Non-Conventional Feed Resources
There are many non-traditional or non-conventional materials which are available in abundance and can form potential source of feedstuffs for feeding to livestock, if sufficient information regarding their suitability, nutritive quality, etc. is readily available. Long-range studies have to be undertaken on the utility of these non- conventional feed resources, as most of these materials are not palatable when fed independently to livestock besides most of them contain some undesirable factors. Another important limiting factor in expanded and more efficient use of these non- traditional feedstuffs is ineffective extension service mechanism that prevails. There is also a paucity of economic analysis and on-farm testing of these materials in majority of instances.
To mitigate this shortage large numbers of agro-industrial by-products have been tested for their nutritional value. Some of these by-products are found to be very promising. But majority of these agro-industrial by-products adversely affect the performance of animals when fed as such, particularly at higher levels of inclusion in the dairy rations for longer periods. These adverse effects are due to one or the other incriminating or toxic factors present in them.
The by-products may be grouped in to four main categories: by-products low in digestibility and low in nitrogen (N) content, by-products low in digestibility and high in N content, high in energy and low in N content and those high in energy and N. If given as a high proportion of the diet, these by-products have slow rates of digestion and long retention times in the rumen consequently levels of voluntary intake are low