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CLOSE THIS BOOKBetter Farming Series 46 - Use of Cassava and Sweet Potatoes in Animal Feeding (FAO, 1995, 47 p.)
Cassava roots as an animal feed
VIEW THE DOCUMENT(introduction...)
VIEW THE DOCUMENTUse of cassava roots in pig feeding
VIEW THE DOCUMENTUse of cassava roots in chicken feeding
VIEW THE DOCUMENTUse of cassava roots in rabbit feeding
VIEW THE DOCUMENTUse of cassava roots in ruminant feeding

Better Farming Series 46 - Use of Cassava and Sweet Potatoes in Animal Feeding (FAO, 1995, 47 p.)

Cassava roots as an animal feed

6. Cassava roots can be fed to animals in many forms including:

- as fresh roots;
- as dried chips;
- as a meal;
- as silage.


7. In the next few sections, we will learn separately how we can use cassava in the feeding of pigs, chickens, rabbits and cattle.

Use of cassava roots in pig feeding

Feeding of fresh roots

8. The easiest way to feed cassava is in the fresh form. Whole roots can be peeled, chopped and given free choice to pigs.


9. You can let the animals eat as much as they like. But you must be careful since cyanide can cause problems.

10. Pigs will not readily eat fresh roots of bitter cassava because of the cyanide. They will not grow well. They may even get sick.

11. If you want to use bitter cassava, you must boil it. However, boiling will require wood or fuel and it is costly.

12. The safe way is to introduce the fresh roots slowly and watch the pigs carefully.


13. If you don't see any bad signs, that means there is no cyanide problem. Then slowly increase the amount given.

14. When you introduce fresh roots, if you notice anything wrong with the animals and you don't understand why, stop feeding the fresh roots.

15. The bigger the pigs are, the more cassava roots they can be given. For two- to four-month old pigs, you can feed 1-1.5 kg of fresh roots every day. For older pigs, you can feed 3-6 kg of roots daily.

Need for supplements

16. Remember cassava root is an energy feed. It cannot be used as the sole feed to pigs.

17. You have learned that cassava is low in protein, minerals and vitamins. These nutrients must be given in the form of supplements when you feed cassava

18. There are many feeds that can supply protein to pigs. These include:

- oilcakes;
- grain legumes (or pulses);
- meat meal;
- fish meal;
- dried leaf meals.

19. Oilcakes are the commonly used protein feeds in animal feeding. You can find many types of oilcakes in your area.

20. Soybean meal, cottonseed meal, groundnut meal, coconut meal and palmkernel meal are some examples of oilcakes. Soybean meal is a very good protein feed, but is expensive.

Soybean meal

21. Grain legumes such as cowpea and mung beans are important protein foods for humans. Usually these are too costly to use as animal feeds; but if the price is low, you can use them as well.

Grain legumes

22. Animal protein feeds are better sources of protein than plant protein feeds. Fish meal and meat meal are examples of animal protein feeds.

Animal protein feeds

23. Minerals and vitamins are needed only in small amounts. Calcium and phosphorus can be given as bone meal or dicalcium phosphate. Other minerals and vitamins can be given as premix. Premix can be purchased from feed dealers.


24. You can also supply the vitamins and minerals by giving leaves, grass and other fresh materials to pigs.

Leaves, grass and other

25. The vitamins and mineral supplements must be mixed with the protein feeds and the mixture must be fed along with cassava roots. This mixture is called protein concentrate.

The protein concentrate

26. A 10- kg mixture of protein concentrate could be prepared using the following ingredients:

- 4-5 kg of oilcakes;
- 3-5 kg of fish meal, meat meal or soybean meal;
- 80-100 g of bone meal;
- 20 g of salt;
- 20 g of mineral and vitamin premix;
- 20 g of methionine (if available).

27. To get good results, you must give 200-400 g of protein concentrate for every kilogram of cassava roots that you are feeding.

Protein concentrate

28. You must mix the protein concentrate well with the fresh roots and then feed the pigs. Do not feed the roots and the protein concentrate separately.

29. Sometimes you may find that feeding protein concentrate is not economical, especially when you are getting low prices for your pigs.

30. At times like this, you can feed cassava along with various wastes available in your area, such as fish wastes, slaughterhouse wastes, vegetable wastes, leaves and grasses.


31. Pigs will not grow fast on this type of feeding, but this method is cheaper.

Feeding of dried chips to pigs

32. You can use dried cassava chips to feed pigs, just as you would feed the fresh roots. You must mix the chips with a protein concentrate and feed.

33. Pigs will eat the dried chips without any problem. However, they will like them more if they are moistened before use.

34. A convenient way of using the dried chips is to grind them into a meal and use for feeding.

Use of cassava meal for pig feeding

35. Cassava meal can be included into compounded rations and can be fed to pigs.

36. Compounded rations are complete feeds and are balanced to supply all necessary nutrients.


37. Compounded rations are prepared by mixing together energy feeds, protein feeds and mineral and vitamin supplements in correct amounts.

38. The mash-type feeds that you buy from the dealer are prepared like this. You can mix this type of ration on your farm as well.


9. In compounded rations, cereal grains are used as energy feeds. You can use cassava meal instead of cereal grains.

40. Cassava meal gives the pigs the same amount of energy as cereal grains.

Cassava meal

41. How much cassava meal can you use? The amount of cassava meal that you can put into compounded rations will vary according to the size of the pigs.

42. As the pigs grow bigger, you can use more cassava meal.

43. For growing pigs (two to four months of age), you can use up to 60 percent of the ration. If you are mixing a 10- kg ration, up to 6 kg of it can be cassava meal.

44. For finishing pigs (four to six months of age) and older animals, you can increase the use of cassava meal up to 70 percent. In a 10- kg ration, up to 7 kg can be cassava meal.

45. When you are using cassava meal in your rations, you must use good protein feeds. You must use fish meal, meat meal or soybean meal.

46. For you to understand the principle of compounded rations, some examples of pig rations using cassava meal follow.

Pig rations using cassava meal


Ration for

growing pigs

finisher pigs


Cassava meal






Soybean meal



Fish meal



Bone meal



Vitamin-mineral premix



Common salt





0 2




47. If you want to mix your own pig ration in your farm using cassava meal as the energy feed and if you need help ask your extension agent.

Extension agent

48. The agent can help you to formulate a properly balanced ration using feedstuffs available in your area.

49. When you use high levels of cassava meal in ration, the ration becomes powdery.

50. If you find a pig ration powdery,- you can overcome the problem by mixing with water and practicing wet feeding.

51. When you wet the ration, use one bucket of water to wet one bucket of ration. Pigs like wet feed and will eat enough of the ration.

Wet bucket

Feeding of cassava root silage to pigs

52. Cassava root silage is a good pig feed. It has low levels of cyanide. When you make silage, the cyanide level is reduced.

53. When you first introduce the silage, pigs may not like it. They may not eat much. After a few days, they will get used to the silage.

54. You may see watery faeces when you feed root silage. You need not worry about it because all silages have a slightly laxative effect.

55. Cassava root silage can be used just like fresh roots to feed pigs. Give the pigs as much as they want to eat.

56. Make sure that you feed the silage with a protein concentrate.

57. You can use the silage to feed pigs of all age groups, except for very young pigs.

Use of cassava roots in chicken feeding

58. Feeding chickens is different from feeding pigs. For pigs, you can give the feed as mash, dried materials or fresh materials. For chickens, you need to give all their feed in mash form only.

59. Just like pig feeding, cassava meal must be mixed with other feeds in compounded rations and fed in mash form.

60. The energy value of cassava meal for chickens is similar to those of cereal grains.

61. How much cassava meal can be used? The maximum amount of cassava meal that can be used varies for different types of chickens.


62. For young chickens and for broilers, you must not use more than 20 percent cassava meal in rations. If you are mixing a 10-kg ration, cassava meal must not make up more than 2 kg.

63. In the rations of growing chickens, you can include up to 30 percent cassava meal. You can use up to 3 kg of cassava meal in mixing a 10-kg ration.

64. For chickens that are laying eggs, you can include up to 40 percent cassava meal. When you mix a 10-kg ration, up to 4 kg can be cassava meal.

65. Too much cassava meal must be avoided. If you use too much cassava meal, the ration will become powdery and dusty.

66. Powdery rations can cause problems. You can get irritated by the dust. Birds can also be irritated by dust. Finally they will not eat enough.

67. How can you overcome the dustiness? There are several ways by which dustiness can be overcome:

- by pelleting;
- by the addition of molasses or fat;
- by wet mash feeding.

68. Using pellets effectively overcomes the dustiness and powdery texture. However, you cannot do this on your farm because you need a pelleting machine.


69. You can also overcome the dustiness by adding molasses or fat, if these are available and cheap in your area.

70. Wet mash feeding can be used to avoid the dustiness problem. Wet mash feeding is also very useful during hot weather.

71. You have to wet the feed daily and feed it to chickens. Otherwise the feed will get spoiled.
Low level of pigments in cassava

72. Cassava meal is white in colour. It does not have any pigments. When you feed rations with a lot of cassava, the egg yolks will be light-coloured and the chicken meat will have pale skin. These egg and this chicken meat will get only a low price.

73. You can avoid this problem by using feeds that have a lot of pigments. Leaves have a lot of pigments. You can use dried leaf meals in your ration to supply the pigments.

74. When you use high levels of cassava meal, make sure to include a leaf meal in the chicken ration.

75. At least 300-500 g of leaf meal must be used when mixing a 10- kg chicken ration.

76. You can prepare leaf meals from many plants that are available around your farm. Some examples are:

- cassava leaves;
- sweet potato leaves;
- ipil-ipil leaves;
- young grass.

Leaf meals

77. If you are interested in mixing chicken rations on your farm, the examples that follow may be useful. The formulations are given for mixing of a 100- kg ration.

Chicken rations using cassava meal


Ration for


growing chickens

laying chickens


Cassava meal








Soybean meal




Fish meal




Cassava leaf meal




Bone meal




Oyster shell




Vitamin-mineral premix
















78. These ingredients are given as useful examples. The feeds that are commonly available in your area may be different. You can modify the formulation according to what feeds are available to you.

Use of cassava roots in rabbit feeding

79. You can feed fresh cassava roots to rabbits. They like to nibble and eat them.


80. When you are giving fresh roots, remove the peel, cut the roots into sections and then feed the root pieces.

81. You can also feed the cassava as dried chips or as meal. You can use up to 40 percent cassava meal in rabbit rations.

Use of cassava roots in ruminant feeding

82. Pigs and chickens have simple stomachs. Cattle have complex stomachs. Goats, sheep, buffaloes and camels also have complex stomachs.
83. Animals with complex stomachs are called ruminants because they ruminate (Booklet No. 12, page 11).

complex stomachs

84. Ruminants eat feeds that are different from the feeds eaten by pigs and chickens. They can eat and digest feeds that are fibrous. These feeds are called roughages.

85. Grasses, legumes and tree leaves are all roughages. These are good roughages. Straws remaining after harvesting crops are also roughages; but these are poor-quality roughages.

86. Ruminants can be reared on good-quality roughages alone. These will give the nutrients to maintain the body and to grow.

87. There may be situations where you have to give supplementary feeds, such as cassava roots, for good growth of animals.

88. When the animals are raised for meat, you cannot make them grow fast on roughages alone. You can give cassava roots as supplementary feeds.

89. In milking animals, you are likely to get more milk from them. You can feed cassava roots to these animals, in addition to the roughages.


90. In the dry season, there may not be enough grass for the animals to eat. Animals will then lose weight and become thin. Cassava can be useful.

Grass for the animals

91. You can feed cassava roots to ruminants in several forms:

- as chopped fresh roots;
- as dried chips;
- as silage;
- as cassava meal.

92. You need not worry much about the cyanide problem when you feed cassava to ruminants. They can tolerate high levels of cyanide.

93. Silage is the best way to preserve cassava roots for ruminants. When you are making root silage for ruminants you can add chopped cassava foliage to the silage.

94. Adding foliage will increase the protein content of the silage. This silage is a balanced feed for ruminants. Animals readily eat this silage.