African experience with Calliandra calothyrsus as a feed for livestock


Calliandra calothyrsus (calliandra) has been shown to be extremely productive in areas of East and Central Africa when managed as a hedge and cut frequently for fodder. It is resistant to most common pests and diseases, and regrowth after cutting is rapid, except during the coldest periods of the year. The foliage is rich in crude protein, although it has a high concentration of tannins which could potentially interfere with the digestibility of the ration. Despite this, fresh calliandra has been successfully used as a feed supplement for both cattle and goats kept on moderate to poor basal diets of Pennisetum purpureum and volunteer pastures. At low levels of intake, it resulted in increased milk production by cows and good growth rates for young animals. When dried calliandra leaf meal was mixed with commercial poultry feed at proportions of up to 10 percent, there was no decrease in egg production, but feed intake of the birds increased. At 5 percent of the diet, it resulted in a rich yellow color in the yolks, although at 10 percent the deep orange yolk color was too dark to be universally attractive. The use of the species as a fodder supplement is well accepted by farmers, and it is showing much promise in small-scale animal production systems in the region.


Paterson, R.T.; Roothaert, R.; Nyaata, O.Z.; Akyeampong, E.; Hove, L. Experience with Calliandra calothyrsus as a feed for livestock in Africa. In: Evans, D.O. (Ed). Proceedings of the international workshop on the genus Calliandra, Bogor, Indonesia, 23-27 January 1996. Winrock International, Morrilton, USA (1996) [Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Research Reports series]

Published 1 January 1996