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173, P.K. Street, Tirupati 517 501. Chittoor Dist., A.P.




AZOLLA A sustainable feed substitute for livestock


     The dairy became main occupation in rural area because of agriculture is receding


     Since growing demand for meat and milk, the animal husbandry became profitable income source for rural poor


     Cultivation of Dwarft crops and decrease in forest and graze lands resulted sustainable decline in fodder production


     The dairy farmers are dependent on commercial feeds


     The commercial feeds are mixed with urea and artificial milk booster


     They Causes effect on quality of milk produced and longevity of the animal


     In turn leads to cancer and coronary ailments in human beings


     Usage of commercial feed is not economical and declines income


     Azolla is the most economic and efficient feed substitute for live stock


     Azolla is a floating fern in shallow water


     Azolla is very rich in proteins, essential amino acids, vitamins (A, B12, Beta carotene) and growth promoter intermediaries and minerals (calcium, phosphorus, potassium, ferrous, copper, magnesium etc.,)



     Azolla on dry weight basis is constituted of 25.35% protein content, 10.15% mineral content and 7 19% a combination of amino acids, bio active substances and bio polymers


     Carbohydrate and oil content are very low in Azolla


      Azolla can be easily digestible by the livestock, owing to its high protein and low lignin content


     Milk yield increases by 15 to 20%


     15 to 20% commercial feed is replaced by azolla


     Azolla feeding does not affect the milk production, improves quality of milk and health and longevity of livestock


     Feeding Azolla to poultry birds improves the weight of the broiler chicken and increases the egg production of layers


     Azolla can be fed to sheep, goat, pig and rabbits as feed substitute




     An artificial water body is made, preferably under the shade of a tree with the help of a silpauline sheet


     A pit of the size of 2 m x 2m x 0.2 m is dug as a first step


     The pit is covered with plastic gunnies to prevent the roots of the near by trees piercing the silpauline sheet


     Spread over the silpauline sheet over the plastic gunnies


     About 10 15 kgs. of sieved fertile soil is uniformly spread over the silpauline sheet




     Slurry made of 2 kg. cow dung and 30 gms. of super phosphate in 10 liters of water is poured into the sheet


     More water is poured to make water level reach about 10 cm.


     About 500 gms. - 1 kg. of fresh and pure culture of Azolla is inoculated in the pit


     Azolla will rapidly grow and fill the pit within 10 15 days


     About 500 600 gms. of Azolla can be harvested daily thereafter


     A mixture of 20 gms. of super phosphate and about 1 kg. of cow dung should be added once in 5 days to keep the Azolla in rapid multiplication


     Micro nutrient mix containing trace element is added weekly intervals to enhance mineral content of Azolla


     In this method the cost of production of Azolla is less than 65 ps/pit




     A shady place, preferably under a tree with sufficient sunlight should be chosen for the Azolla production unit. A place of direct sunlight should be avoided


     All corners of the pit should be of the same level so that the water level so that the water level can be maintained uniformly


     Azolla bio mass @ 399 gm. 350 gm. / sq. mt should be removed daily to avoid over crowding and for keeping the fern at rapid multiplication




     Suitable nutrients should be supplied as and when, nutrient deficiency is noticed


     Plant protection measures against pests and disease should be taken as and when required


     About 5 kg. bed soil should be replaced with fresh soil, once in 30 days to avoid nitrogen build up and prevent micro nutrient deficiency


      25 to 30% water also needs to be replaced with fresh water once in 10 days to prevent nitrogen build up in the bed


     Replacement of water and soil should be followed by fresh inoculation of Azolla at least once in six months


     A fresh bed has to be prepared and inoculated with pure culture of Azolla when contaminated by pest and diseases




     Azolla should be harvesting with plastic tray having holes of 1 sq. cm. mesh size to drain the water


     Wash to get rid of the cow dung smell


     Azolla should be mixed with commercial feed in 1 : 1 ration to feed the livestock

     Livestock can be fed directly with Azolla

     Dried Azolla can be powder and added to the regular feed