Knowledge for Development

Kenyan farmers use fodder shrubs to increase milk production


Date: 21/09/2011


Fodder shrubs are a kind of animal feeds, rich in protein with high contents of butter that increase milk quality and quantity. Farmers around the country are being encouraged to plant the shrubs to save on the costs of buying animal feeds to increase milk production, among other benefits. Once mature, fodder shrubs can be harvested throughout the year, providing fodder even during dry seasons. These can be planted along the farm boundaries to leave more space for the crops, along soil conservation terrace to stabilize the soil on the terraces or even around homesteads to act as a fence. The shrubs can be harvested after every 8 to 12 weeks in a year. Once harvested, each cow is fed on 6kgs fresh fodder per day for maximum production of at least 24 litres a day compared to animals fed on dairy meal which produce 15 litres a day. Fodder shrubs of both local and exotic species like calliandra, trichandra, mulberry and tree lucern are known to increase milk yields significantly.(News from Africa via New Agriculturalist, May 2011)

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