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close this bookRegenerative Agriculture Technologies for the Hill Farmers of Nepal: An Information Kit (IIRR, 1992, 210 p.)
close this folderLivestock and fodder
View the documentFeed Shortages and Seasonality Issues of Livestock in the Hills
View the documentSilage and Crop Residues as Fodder Supplement
View the documentFodder Sources from Trees and Shrubs of Nepal
View the documentExotic Fodder Species as Potential Alternatives to Ipil-Ipil
View the documentPropagation of Fodder Grasses
View the documentPropagation of Fodder Trees
View the documentGrasses and Fodder Trees for Terrace Risers
View the documentNB-21 Grass on Terrace Risers and Bunds
View the documentSalt Licks for Livestock
View the documentThe Large Leafed Mulberry: A Promising Nutritive Fodder for Scarcity Period
View the documentManagement of Breeding Pigs
View the documentUse of Sihundi for the Treatment of roundworms in Pigs
View the documentSmall-Scale Goat Raising
View the documentAngora Rabbit for Wool Production

Feed Shortages and Seasonality Issues of Livestock in the Hills

Feed shortages and seasonality issues of livestock in the hills

Livestock have a multipurpose role on hill farms: They provide manure, draught power, meat, milk and milk products and fulfill social and religious obligations. However, they are increasingly faced with a fodder deficit problem.

Livestock population tends to be denser on small farms, despite a lack of capital among small farmers for the purchase of animals. Very small farmers, who make up the largest percentage in the hills, usually cannot feed their animals from their land. Therefore, this group is exerting the greatest amount of pressure on communal feed resources, i.e., the forest and common grazing areas. Large-holder farms produce more crop byproducts and have more post- harvest land available for grazing. Stall-feeding is widely practiced, although mainly during the monsoon months when all possible land is under cultivation.

A seasonal calendar for fodder and animal feed is helpful in understanding seasonal availability and can easily be prepared by extension workers in group sessions with farmers. Here is one example:



Livestock feed sources and their availability are different during the three annual phases, following the off and on of monsoon rainfall.

Post-Monsoon November - February

March - June

Monsoon Months
July - October

Feed supply required for maintenance of animals

Peak period for use of livestock in farm operations

Green grass and other materials are available

Overall supply is low

Animals in calf required additional feed

These are either carried or grazed and are the primary feed during this period

Fodder trees provide the main source of animal nutrients

Fodder trees and straws are used, though some grain and concentrates are also fed

Winter crop residues


· The use of the stall-feeding technology during the remainder of the year (beyond pre-monsoon/monsoon periods)

· Establishment of fodder trees, grasses on bunds or terrace risers, gullies and in wastelands

· Community forest development and the promotion of cut-and-carry systems as opposed to grazing

· Communal agreements to manage communal grazing resources

· Treatment of roughage to increase the nutritive value

· Preservation of the value of fodder resources (e.g., hay, silage)

· Reduction of internal parasites, such as fasciola and nematodes in order to maximise nutrient uptake and absorption

Unless otherwise indicated, this is based on information extracted from Natural Resource Management for Sustainable Development prepared by the Environment Resources Limited, UK for the World Bank (1988).

Period of fodder availability and approximate annual yield