Use and production of Azolla grass
Another source of green fodder for grassland areas is Azolla seeds. Further, to meet the shortage of green fodder, the amount of grain is increased in the animal feed of milch animals.
Furthermore, in such a situation, “Azola Fern” can be a cheaper and better alternative to the high demand and commercial feed mix. Azolla is not only cheap and nutritious food for milch animals but also nutritious food for goats, sheep, chicken, rabbits, fish.
Chemical Organization of Azolla
|Elements found in Azolla||Percentage volume(depending on dry weight)|
|NFE (nitrogen-free extract)||42.8-47.0|
|Superfine element (ppm)|
Properties of Azolla
- Grows rapidly in water.
- Rich in protein, essential amino acids, vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin B12 and vitamin beta-carotene), growth aids, and calcium, phosphorus, ferrous, copper, and magnesium.
- Also easily digested by animals as it is low in quality protein.
- Contains 20 to 30% protein, 2.0 to 30% fat, 50 to 7.0% mineral content, 10 to 13% fiber, bio-active substances and bio-polymers on dry weight basis.
- It can be produced with less effort and less cost.
- It gives an average yield of 15 kg per square meter per week.
- Under normal condition this fern doubles in 3 days.
- It acts as an antibiotic for animals.
- Along with ideal food for birds, it is also used as green manure to increase the fertility of the land.
Azolla Production Technique
As for the Azolla Production Technique, start by digging a bed of size 61 * 10 * 02 m in a shady place. Following this, lay 120 gauge silpulin sheet in the bed and arrange it by coating the soil on the top edge. Instead of laying silpulin sheet, animal husbandry can prepare the bed by making concrete. Thereafter, spread a layer of 80 to 100 kg clean fertile soil in the bed. Then, make a solution of 5 to 7 kg cow dung (two-three days old) in 10 to 15 liters of water and spread it on the soil. Fill 400 to 500 liters of water in the bed so that the depth of the water in the bed is about 10 to 12 cm.
Now mix the fertile soil and cow dung well in water.
Felda should be given to 2 kg fresh Azolla on this mixture. After that, sprinkle 1 liter of water well on Azolla so that Azolla can come in its right position.
Now cover with 50% shade green nylon net and allow Azolla to grow for 15-20 days.
On the 21st day an average yield of 1.5-20 kg can be obtained per day.
Make a solution of 20 grams super phosphate and 5.0 kg cow dung and mix it in Ajola bed every month to get good yield.
Maintenance and Precautions
- Maintain the water level in the bed at 10 to 12 cm.
- After every 3 months, remove the Azolla fern, change the water and soil and re-culture as a bed.
- For good growth of Azolla, 20 to 35 degree temperature and 5.5-7.5 soil pH. remains suitable. If the pH of the soil If it is more than this, then 2 to 3 kg of gypsum should be added per bed.
- In autumn, when the temperature drops below 6 degree centigrade, cover it with a plastic sack and protect it from frost.
Method of feeding Azolla
Firstly, the Azolla obtained in this way can be fed to cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep, chickens, and fish after washing it thoroughly with water three to four times.
Feeding 2.0 to 2.5 kg of fresh Azolla mixed with milk to milch animals increases milk production by up to 15% and also increases the fat content in the milk.
In addition, by feeding 10 to 20 grams of Azolla to chickens daily, there is an increase of 10 to 15% in the physical and egg production capacity of the chickens.
Not to mention, feeding 100 to 200 grams of fresh Azolla to sheep and goats gives an increase in physical growth and milk production and economic benefits.
Water and soil removed from Azolla beds have been found useful in crops, vegetables, and flowers. The removed water acts as a growth regulator and the soil is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and microelements, its use increases the production of crops, vegetables, and fruits.
Azolla production per unit per annum (approx.) 50 kg
Azolla acts as good farming and manure. After getting information from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, feed Azolla to your milch animals so that their health and milk production can be improved and animal owners can get the best quality complementary food for their animals at a low cost.
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