agric Consult Ghana green fodder can be harvested on every7th day in comparison to harvesting of conventional green fodder at 30 - 45days.

4. Contamination free - Agric Consult Ghana fodder is grown in asepticconditions while conventional fodder is affected by several pest & diseases.

5. Constant Supply - Agric Consult Ghana fodder can be harvested for 359 days ina year while green fodder is available only for few months.

6. Highly Palatable - The taste of Agric Consult Ghana fodder is very much likedby ruminants.

7. More Nutritious - Compared to conventional fodder Agric Consult Ghana fodderprovide more nutrition per Kg of Fodder.

8. Improves animal health - Agric Consult Ghana fodders are easily digestibleand contamination free so Feeding on this improves animal health too.