F19 Trees for livestock fodder

  • Many trees suitable for agroforestry have leaves and pods that are edible by animals such as cattle, goats and sheep. They can be cut regularly and carried to feed livestock. Green leaves from trees can often be cut in seasons when other green fodder is unavailable.
  • It is usually better to mix leaves from several different kinds of trees with other kinds of fodder. Feeding animals leaves from just one kind of tree can sometimes cause problems.
  • Fodder production will be much higher if leaves are cut and taken to animals rather than allowing animals to graze directly from the trees.
Discussion
  • Discuss which local trees growing in the area are liked by animals. Could these be planted on the farm?
  • Exotic trees which are good for providing animal fodder include moringa, calliandra, sesbania, acacia, leuceana and gliricidia.
  • Visit a zero grazing or stall feeding unit and discuss what they use for fodder. How would fodder trees fit into this system?
  • If zero grazing or stall feeding is not practised in your area, discuss whether fodder could be grown in this way and brought to where the animals are kept at night.