Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cowpea as foodder!

Our goat herd has been steadily growing over the last one year. There have been more than 80 births and the kids are growing at a steady rate. Initially, we used concentrate comprising of Maize powder, daal, groundnut cake for accelerated growth. However, often the mix was adulterated with mud, salt etc. The feed was not only inferior in quality but also expensive.

So in the last few months we stopped using concentrate and augmented our fodder acreage. Currently, we give a mix of CO4, sorgum, maize, agathi, subabul (and mango leaves during pruning). The latest addition has been Cowpea. This grows well under rain fed condition.

Interestingly, cowpea has a lot of health advantages ranging from controlling blood pressure to having anti-aging properties. Of course, this does not apply to the goats since we are harvesting leaves and not seeds. You should be careful not feeding leaves that have been infected with leaf eating pests. We noticed that often goats experienced a rather nasty round of dysentery after feeding on infected leaves. 

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