Livestock feed resources and feeding practices in hill farming systems: A review
Abstract views: 251 / PDF downloads: 33
Keywords:Common property resources (CPRs), Feed resources, Feeding practices, Fodder calendar, Livestock feeding, Natural resource management, Nutritive value, Uncultivated fodders
AbstractLivestock feed resources and feeding strategies in hill areas are distinguishable from those in the plains. Owing to availability of forests and rangelands under common property resource (CPR) regime in the hills as an integral component of the farming systems, farmers customarily depend uncultivated fodders (tree leaves, grasses and herbaceous plants), rather than on the conventional cultivated fodders. Agroforestry systems supplying tree and shrub leaves and crop residues are the other resource of fodder. More than 4 dozens of woody perennials occurring at various altitudes of the Himalayan mountains are being utilized by the livestock farmers in the region. In addition, there are numerous species of grasses and other herbaceous plants spread in rangelands that also become fodder for livestock. An understanding of the lopping cycle of these fodder-yielding plants is of great value in the management of natural resources. There are several attributes - ecological as well as economic- of uncultivated fodders. Farmers follow a fodder calendar in the feeding of their livestock. Most of the concentrate used is home-produced. Nutritive value and digestibility of certain tree leaves is comparable with that of the conventional cultivated leguminous fodders. Dismal state of livestock feeding is this that livestock in the hills, owing to paucity of green and dry fodders, are under-fed. Feeding strategies of different livestock species are different Ovine spccies are kept on grazing almost exclusively. Special feeding considerations are adopted when cows or buffaloes are in pregnancy and in lactation state and when bullocks are at work. Natural resource management leading to augmentation of fodder supplies and fortification of nutritive value especially of dry fodders would be pivotal in impraving the lot of livestock in the hills.
How to Cite
The copyright of the articles published in The Indian Journal of Animal Sciences is vested with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, which reserves the right to enter into any agreement with any organization in India or abroad, for reprography, photocopying, storage and dissemination of information. The Council has no objection to using the material, provided the information is not being utilized for commercial purposes and wherever the information is being used, proper credit is given to ICAR.