How To Choose The Right Green Fodder For Animals

Green fodder holds an important place for dairy animals as it provides essential nutrients for health maintenance and milk production. Mainly for sheep, goat farmers and dairy farmers, production is considered a better option than purchasing green fodder to feed the animals. Like other crops, farmers also cultivate green fodder with the sole aim of selling it in the market.

Some varieties of hay can also be cut into smaller pieces using a simple hay cutter. These pieces can be stored for long periods and used as fodder during drought or similar conditions. Green fodder cultivation can be done either in open fields using a true hybrid perennial variety or by using a hydroponic system.

Importance of growing green fodder

  • This helps in reducing the cost of feed.
  • Production time is very short.
  • It can be used for a long time as most of the green fodder varieties are perennial.
  • This is a natural way of providing nutrients to animals.
  • This can be converted into silage for future use.

Green Fodder Varieties

Corn Green Fodder

Corn Green Fodder

Fodder maize can be cultivated at any time of the year with proper irrigation. It is also considered tasty and soft for animals but its stem is usually thick, so it must be cut before feeding. Fodder corn must be cultivated in less than 90 days, otherwise its quality will be reduced. One crop can yield about 20 tonnes of fodder per acre. It is the best choice for dairy animals as it improves milk yield. African Tall is a popular maize fodder variety. It can grow to a height of 8 to 10 feet. To grow African Tall, the field should be well plowed with adequate organic manure. After this, sow the seeds in rows. One acre of land requires 25 kg of seeds. All seeds should be spaced exactly 1 feet apart in rows.

Fodder Grass

Many varieties of fodder grass give high yields and are of good quality. Most of the fodder grass varieties are rainfed crops. Also, irrigation is required for high and sustained fodder yield. Fodder grass can be stored as silage during the rainy season when it is available in abundance. Although silage has many benefits, farmers still prefer to use fresh fodder to feed dairy animals. To identify the best quality of fodder grass, ensure that it has broad leaves and short stem portions. Try to harvest it at the right time, otherwise it may become thick. Harmful substances like oxalic acid should not be present. Once it is planted properly, good yields can be obtained for 3 to 4 years.



Cowpea is a fast-growing crop that requires a warm climate to grow. It can be grown in all types of soils. This type of fodder crop is mainly required for grazing, hay cutting and providing green fodder. Cowpea can be used for two purposes, its mature green pods can be consumed by humans and the leftover fodder can be used to feed animals. Cowpea can help in producing 6-7 kg of milk per day without the need of any supplements. Its fresh leaves contain 18.0% crude protein, 26.7% crude fiber and 3% ether extract. Consuming recently grown cowpeas can provide a total of 59% of the nutrients and 58% of the mature feed. It also contains 1.40% calcium and 0.35% phosphorus.

Hybrid Napier Hybrid Napier grass has a large number of leaves, hence it is considered the best fodder crop for animals to eat. This type of plant is hardy and can be easily grown in many types of soils. About 40,000 cuttings are required for one hectare. After transplanting, it takes about 45 days to grow and be ready for harvesting. It contains about 8 to 11 percent crude protein.

Guinea Grass

Guinea Grass

Guinea grass does not need much sunlight. They can also grow well under the shade of plantations. There are three wide varieties of which the most popular is Guinea Hammill. This variety helps in improving the milk production of dairy animals and the Guinea grass is smaller in size as compared to other varieties. However, it yields about 30 tonnes of fodder per acre in a year. It is the favorite food of sheep and goats. To grow Guinea grass, about 5 to 6 kg of seeds are required for one acre of field. Also, this can be multiplied by root slips. Sow seeds in the beds and sow in the main field when the plants are 25 days old. If you want, you can sow them directly also. You can also harvest Guinea grass without cutting it because the leaf portion is longer than the stem.


Many varieties of green fodder are grown for different purposes. Considering that you want to grow green fodder, it is important to understand why you are growing green fodder and which variety is best. So if you want to know more about green fodder harvesting, you can visit Also, to get all the information about green fodder and farming, including seeds, crops, pesticides, market prices, industry trends, innovative farming practices, latest farming tools, equipment, etc.

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