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close this bookLivestock and Poultry Production (IIRR, 1992, 106 p.)
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View the documentOn-farm fodder sources in agroforestry (trees and grasses)
View the documentOff-farm fodder sources in agroforestry (trees and grasses)

On-farm fodder sources in agroforestry (trees and grasses)

Livestock production in most upland communities in the Philippines is concentrated in small, farms. Around 90 percent ruminants and 70 percent of non-ruminants are raised in small farms. Livestock provides draft power to different farm operations, transportation, food, additional income and manure for organic fertilizer.

Farm animals are mainly fed with the available fodder/forage within the farm. The fodder used by the farmers may be in the form of fresh or dried plant parts such as leaves and stalks/straws.

Natural grass/weeds

One of the common sources of fodder for livestock in the uplands for cut and carry, tethering and grazing feeding systems are either natural growing or cultivated grasses.

Table 13 Natural grass/weeds

Scientific name

Official common name

Rottboellia exaltate


Imperata cylindrica


Saccharum spontaneum


Chrysopogon aciculatus


Paspalum conjugatum


Panicum stagninum


Pennisetum purporeum

Napier grass

Panicum maximum

Guinea grass

Panicum purpurascens

Para grass

Dicanthium aristatum


Fodder trees/shrubs

Fodder from trees and shrubs that are available in the farm provides nutritious and palatable feeds for livestock which can also supplement other forage grasses.

Table 14. Fodder trees/shrubs.

Scientific name

Official common name

Gliricidia sepium sepium

Madre de cacao kakawate

Leucaena leucocephala


Calliandra calothyrsus


Flemingia macrophylla


Desmodium rensonii


Piliostigma melabaricum


Sesbania qrandiflora


Cajanus cajan


Other fodder sources

One of the most important feeds in small farms is the residue of various crops grown in the cropping systems. The most common residues are corn fodder/stover, rice straw, sugarcane tops and stem and leaves of leguminous crops.

Corn Fodder

It is grown mainly as forage for livestock. It may be harvested after the ears have appeared, although not yet fully developed. The whole plant is fed to animals Its palatability and nutritive value excel those of other soiling crops. The best condition for feeding is when the plant tassel and ears are in the glazing stage. Corn silage has a wide nutritive value. It should be supplemented with nitrogenous feeds to balance the ratio.

Corn Stover

It is a dried roughage that can be stored for livestock fodder. It is the portion of the corn plant left after the ears have been removed at harvest. The whole plant is air-dried in the field, then the stalks are cut and stored as feed. Corn stover is rich in carbohydrates and is very useful in maintaining the condition of work animals during the dry season. Corn stover should be protected from rain; otherwise, it will be affected by mildew and will disintegrate, making it unfit for feed. To make it more palatable, sprinkle salt over it. Dry Corn stover must be stored in a roofed animal shed or barn.

Sugarcane Tops

Sugarcane tops can be used as fodder whether green or dried. It is relished by carabaos and Cattle. It contains a large amount of digestible carbohydrates in sugar form.

Rice Straw

Rice straw is eaten by carabao and Cattle if other feeds are not available particularly during the dry season. To make it palatable, a small amount of salt is sprinkled over the feedstock. Dried rice straw may be stored in a coneshaped stacked called mandala supported by a bamboo pole, firmly anchored to the ground in an open field without the danger of deterioration. The upper layer serves to protect the lower layer from getting wet. The straw should be stored when fairly dry or else, if wet, it will generate heat that will spoil its wholesomeness as fodder. The straw stack should be located on an elevated portion of the farm near the animal shed.

Leguminous dual-purpose crop residue

The leguminous residues of dual purpose crops such as cowpea, soybean, mungbean, bush sitao and batao have protein content of about 12 percent or more. The stem and leaves are good supplements to improve the feeding value of other on-fanm fodder, especially during the dry season when feeds are very limited. They can also be fed to the livestock as soon as they are harvested without waiting for them to dry. Leguminous crop residues are seasonal and storage is one of the major problems. However, production in dry season makes sundrying practical. farmers only need to be taught to store and/or protect them from rain.


Resource Book on Sustainable Agriculture for the Uplands. International Institute of Rural Reconstruction. 1990.

FSSR '86. Crop Residues and Fodder in Rice-based Farming Systems by U.R Carangal and A.D. Calub. Agricultural Economics Department. International Rice Research Institute. Los Ba Laguna, Philippines.