Percentage Composition
Dry MatterT.D.N.ProteinD.C.P.
Oat pasture before heading2012.03.02.3
Oats headed out2514.02.01.5
Barley pasture before heading2012.05.03.5
Barley headed out25163.02.0

Oats, barley and occasionally a mixture of the two cereals are grown in Southern Africa under irrigation to provide a green fodder during the winter for farm livestock, in particular for dairy stock. A mixture of oats and hairy vetch serve the same purpose. Green oats are also grazed or fed to dairy cows during the summer in order to supplement veld grazing. Both cereals, when fed green, are palatable, nutritious feeds with high protein and carotene contents. Their average yields per hectare of green material are considerably less than those obtained from many other kinds of forage, e.g. maize and sorghum.


 Percentage Composition
Dry MatterT.D.N.ProteinD.C.P.
Pumpkins Wild Melons13.0 6.09.0 4.81.7 0.71.3 0.5

Pumpkins and wild melons are useful succulent feeds which are low in nutritive value but nevertheless are popular feeds in the dry winter months. During this period, their high moisture content, succulence and palatability make them very acceptable to livestock. They are easily cultivated and give good yields per hectare.

Pumpkins are generally grown in the high-rainfall areas and thrive under irrigation. They are best adapted to fertile sandy loam soils. Wild melons are grown more in the low-rainfall areas and thrive on less fertile soils. It is common practice to plant pumpkins and melons between maize.

Pumpkins and wild melons should be stored in a cool, airy place, e.g. under trees, and if they have to be stored for a long time, it is essential that only undamaged fruit be selected for storage. The nutritive value of the pumpkin is approximately twice that of wild melons but both are low in protein and minerals and should be considered as carbohydrate succulents.


 Percentage Composition
Dry MatterT.D.N.ProteinD.C.P.
Young leaves1563.01.5
Vines as dry forage905013.08.0

Sweet potatoes are grown in Southern Africa as a home-produced feed for pigs. Whilst the young leaves and vines are valuable forages for other types of livestock the tubers are also suitable for human consumption.

Sweet potato tubers are similar to Irish potatoes in composition and nutritive value. They are very low in protein, minerals and fibre, but contain very rich sources of highly digestible soluble carbohydrate which consists predominantly of starch with approximately 5% sugar. The  characteristic sweetness makes them very palatable to livestock. The protein has a high biological value. When fed to pigs, the very low protein content should be adequately compensated by feeding a high-protein meal. Sweet potatoes are high in carotene and have the valuable quality of producing a hard carcass fat.

The young leaves of sweet potatoes are a valuable/nutritious fodder. They are rich in protein and calcium and are well liked by livestock. However, frequent grazing or cutting of the foliage will tend to reduce the yield of tubers.


Percentage Composition
Dry MatterProteinD.C.P.

Orange pulp is a by-product of orange-processing factories which make orange juice and other products. It consists of the peel, the inner residue of pith and cull fruits which are dried, ground and sold as dried pulp.

Dried orange pulp is a palatable, highly digestible feed with an average fibre content of 14.0%. It is fed mainly to dairy cattle as part of a concentrate ration. It may also be used in rations for fattening cattle, but it is too fibrous to be a suitable feed for pigs and poultry.


Percentage Composition
Dry MatterT.D.N.ProteinD.C.P.

Molasses is a by-product in the manufacture of sugar from sugar cane or from sugar beet. In Africa, cane molasses is the product available. Molasses is relished by stock and it has a mild laxative effect and contains about 55% sugar which provides most of the feeding value. When a considerable amount of molasses is added to a ration for ruminants, the digestibility of the protein and other nutrients is likely to be decreased. Thus molasses usually has a negative protein digestibility.

Molasses is most useful when a small amount is used to induce stock to eat poor quality roughage,

e.g. veld hay or winter veld grazing. For this purpose it is often mixed with urea and water and sprinkled over the roughage. It is also used in many nitrogen (protein) supplements with urea and in commercial concentrates, especially for cattle. It adds to the palatability of the feed, prevents dustiness and is frequently a cheap source of carbohydrate.


The trees and shrubs of the veld, especially those of the bushveld areas (are of great value to the stock farmer during the dry season because their leaves, shoots and fruits provide palatable, nutritious animal feed. Some of the indigenous species are found in many parts of the continent and their feed value is well known to farmers, while a few exotic fodder trees such as carob and mesquite have also been grown for fodder. Indigenous trees are usually slow-growing and hence exotic species are being introduced for new planting. The acacias make up a large number of the indigenous trees that are useful for stock feed. The pods of all the acacias are useful feeds and the leaves are also eaten, especially when young and succulent. If possible, the pods are best ground before feeding otherwise the seed, which is rich in protein, may pass through the animal undigested.


 Protein %Fat %Fiber %Ash %N.F.E. %
Giraffe thorn pods11.52.0313.543
Ana tree pods111.527.53.549.5
Umbrella thorn pods18.82.520.05.146.2
Flat-topped thorn pods17.53.02549
Monkeybread tree pods6.53.0244.057
Witgatboom leaves14.5321.5
Mopane leaves12.5251.5
Chinese lantern bush pods18.02.0215.046
Carob pods6.
Honey locust pods12.
Mesquite pods14.02.0284.053

Animal products include milk and its by-products as well as meat and fish by-products. They are characterised by a high protein content and are invariably rich sources of minerals. Their high cost restricts their use for growing young stock, but they can be used as protein and mineral supplements. Unless overheating has occurred during drying, the protein has a high biological value.


The removal of cream from whole milk reduces the fat content to approximately 0.10% and the content of vitamins A, D, E and K to negligible amounts. Other constituents are unaffected. Skim milk

      Coagulated: change to a solid or semi-solid state.   Metabolise: undergo processing by metabolism.

is very high in protein as dry matter and should be fed with cereal grain or other concentrates low in protein to obtain maximum value. It is used mainly for dairy calves, pigs and poultry. In pig feeding, the proportion of skim milk that is needed to balance maize or other grain will depend on the age of the pigs. High-quality fat and flesh of the pig is associated with the feeding of skim milk.

The dried product is a valuable human food but is too costly to be used for stock feeding, except in a few specialised instances,

e.g. in a creep feed for very young pigs.


White fish meal is made solely from the flesh and bones of white fish such as cod and, stock fish, which contain little oil. The heads and bones with a good proportion of adhering flesh are passed through vacuum sterilisers, cookers, drying tubes, grinders and riddles to produce the final product. Drying is effected at a low temperature to avoid damage to the nutritive value of the protein. White fish meal should not contain more than 6% of oil and not more than 4% of common salt. It contains 60 – 62% protein with 55% of digestible protein.

Fish meal is an ideal supplement for feeding with cereal grains. It contains all the essential amino acids in roughly the same proportions as milk. Fish meal is also a rich source of calcium and phosphate and thus is able to rectify the deficiency of these minerals in cereal grain. It has an average of 4.0% calcium and 2.7% phosphorus with a total mineral content of 12.0%. It should also be noted that fish meal usually contains an appreciable amount of iodine.


There are two types of commercial meal known as meat meal and meat and bone meal: The former contains 55 – 60% protein (with 90% of this digestible) and not more than 4% salt and about 20% minerals. Meat and bone meal contains 40 – 50% protein (with 80% of this digestible), not more than 4% salt and about 24% minerals. The meat meals are used in much the same manner as white fish meal, though they are generally regarded as being slightly inferior in feeding value. They are high in lysine but supply less methionine and tryptophan than does fish meal, and contain less tryptophan than soybean oil meal.


Steamed bone flour, often called bone meal, is the most common phosphorus supplement for stock feeding. It contains an average of 30% calcium, 14.5% phosphorus, 7.5% protein and about 1% fat. It is produced by cooking fresh bones of suitable quality under steam pressure. This extracts most of the protein and fat which are used for other purposes. The residue is pressed and dried and then ground.


Blood meal or dried blood is made from the blood collected at abattoirs. It is first heated until it is thoroughly coagulated. The excess is then drained of and, more moisture removed in a press. Finally the solid residue is dried and ground.

Blood meal is the highest in protein of all the animal by-products with over 80%. However, the protein is less digestible (digestible protein 58%) and of much poorer quality than that high-grade  fish meal or meat meal but it has a high lysine content.

Blood meal is low in calcium and phosphorus. It is not very palatable and must be carefully introduced into the ration. The amount fed to pigs should not exceed 5% of the total ration.


As ruminants can use non-protein nitrogen as a partial substitute for protein, dried chicken litter or more specifically, broiler litter, can be successfully fed to cattle and sheep, either in fattening rations or for winter maintenance while on protein deficient grazing. Dry broiler litter contains 3 – 4% nitrogen, equivalent to 20 – 25% crude protein. It has a relatively low energy value so should only be included up to a maximum level of 20% in fattening rations. As a protein supplement for winter maintenance for animals on poor grazing, it can be fed on its own up to a maximum of 2kg/cow/day, or mixed into other winter licks.


Percentage Composition
Nitrogen contentEquivalent Protein Content (Percentage N x 6.25)

Urea is a simple organic compound not unlike sugar in appearance. It has a high nitrogen content and is invariably fed with molasses. It is widely used to partially replace the protein in a ration for ruminants. It has little or no value as a protein substitute for pigs or poultry or for calves before the rumen is developed. When urea is added to a suitable ration for ruminants, the micro-organisms in the rumen convert it rapidly into ammonia. Some of this ammonia is absorbed through the rumen wall and metabolised into other nitrogenous compounds, most of which are excreted by the animal. The other portion of ammonia, together with other products of rumen fermentation, is converted to microbial protein, which is digested further on in the digestive tract and made available to the animal.

In Southern Africa, urea is widely used in various ways in maintenance and fattening rations for beef cattle. For maintenance, urea can replace most of the protein in the ration, e.g. 80 grams of urea per day will supply the protein maintenance requirements of steers and cows. For growth and fattening, urea can supply up to 50% of the protein requirements.


The following table gives the analysis of various foods used in livestock rations

Analysis of Stock Feed Raw Materials and Estimated Nutritive Values