Role of traditional feeding practices in solving forage inadequacy issue in sub-mountainous Punjab, India


  • Kashish Arora Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana-141004, India
  • P. Kataria Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana-141004, India


Forage adequacy, Nutritional requirement, Sub-mountainous zone, Traditional feeding practices


An on-farm study was conducted to record the role of traditional livestock feeding practices, particularly the role of tree leaves in fulfilling the fodder requirement of dairy animals in 'low-input and low-output' systems of sub mountainous zone of Indian Punjab. Findings of the study were based on primary data of mixed farms equally spread over different farm size groups of randomly selected district Hoshiarpur from sub-mountainous zone of Punjab state. The study highlighted that the supplementation of tree leaves in addition to cultivated fodder helped the small and medium farmers to attain the adequacy of green fodder. During the summer season, tree leaves, on an average, improved the green forage DM availability at small farms by 128.0% (1.89 to 4.31 kg/d/ACU) and at medium farms by 70.6% (2.69 to 4.59 kg/d/ACU). In the winter season, the corresponding percentage for small and medium farms stood at 112.8 and 76.0%, respectively. The study further enunciated that fodder utilization/ACU on fresh basis was statistically higher in large farms, while in terms of dry matter (DM), fodder utilization was statistically at par for all selected landholding categories. Following the traditional practice of supplementing tree leaves with cultivated fodder (scenario 2), the proportion of farms (irrespective of size) with adequate fodder was recorded at 62.2% in summer season and 88.9% in winter season in comparison to 26.7 and 40.0% in hypothetical case of relying only on cultivated fodders (scenario 1).