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Feedipedia: An on-line encyclopedia of animal feeds

Feedipedia is an open access information system on animal feed resources that provides information on nature, occurrence, chemical composition, nutritional value and safe use of nearly 1400 worldwide livestock feeds. It is managed jointly by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO.

The main objective of Feedipedia is to provide extension and development workers, planners, project formulators, livestock farmers, science managers, policy makers, students and researchers with the latest scientific information to help them identify, characterize and properly use feed resources to sustainably develop the livestock sector.

This is particularly important in emerging and developing countries where feed resources available locally are often under-utilized due to lack of information. Providing global knowledge on feed resources, including unconventional and lesser known ones, contributes to the development and use of innovative and appropriate feeding options and strategies.

Feeds datasheets contain the following information:

  • Feed names, including vernacular and scientific names
  • Description of the plants or plant parts/products used as feed
  • Feeding recommendations for the main livestock species: cattle, sheep, goats, camels, poultry, pigs, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans
  • Tables of composition and nutritive value
  • Illustrations, including photos and processing charts
  • Distribution and basic agronomic information
  • Forage management
  • Processes for improving nutritional value
  • Potential constraints such as presence of anti-nutritional and toxic factors
  • Environmental impact of the production and use of feeds

Broadening horizons

By Gerhard Flachowsky, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut


Plant breeding can be considered as the starting point influencing the whole food chain. High yield, stable and highly digestible plant biomass with low external inputs of non-renewable resources, such as water, fuel, arable land, fertilizers, etc.; low emissions of gases with greenhouse potential during cultivation; high resistance against biotic and abiotic stressors including adaptation to potential climate change; and a low concentration of undesirable substances in the plants are real challenges for plant breeders in the future. 

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Recent publications

Insects in fish diets - Tran et al., 2015. Animal Frontiers, 5 (2): 37-44

This is a new Feedipedia paper related to the rearing, composition, nutritional value and use of insects such as black soldier fly larvae, housefly maggots, mealworms, locusts and silkworms as a replacement of soybean meal and fish meal in the diet of fish.

Cow talk : Understanding dairy cow behaviour to improve their welfare on Asian farms - Moran et al., 2015. CSIRO Publishing

The aim of this manual is to improve the welfare of dairy cattle in tropical developing countries, and by doing so, optimise cow and herd performance. It gives the stockmen and farmers directly concerned with the cattle a better understanding of animal behaviour and the ways cattle communicate their comfort or distress.

FAO Assistance towards feed analysis increasing incomes, improving food safety and safeguarding the environment  - FAO, 2015. FAO, Rome, Italy

This document presents the assistance provided by FAO for enhancing feed analysis and thus improving feed quality, animal production profitability and food safety.