Typical nutrient composition of some common grasses and legumes in Kenya

The table shows typical nutrient composition of commonly used grasses and legumes for feeding ruminants in Kenya. It is useful for formulating home made rations for dairy cattle, sheep, goats and other ruminants if their nutrient requirements are known. However in using this table, it should be noted that the compositions of feedstuff are never constant and vary because of various causes such as climate, soils and husbandry. Figures from actual analysis of feeds should be used where possible because they are more accurate. These are typical values arising from many years of research and should be used as a guide. Expect the figures to vary between 10 – 15% from actual feed analysis. These values are provided because it is often impossible to analyze all the available feedstuff.

Dry matter (DM)

This is usually a measure of the moisture content of a feedstuff such that the higher the value, the lower the moisture content.  It can vary greatly causing variation in feedstuff composition. Chemical composition in a feedstuff is based on dry matter.

Metabolizable Energy (ME MJ/Kg)

This is a measure of energy value of feedstuff expressed as Mega joules or Kilo calories per kilogram.

Total Digestible Nutrients (%TDN)

This has been the standard system for expressing the energy value of feedstuff usually expressed as percentage.

Crude Protein (%CP)

CP gives an indication of the protein content of feedstuff.

Digestible Crude Protein (%DCP)

This is another measure of protein level of a feedstuff.

Crude Fibre (%CF)

CF is a measure of fibre in a feedstuff.

Calcium (Ca) and Phosphorous (P)

These are two very important minerals in cattle.

Fodder

% DM

ME

(MJ/Kg)

% TDN

% CP

% DCP

%  CF

% Ca

% P

GRASSES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chloris gayana (Rhodes grass)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 – 13 cm tall

55

8.6

57

14.4

9.3

30

0.26

0.13

25 – 35 cm tall

47

9.1

60

12.8

8.0

27.2

0.35

0.18

With some flowers

23

8.8

58

6.6

2.9

29.8

0.36

0.18

Full flower

23

9.1

60

7.2

3.4

29.1

0.41

0.20

Star grass (Cynodon dactylon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 – 15cm tall

53

9.5

63

25

20.4

22.7

0.27

0.13

15 – 17cm tall

23

9.4

62

18.9

14.04

22

0.35

0.18

18 – 23 cm

22

9.4

62

11.5

7.0

24.5

0.45

0.22

Full flower

25

9.1

60

8.3

4.2

30.3

0.46

0.23

Hyperrhenia dissoluta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young leaf

29

8.9

59

14.5

9.5

27.1

0.3

0.15

Leafy

20

8.2

54

9.1

4.6

35

0.23

0.12

Stemmy

14

7.3

48

4.6

1.4

41

0.15

0.07

Flowering / very stemmy

12

7

46

3.8

1.0

42.3

0.15

0.08

Guinea grass (T/Nzoia variety) – full flower

14

8.3

55

12

7

34.7

0.2

0.1

Guinea grass (Mackinon Road variety) – full flower

14

8.2

54

8.3

4.3

37.0

0.27

0.13

Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young

24

9.4

62

20.8

15.9

22.8

0.22

0.11

Medium

29

9.2

61

16.9

11.9

24.1

0.31

0.15

Mature / Dry

17

9.5

63

10.9

6.5

22.3

0.27

0.13

Napier grass (Penisetum Purpureum)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young

22

8.3

55

11.4

66

32.7

0.21

0.11

Mature

35

8.9

59

7

-

31.4

0.24

0.12

Pennisetum schimperi (Early flowering)

14

8.2

54

9.0

4.5

35.6

0.24

0.12

Pennisetum stramineum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young

12

8

53

6.1

2.4

37.2

0.35

0.17

Medium

10

7.9

52

4.6

1.5

37.6

0.31

0.16

Mature / Dry

6

6.1

40

2.4

0.4

40

0.21

0.1

Nandi setaria (Seteria sphacelata)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young – 23cm

23

9.4

62

15.1

10.3

22.9

0.25

0.13

Medium – 56cm

22

9.2

61

12.5

7.8

26.8

0.21

0.1

Mature

9

7.4

49

5.2

1.8

42.4

0.17

0.09

Red Oat (Themeda triandra)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young

12

8.3

55

6.7

2.9

35.2

0.16

0.08

Medium

9

8.2

54

3.8

1.14

34.9

0.31

0.16

Mature

7

6.4

42

2.7

0.5

34.7

0.26

0.13

Columbus grass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young

17.6

 

 

9.8

 

31.3

-

-

Mature

23.2

 

 

7.6

 

36.4

-

-

LEGUMES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigofera subulata (Early flowering)

24

9.7

64

14.9

10.3

18.6

1.18

0.59

Kenya White Clover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early flower

20

9.7

64

20.7

16

20.9

1.2

0.6

Advanced flowering

19

9.1

60

14.3

9.4

25

1.23

0.61

Lucerne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 – 46cm

30

9.5

63

24.4

19.6

24.1

0.8

0.4

Prebudding

30

9.1

60

21

15.8

26.9

0.78

0.39

Budding / some flower

30

8.9

59

18.9

13.7

28.3

0.78

0.39

Flowering

25

8.6

57

19

13.6

30.8

0.85

0.42

Seradella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

46cm

10

10

66

24.9

20.1

17.6

0.81

0.4

Early podding

10

9.2

61

11.2

6.7

25.6

0.89

0.45

Subterranean clover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early flower

22

10.3

68

18.2

13.8

14.6

0.72

0.36

Full flower

25

10.4

69

10

6

16.7

0.75

0.37

Common vetch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young

17

-

-

34.5

-

23.4

-

-

Mature

88.5

-

-

19.2

-

30.2

-

-

Leucaena

24.5

-

-

24.5

-

33.6

-

-

OTHERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rape (Brassica)

15

10.6

70

19.7

15.6

9.9

0.97

0.49

Kale (Thousand head)

16

9.7

64

17.5

12.8

20

0.97

0.49

Maize (at tasselling)

17

8.6

57

8.1

4

32

0.29

0.15

Oat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31cm

15

10.9

72

35.3

32.7

15.9

0.29

0.15

46 – 61cm

20

9.4

62

30.2

15.4

21.9

0.23

0.11

Early flower

23

9.7

64

9.1

5.0

22.0

0.2

0.1

Sudan grass (Sorghum Sudanese)

19

8.9

59

15.8

10.7

28.3

0.25

0.13

Sweet potato tops

17

10.6

70

18.1

13.9

10.7

0.55

0.28

Chicory (mature)

12

10

66

15.4

11

15

1.11

0.56

Banana leaves

20

9.7

64

16

11.3

20

0.35

0.18

Cana edulis leaves

18

10

66

13.1

8.7

18

-

-

Fodder beet (Hunsballe)

13

11.7

77

9.5

5.8

7.5

-

-

Mangold yellow gold

13

11.2

74

12.4

8.4

7.5

-

-

SILAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maize performing cob

28

8.6

57

9.8

5.3

31.8

-

-

Oats at piping

30

8.7

56

6.7

2.9

33.3

-

-

Oats / Lupins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23cm

24

8.8

58

10.9

6.2

31

-

-

46cm

25

8.9

59

15.9

10.8

28.3

-

-

61cm

27

8.8

58

10

5.5

31.5

-

-

92cm

28

8.6

57

7.6

3.6

32.8

-

-

Napier grass (Penisetum Purpureum)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young

26

8.3

55

11.4

6.6

32.7

-

-

Mature

28

8.9

59

7.0

3.2

31.4

-

-

Pennisetum schimperi (Early flowering)

10

8.2

54

9.0

4.5

35.6

-

-

HAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana)

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

-

Young and leafy

78

8.8

58

14.7

9.73

28.9

0.33

0.16

Full flower

83

8.5

56

7

2.71

33.1

0.33

0.16

Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) - Young and leafy

79

8.8

58

14.1

9.1

28.4

0.33

0.16

Nandi setaria (Seteria sphacelata) - Young and leafy

90

8.8

58

15.1

10

28.7

0.13

0.07

Oat

90

9.1

60

6.1

2.6

29.4

0.17

0.09

Lucerne flowering

88

8.6

57

18.9

13.6

28.9

0.67

0.34

STRAWS AND STOVERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dolichos leaves / vines

90

9.5

63

19.9

15.1

20.5

0.96

0.48

Maize stover

88

7.4

49

3.7

1.0

39.6

0.07

0.04

Oat straw

88

7.3

48

5.3

1.8

41.9

-

-

Sorghum stover

88

5.7

38

2.8

0.5

43.1

-

-

Soyabean stover

86

8.5

56

6.0

2.4

33.7

-

-

Banana leaves

20

9.7

64

16

11.3

20

0.35

0.18

Cana edulis leaves

18

10

66

13.1

8.7

18

-

-

Fodder beet (Hunsballe)

13

11.7

77

9.5

5.8

7.5

-

-

Mangold yellow gold

13

11.2

74

12.4

8.4

7.5

-

-

 


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