Shortage of feed and fodder resources for livestock population in the state is one of the major constraints for low livestock production.Fodder Development Sufficient green fodder is essential for production of milk and meat. Green feed reduces the production cost of milk, meat & egg. The 7 Departmental fodder seed farms have produced 96.89 quintals of fodder seeds and distributed among farmers as minikits. One Deputy Director (Fodder) is exclusively in charge of this programme at Directorate. The 8 departmental livestFeed & Fodder Developmentock breeding farms produced 25630 qtls of green fodder in the State (Up to the end of Dec’04). A minikit programme has been launched to raise fodder in the farmer’s land. Under this programme, different fodder seeds are being supplied with a token money of Rs. 5/- as involvement cost. During 2004-05(Up to the end of Jan’05), 13980 minikits were distributed to farmers with 97860 numbers of roots & slips of perennial grasses.

Silage Making for Utilization of Seasonal Surplus Including Sugarcane Tops and its Economic Prospective in Animal Feeding


When live actively growing crops are harvested (usually chopped) at high moisture (40 to 80%), packed to eliminate O2, and allowed to partially ferment to low –PH (acid) conditions for preservation, the end product is a ruminant forge called silage. To make good silage, the crop need to be harvested at the time of greatest feed values and preserved for feeding. Ensiling can only preserve those nutrients already present in crops. It does not improve the feeding value of a crop.


Forage for silage is preserved by anaerobic fermentation. Successful silage fermentation must include all factors necessary for anaerobicFodder Development fermentation. Which are absence of air , suitable and adequate source of nutrients, and once the fermentation has ended, preservation of the ensilage material in a constant state.
Cells of actively growing plants continue to respire for a few hours after material is ensiled. Oxygen is used and replaced with carbon dioxide. Lack of oxygen prevents mold growth. The forage becomes warm; it is moist and has very limited oxygen. These conditions result in rapid growth of bacteria (Lacto bacilli) that convert soluble carbohydrates (ferment sugar) into organic acids, especially lactic acid in absence of oxygen within a Feed & Fodder Developmentfew days, the temperature drops and fermentation stops. This “pickled” or fermented material is reserved and will remain in stable condition. However, if air seeps into the preserved mass, mold growth and additional heating will occur. If the initial fermentation does not produce enough acid, other bacterial will grow and produce undesirable fermentation that causes further nutrient loss, undesirable odors, and impalatable silage.” In the ensilage of non-traditional forages, acceptable fermentation may involve production of acetic and propionic acids. Such acetic acid fermentation has resulted in stable silage of tropical forage grasses.

Crop quality

Important plant characteristics for good quality silage include; high dry matter yield; high dry matter concentration; good, sustainable level of crude protein; high palatability; high digestibility, low lignin content, adequate carotene and Vitamin-D levels; mineral content sufficiently high for animal growth and performance, low levels or lack of anti-nutritional substances.

Physical condition

Three categories of color are considered for quality assessment as follows desirable colour is a bright yellowish green to slightly brownish colour, acceptable color is a dark green or light brown, light yellow colour, and undesirable color is deep brown or black indicating excessive heating or putrefaction. Predominantly white or gray colour indicates excessive mold development.
Odor fails into three categories as follows desirable odor is a light pleasant odor with no indication of putrefaction; acceptable odor includes fruity, yeasty slightly burnt or sharp vinegar odor, and undesirable odor includes a strong, burnt odor indicating excessive heating or a putrid odor indicating improper fermentation. A very musty odor indicates excessive mold, which will be readily visible throughout the silage.
The final category for estimating silage quality by physical and visual means is moisture. Moisture assessments include, desirable, when no free water is observed when silage is hand squeezed indicating a well preserved silage, acceptable, where some moisture can be squeezed from the silage by hand squeezing or the silage will be dry and musty; and undesirable, when the silage is wet, slimy, or soggy and water is easily squeezed from a sample, or the silage is too dry and has a strong burnt odor.

Crop preference

The excellent silage is produced from maize, sorghum, or mixture of the two is one that has greater then 35% grain content, is bright yellowish green to slightly brownish in color, has a light, pleasant odor with no indications of putrefaction and has no free water when squeezed in the hand. Insufficient sugar contents for effective fermentation are limitations, Forage quality of tropical forages in high crouch for production of good silage only n early growth stages when both yield and dry matter concentration are often lower than desired. Both low soluble carbohydrate (sugar) levels and high moisture (low dry matter concentration contribute to inadequate fermentation and excessive decomposition during storage. Wilting or partial field drying with added formic acid enhanced ensilage and nutritive value. Low soluble carbohydrate levels, high buffering capacity, woody steams, and soft leaf tissues often result in poor ensilage of tropical legumes.

Method of ensilage

Several methods and systems of silage storage have been successfully used. These include upright or tower silos and horizontal bunker or trench silos. Plastic-bag silage systems have also been developed in recent years.
Trench silos are made by digging a long trench in an elevated area of well drained soil. Earthen walls will work, but concrete walls are also used. In both above ground bunker silos and trench silos, concrete flour is desirable to eliminate soggy soil conditions that reduce silage quality and cause difficulties when loading or unloading the silos.
Sealed plastic envelope or plastic bag silos are becoming popular because of the flexibility of such systems. They are well suited for most crops. With moisture levels raining form 50 to 75%. The big disadvantage of the bagging system is plastic bags are not reusable , are subject to fears by wild animals and feeding management requires greater care than with other storage systems to prevent losses.


Adequate structural support, as well as exclusion of air and water seepage, appear to primary consideration in selection of such silo structures. For small-scale silage production, labour requirement is typically too high without mechanization. The investment on machinery is justified only at increased scales of operation.
In order to maximize the preservation of high-quality silage, the silo should be filled as quickly as possible. In most silos, thorough packing to force out the air is essential to prevent spoilage. Since most tropical grasses are coarse and steamy, adequate consolidation of such silage may require fine chopping and packing. After the air is forced out, water and air should be prevented from reentering the silo. Trench or bunker silos should be completely filed so that after packing and settling the silage from a rounded or sloping top above the side or ground level permitting water drainage to the sides. The silage should be covered immediately after filling with a plastic covering. A 300 gauge mil black polythene plastic cover with about 10 cm of sawdust or some other material (Rice husk or bran) on top of the cover is needed to make and store high quality silage. A fence may be necessary around French or bunker silos to keep animals form walking over the silage and punching holes in the cover.


Forage conservation systems can be effectively used in many farming situations. Where the seasonal distribution of either quantity or quality of forage does not meet the nutrient needs of particular classes of livestock, forage conservation options should be assessed. The decision to adopt a particular forage conservation option should not be based simply on positive animal performance responses to such a practice. Economic advantages in the overall livestock production and marketing system should be provided by a viable forage conservation option. The particular approach to forage conservation must consider locally appropriate technology. Availability of land labour financial resources support services and market opportunities for products must be considered. For many small farms it could result in an extended period of milk production into the dry season for productivity and higher income with integrated field crop and livestock production enterprise. It may demand local adoptive research and other support services for growth at micro level.

Sugar cane top for ensiling

In our state sugar cane is cultivated as an economic crop. It is grown in a selected track around the sugar mills and also sporadically by big farmers in remote villages for jaggary production.
The sugar cane tops accounts for 5 to 10% of the total cane production, which is a rich resource for animal feeding. Sugar cane is cultivated in irrigated area. Where the Crossbreed animals concentration is also high and it a complementing situation. The major requirement for ensiling the sugar cane tops with the green leaves is a chaff cutter to seed the matured lignified materials can be well packed to create an anaerobic condition to promote fermentation. Very good silage can be obtained, as soluble sugar is available for effective fomentation. Considering the dry matter contends other crop residue with low dry matter content can also be mixed for ensiling.
The chaffed sugar cane tops can also be directly fed to the high yielding crossbreed animals for economic milk production. Harvesting of sugar cane coincides with the winter a scarcity period of energy rich fodder for animals.
On the contrary the livestock rearers in those irrigated patches are either marginal farmer or land less labourers, who need these quality crop residue and can effectively utilize for economic milk production.
The support required for adoption of the technology is one chaff cutter and polythene sheet or a pucca pit for ensiling the sugar cane tops. The land less labourers having Cross breed animals can effectively spare their own labour to collect the sugar cane tops from big farmers field and can feed his animal directly after chaffing and ensiling the surplus for summer feeding.

Infrastructure for 4 mt Silo Pit.

The Chaff Cutter can be provided for a group of Cattle rearer having 10 to 20 CB animals. This will enhance better utilization of Green as Crop resideue 20 to 40% through reduction in spoilage during feeding, utilization of lignified bio mass and stems as well as higher intake by the animals.
For ensiling of 4 mt of green/ roughage (Sugar cane tops) the live stock rearer can preserve nutritionally rich seasonal surplus material for feeding during lean period @ 20 kg per animal for 2 CB animals for 100 days i.e. form April to mid July, which will maintain the milk production during summer months. This one time assistance can generate a additional income Rs.40,000/- per year for subsequent years for the 10 cattle rears in a SHG group. For a cluster of 20 cows

( 10 marginal / Land less)
Livestock owner SHG
The total project cost will be

  1. Chaff cutter and 10 kutcha silo pit Rs.69,000.00
  2. Chaff Cutter and 10 Pucca Silo pit Rs.74,000.00


The 20 CB cows will get nutrition diet for 100 days in summer. The expected additional milk @ 2 lts. Per cow per day for 100 days out of 4000 lts.. 20 cows will be Rs.40,000/-.


Azolla is a floating fern mostly utilized as Bio-fertilizer for wetland paddy. It belongs to the family of Azollaceace. The fern Azolla, hosts a symbiotic blue green algae Anabaena azolle, which is responsible for the fixation and assimilation of atmospheric nitrogen. Azolla was found to be a very nutritive and cheap organic feed substitute for dairy cattle, poultry, pig, fish etc.
Azolla is rich in protein, almost 25-30 % on dry weight basis, it is also found to contain essential minerals like Iron, calcium, Magnesium, phosphorus, Copper, Manganese etc apart from appreciable quantities of vitamins A and vitamins B12. It is also found to contain almost all the essential Amino acids, many probiotics, Biopolymers and B carotene. The above mention bio-chemical constitution along with the rapid multiplication rate makes Azolla ideal organic feed substitutes for livestock. Livestock can easily digest Azolla due to high protein content and low lignin content.
The trail carried with Azolla as feed substitute shows that there is an overall increase of milk by 15-20% by supplementing feed with the same quantity of Azolla on dry weight basis without affecting milk production. It is also found that Azolla feeding improve the quality of milk and health. Azolla feeding also improves the weight of broiler chicken and increasing the egg production in case of layer. Azolla can also be feed to sheep, goat , pig and rabbit as feed substitue.

How to grow Azolla

An artificial water body is made to grow azolla. A pit size of 2 Mt. Length, 1 Mt. Width and 20 CM depth should be dug on earth. This pit is then covered with plastic gunnies to prevent the growth of roots of near by trees, protect the soil temperature and seepage water. Then sipuline plastic sheet / plastic sheet is spread over the plastic gunnies without any fold. Hen about 10-15 kg. Sieved soil is uniformly spread over the plastic sheet. 5 kg of cow dung and 40 gms of azophos and 20 gms of azofert made into slurry in 10 liters of water and is pour in the pit, then more water is poured to make the water level at about 8 CM. About 1-2 kg of fresh, pest and disease free azolla seed culture is inoculated in the pit. Azolla will fill the pit within 7-10 days about 1-1.5 kg of Azolla can be harvested daily thereafter, about 2 kg of dung, 25 gms of Azophos and about 20 gm of azofert is made into a slurry in 2 liters of water should be given once in 7 days to keep the azolla in rapid multiplication phase and to maintain the daily yielkd of 1-2kg /pit


Azolla should be harvested with a plastic tray having holes of 1 sq CM mesh size.


  1. Plant should not be allowed to enter maturity stage or sporulation stage by periodic application of cow dung slurry, super phosphate and other macro and micronutrients except Nitrogen.
  2. Temperature should be retained below 30 degree centigrade incase the temperature goes up, the light intensity should be maintained by providing shade net or other devices.
  3. Bio-mass should be removed every day or an alternative days to avoid over crowding. PH should be tested periodically to see that it never goes below 5.5.above 7.
  4. Seed stock is maintained separately treated with pesticides and fungicides.
  5. Azolla should be well washed with water before feeding to livestock to get rid of smell of cow dung.
  6. Biomass collected from the field applied with the pesticide should not be used as a feed for livestock.

Azolla- As Livestock Feed
RKVY Assistance Fodder
List of Fodder Seed Production Farms in the State of Orissa
Physical & Financial Achievement of Fodder Seed Production Farms of the State-1
Physical & Financial Achievement of Fodder Seed Production Farms of the State-2
List of Demonstration Fodder Farms
Minikit Programme of the State

Feed & Fodder Development