Main Article Content
A study with the objectives of assessing and documenting the feed recourses and feeding system utilization practices of different feed resources was carried out in Misha district of Hadiya zone, of Ethiopia. The study was undertaken using group discussions, structured questionnaire and personal observations. The study was aimed at assessing the available feed resources and feeding system in the district, Purposive and random sampling techniques were used to select the village and households, respectively. Field observation and focus group discussions were also held. The
commonly used feeding practices were tethering and free grazing (25.20% and 46.70%) and the remaining (22.20% and 5.90%) of the respondents are depending on semi-grazing and zero grazing respectively, in both altitudes which are mid altitude (1500–2500 m.a.s.l and high altitude (>2500 m.a.s.l)]. The major feed resources in the area were natural pasture, crop residues, crop aftermath, non-conventional feed, agro industrial by product and improved forage in both agro ecologies. The available feed resources ranked by respondents were natural pasture, crop residues and crop aftermath from first to third, respectively. The dry matter content of crop residues were above 90%, in both altitudes. The average annual utilizable feed DM produced was estimated to be 12.09±0.49tonnesDM and15.13±0.51tonnesDM per households for highland and midland altitudes, respectively and overall average dry matter supply was 13.62 tonnes per households. On the other hand, the average actual DM requirements of animals was 19.18 tons per year for highland and 22.21 tonnes per year for midland altitude and overall mean dry matter requirements was 20.69 tons per year per households. Therefore, the annual utilizable feed dry matter satisfied about 63%and 68% of the livestock maintenance requirement for highland and midlands, respectively. Therefore, feed shortage is a serious problem for cattle production in the study area and feed resource development should be top priority.