Information on this subject area was requested by DCFRN participants in Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, India, Nigeria, Paraguay, St. Lucia, and Tanzania.
Before using the information in this item, please read the notes at the end concerning related DCFRN items.
We at this radio station are part of a worldwide information network that gathers farming information from developing countries all over the world. It’s the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network, sponsored by Massey Ferguson and the University of Guelph, and financially supported by the Canadian International Development Agency and by many interested Canadians.
Through this Network. we bring you information on ways to increase food supplies for your family, or to sell—ways that other farmers have used successfully.
Today our subject is feeding livestock during the dry season. Here’s George Atkins.
Sanjally Conteh reminds us of something you already know—that when animals don’t get enough to eat in the dry season, they get thin and weak, and may even die. And by the time the rains come, draught animals may not be strong enough to do a good job of cultivating the land—or they may need more time to do it because they get tired easily. Because of this. you may not be able to plant your seeds as early as you’d like—and perhaps
your harvests won’t be so good.
You also know, of course, that it would be much better if you could keep feeding your animals well throughout the dry season.
Then when the rains come, they’ll be ready for the hard work of cultivating the fields.
And another thing—good feeding all year-round helps cows produce more milk—and it even helps them produce young ones more often. It’s the same with other animals too.
Sanjally Conteh says animal feed for the dry season doesn’t have to cost money. Most farms produce a lot of crop residues—stems and stalks and leaves left over after crops have been harvested.
Now some farmers already use these for animal feed, or to protect or improve their soil. But in other cases these crop residues are just wasted—perhaps even burned!
Here’s Sanjally Conteh’s advice: Farmers should make good use of their crop residues. Cattle owners should collect the available crop residues—like maize (corn) and sorghum stover and rice (paddy) straw, and groundnut (peanut) hay or other such material. They should store them properly to keep them dry and protect
them from insects. Then in the dry season these residues can be fed to the animals, to keep them strong and healthy.
Finally, this expert advises you and your neighbours to protect the land from bush fires, because bush fires destroy good sources of feed for your animals.
Serving Agriculture, the Basic Industry, this is George Atkins.
You might want to use information in this item in association with information from some of the following DCFRN items:
Good Cow Feed at the End of the Dry Season – DCFRN Package 1, Item 3 (on making silage)
Hay, Part 1 – Harvesting and Drying Hay; Part 2 – Making a Haystack – DCFRN Package 9, Items 4 and 5
Pigeon Pea Plants for Animal Feed, Part 1 – Especially Good for the Dry Season; Part 2 – Some Special Ways to Grow Them – DCFRN Package 13, Items 3 and 4
Water Hyacinth, Good Low-Cost Animal Feed – DCFRN Package 13, Item 6
Groundnut (Peanut) Hay – Good Feed in the Dry Season – DCFRNPackage 14, Item 3
Bush Fires – Try to Prevent Them – DCFRN Package 9, Item 1C
Keeping Farm Animals Healthy and Productive – DCFRN Package10, Item 1