Fodder production through agroforestry: a boon for profitable sheep and goat farmingwca2014-1987 Bandeswaran Chinnaondi 1,*Gunasekaran Shanmugam 1Murugeswari R 1Babu M 1 1Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Institute of Animal Nutrition, Kancheepuram, India
Agroforestry models for fodder production viz., silvipasture, hortipasture, horti silvipasture and agrisilvi system were established in degraded cultivable wastelands. The wastelands could be effectively utilized for fodder production vis-à-vis livestock production through agroforestry system, which is also an environmentally safe system of land use. Silviculture, silvipasture and hortipasture systems are viable technologies to rehabilitate degraded wastelands. By effective utilization of wastelands for fodder production, the agroforestry system serves as a sustainable land use technology for livestock production.
Silvipastoral system increased the dry fodder biomass yield from 1.25 – 4.50 tons (natural pasture) to 4.50 – 8.70 tons per hectare per year and could hold 8-15 sheep per hectare. The average dry fodder production potential of the hortipasture, hortisilvipasture and hortisilvi system were 3.855, 4.410 and 1.282 tons per hectare per year respectively under rain fed condition. Agrisilvi system of fodder production (Napier-Bajra hybrid grass + Sesbania grandiflora) yielded more dry fodder biomass and protein under irrigated condition.
Among the agroforestry models, Napier-Bajra hybrid grass + Leucena leucocephala / Sesbania grandiflora as agrisilvi system of fodder production was more successful for irrigated lands. Silvipasture with Leucena leucocephala + Gliricidia sepium + Albizia lebbeck as tree components and Cenchrus ciliaris + Stylosanthes scabra as pasture components was recommended for greening of wastelands in rain fed condition. Lambs (10-12 kg) when integrated in silvipasture (Leucena leucocephala + Gliricidia sepium + Cenchrus ciliaris + Stylosanthes scabra) at the rate of 30 numbers / ha., the body weight gain per day was increased by 68% and the animal holding capacity was increased by 50% as compared to natural grazing land during rain fed season. Goats (12-13 kg) when integrated (8 goats / ha.) on mixed silvi pasture gained 62.98% more body weight (50.02 Vs 30.69 g per day) compared to goats raised in natural grazing lands. When lambs (12-15 kg) were integrated in legume hortipasture (48-50 lambs / ha.) by giving one hour additional complementary grazing, gained 20% and 26% more body weight in lush and lean season respectively, compared to lambs grazed in natural grazing land.