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Chickpea (Cicer arietinum)


Click on the "Nutritional aspects" tab for recommendations for ruminants, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans
Common names 

Chickpea, chick pea, Egyptian bean, gram pea, Bengal gram [English]; garbanzo [Spanish]; pois chiche [French]; grão-de-bico, ervilha-de-bengala [Portuguese]; kikkererwt [Dutch]; Kichererbse [German]; kacang arab [Indonesian]; cece [Italian]; nohut [Turkish]; Đậu gà [Vietnamese]; ሽምብራ [Amharic]; الحِـمّص [Arabic]; ছোলা [Bengali]; 鹰嘴豆 [Chinese]; نخود [Farsi]; Ρεβιθιά [Greek]; ચણા [Gujarati]; חמצה [Hebrew]; चना दाल [Hindi]; ヒヨコマメ [Japanese]; Нут [Russian]; கொண்டைக் கடலை [Tamil]; ถั่วลูกไก่ [Thai]; چنا [Urdu]

  • Chickpea seeds, chickpeas, desi, kabuli
  • Chickpea bran, chickpea chuni
  • Chickpea pod husks
  • Chickpea straw
Related feed(s) 

The chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is a major grain legume cultivated for its edible seeds in the Mediterranean Basin, Asia and Australia. The plant is quick-growing, branched, and reaches a height between 20 and 60 cm, even up to 1 m. It has a deep taproot, down to 2 m, and many lateral secondary roots exploring the upper layers (15-30 cm) of the soil. The stems are hairy, simple or branched, straight or bent. Leaves are 5 cm long with 10 to 20 sessile, ovate to elliptical leaflets. Chickpea flowers are white, pink to purplish or blue, typically papillonaceous and solitary. The pod is pubescent, inflated and oblong, with 2 or 3 seeds. The seeds are variable in size (5 to 10 mm in diameter), shape (spherical to angular) and colour (creamy-white to black) (Ecoport, 2013; Bejiga et al., 2006van der Maesen, 1989). Cicer arietinum is the only cultivated species among the 43 species of the Cicer genus. There are no less than 40,000 accessions in the world. Cultivated chickpeas are divided into 2 main groups, the Desi and the Kabuli groups. Desi seeds are small, darker coloured and smooth or wrinkled. Kabuli seeds are larger and cream-coloured. Kabuli seeds contain less fibre and cook faster than Desi seeds and are thus more desirable for food. Desi chickpeas are bushy plants with relatively small leaflets and flowers, with purplish anthocyanin pigments in their stems and blue-violet flowers, and are primarily grown in Southern Asia and Ethiopia. Kabuli types have erect growth and white flowers, and are grown in the Mediterranean region (Bejiga et al., 2006). 

Chickpea is a multipurpose grain legume widely used around the world, notably as a source of protein (Bejiga et al., 2006). Chickpea seeds of the Desi type are generally consumed as a dry pulse, whole, split, or ground as dhal or flour, and in sauces such as hummus or soups (Bejiga et al., 2006van der Maesen, 1989). Kabuli types are used for salads, vegetable mixes and can be canned. The seeds and the pods can be consumed fresh. Chickpeas may also be roasted, salted and consumed as snacks (Bejiga et al., 2006).

Several by-products of chickpea cultivation and processing are used for animal feeding, including low-grade and culled chickpeas, bran (a by-product of dehulling, known as chuni in India), crop residues (husks, straw) and chickpea hay (Taylor et al., 2007Bejiga et al., 2006). However, even though its nutritional characteristics are similar to those of other important grain legumes such as field pea, chickpea is less used in animal feeding (Bampidis et al., 2009). The straw and dried roots of chickpea are used as fuel for cooking. Chickpea starch is suitable for textile sizing and in the manufacture of plywood (Bejiga et al., 2006). The leaves yield an indigo-like dye and have uses in traditional medicine (Taylor et al., 2007).


Chickpea is a cool-season grain legume that may withstand hot temperatures during fruiting and ripening (Ecoport, 2013). It is thought to have originated in South-East Anatolia and neighbouring Syria and Iran, where the earliest remains date back to around 7000 BC. It was introduced to the Mediterranean Basin, Africa and the Indian subcontinent before 2000 BC. Cicer arietinum grows from sea level up to an altitude of 2500 m in areas where temperatures ranges from 15°C to 29°C (van der Maesen, 1989). Chickpeas are mainly cultivated in the cool, dry season of the semi-arid tropics on residual moisture. The plant is well adapted to tropical climates with moderate temperatures and is successfully cultivated under irrigation in the cool season of many tropical countries (Bejiga et al., 2006). It can benefit from spring rains provided that the soil is well-drained. Well-aerated sandy to sandy loam soils and black cotton soils with a pH ranging from 5 to 7, or even higher, are suitable but salinity and sodicity should be avoided (Ecoport, 2013van der Maesen, 1989). Chickpea can grow in places where annual rainfall ranges from 500 to 1800 mm (Bejiga et al., 2006). It is tolerant of drought but does not withstand the humid and hot lowland tropics. Rainstorms during flowering, which may occur during the monsoon season, may harm the crop that is then used mainly for fodder (van der Maesen, 1989). Early summer heat or frost during flowering may also hamper crop yield (Ecoport, 2013).

Chickpea seed production has been increasing since the 1990s and rose from 7 million t in 1990 to 11 million t in 2012 (FAO, 2013). This increase is mainly due to better yields, which reached about 0.9 t/ha worldwide in 2011. The main chickpea producers are India, Australia, Pakistan, Turkey, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Iran, the USA and Canada (FAO, 2013ICRISAT, 2013). The international trade in chickpea is relatively limited and concerns only 10% of total production (FAO, 2013).

Forage management 

Chickpea can be broadcast or sown in rows (25-30 cm inter-row spacing and 10-30 cm between seeds within rows). Seedlings are sensitive to weeds during the first 4-6 weeks of growth and should be mechanically weeded. Chickpea can be grown as a sole crop or intercropped with linseed, sorghum and other crops. It can also be grown in rotation with flax, sorghum, teff (Eragrostis tef), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), wheat or other crops. It is a relay crop in rice paddies (Bejiga et al., 2006). The seed harvest can be done manually or mechanically by pulling the plant out. Pods are harvested 90-120 days or 130-180 days from sowing, generally when they turn yellow (Ecocrop, 2013). The harvested plants are dried on the ground down to 12-16% moisture and the seeds separated from the chaff by threshing and winnowing. Under rainfed conditions, seed yields can be lower than 1 t/ha but 2 to 3.5 t/ha have been obtained under irrigation and experimental yields of up to 4-5.5 t/ha have been reported (Ecocrop, 2013; Bejiga et al., 2006; Iliadis, 2001).

When chickpea is cut for fodder, the first cut may occur only 45 days after sowing. However, later cuts tend to result in higher fodder yields than early cuts: in Pakistan, late cut yields of 1.2 and 4.5 t/ha of green forage were reported vs. 0.4 and 0.6 t/ha for early cuts in the same years. Cutting chickpea for fodder impairs seed yield (Khan et al., 1999).

Environmental impact 

N-fixing legume

Chickpea is a N-fixing legume (up to 100 kg N/ha) often used to restore soil fertility before cereal or oilseed crops. It is used as disease cycle breaker and helps to reduce pesticide and herbicide usage (Ecoport, 2013).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 


Chickpea seeds are a source of protein (19-25% DM) as well as energy, as they contain large amounts of starch. Desi types contain less starch (about 35% DM) and more fibre (about 10% DM crude fibre) than kabuli types (about 50% DM starch and 4% DM crude fibre). Chickpeas are particularly rich in lysine (6-7% of the protein) but sulphur-containing amino acids and threonine may be deficient for monogastric species. Chickpeas contain non-negligible amounts of lipids (sometimes less than 5% DM).

Chickpea bran (chuni)

Chickpea bran contains less protein than the seed (13-19% DM) but much more fibre (24-30% DM).

Chickpea straw and chickpea pod husks

Chickpea straw contains slightly more protein than a cereal straw (about 5% DM) but remains a fibrous forage (30-40% DM as crude fibre). Pod husks have a similar composition, perhaps more fibrous.

Chickpea forage and hay

Even though chickpea forage and hay are occasionally used to feed livestock, information about the nutritive value of these forages is almost inexistent. In 1938 in India, samples of chickpea hay and fresh forage had protein values of 13 and 11% DM and crude fibre values of 35 and 27% DM, respectively (Sen, 1938).

Potential constraints 

Antinutritional factors

Chickpeas contain a variety of secondary compounds that can impair nutrient absorption from the gastrointestinal tract (Bampidis et al., 2011). Depending on the variety, chickpea seeds contain variable amounts of trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitors that may decrease their feed value in pigs and poultry. Reported levels of inhibitors are in the 15-19 TIU/mg range, lower than that of raw soybeans (43–84 TIU/mg). Heat treatments, such as cooking or extrusion, reduce the amount of trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitors (Bampidis et al., 2011Batterham et al., 1990Batterham et al., 1993). 

Oxalic acid

Chickpea straw has been reported to have a high content of oxalic acid and to be unpalatable and possibly toxic (Suttie, 2000). However, studies do not confirm this.


Chickpea pod husks contain a high amount of tannins, from 6 to 8% DM. The tannins-bound substrate of chickpea pod husks seems to be mostly carbohydrates (Sreerangaraju et al., 2000).


Chickpea seeds

Chickpea seeds have a relatively high protein and starch content and are mainly used as a concentrate, replacing soybean meal and cereal grains. The antinutritional factors in chickpea seeds were inactivated by 12-24 h of in vitro incubation with rumen liquor, and subsequently did not have a substantive effect on nutrient absorption from the small intestine of sheep (Bampidis et al., 2011). 

Digestibility and rumen degradability

In sheep, estimates of OM digestibility of chickpeas were comprised between 84% (Hadjipanayiotou et al., 1985) and 92% (Bampidis et al., 2011), while energy and protein digestibility were both about 79% (Hadjipanayiotou et al., 1985). Replacing soybean meal and cereal grains by chickpea seeds in heifer, steer or lamb diets improved the apparent digestibility of crude protein and crude fat, with no adverse effect on the digestibilities of DM, fibre and energy (Hadjipanayiotou, 2002; Sommerfeldt et al., 1988; Illg et al., 1987). However, no improvement in digestibility was observed when replacing mixtures of maize grain and rapeseed meal, field peas or lentils by chickpeas in steer diets (Gilbery et al., 2007).

In growing heifers, steers and lactating cows, rumen protein degradability increased with the inclusion rate of chickpeas in replacement of soybean meal and cereal grains (Hadsell et al., 1988; Sommerfeldt et al., 1988; Illg et al., 1987). Rumen ammonia, in steers, was reported to increase with the dietary level of chickpeas in place of soybean meal and cereal grain (Gilbery et al., 2007). The effective rumen protein degradability of chickpea is comprised between 59% (ewes) and 75% (non-lactating Holstein cows) (Bampidis et al., 2011).

Lactating ruminants

In lactating cows, chickpeas can be used as a substitute for soybean meal and maize grain up to 50% (DM basis) of the concentrate, or 25% (DM basis) of the whole diet. Milk protein content decreased at higher inclusion rates, though milk yield and milk fat contents increased (+ 1.2 kg milk/d). The increase in milk yield and fat content with high inclusion rates has been attributed to the relatively high fat content of chickpeas (Hadsell et al., 1988). In lactating ewes, no effect of replacing soybean meal and cereal grains with chickpeas, up to 30% (DM basis) of the concentrates, was observed on milk yield, and milk content of fat, protein, lactose and minerals (Christodoulou et al., 2005Bampidis et al., 2011). 

Growing ruminants

In growing cattle, substitution of mixtures of soybean meal, rapeseed meal and cereal grains by chickpeas resulted in higher body weight gains (Illg et al., 1987; Gilbery et al., 2007). In Holstein heifers fed a diet containing 50% of grass hay (DM basis), body weight gain was optimal when chickpeas were included at 25 to 49% of the concentrate (DM basis). Increasing chickpea inclusion rate (from 0% to 75% of concentrate DM) resulted in a linear decrease in DM intake and feed conversion efficiency (Illg et al., 1987).

In lambs and kids, the replacement of soybean meal and cereal grains with chickpeas did not affect body weight gain, intake or feed conversion ratio as long as the inclusion rate of chickpeas did not exceed 42% of the dietary DM (Hadjipanayiotou, 2002; Bampidis et al., 2011). Similarly, partial or total replacement of soybean meal and cereal grains with chickpeas did not affect carcass weight, yield, or the physical and chemical characteristics of the longissimus dorsi muscle (Lanza et al., 2003; Christodoulou et al., 2005).

Chickpea straw

Chickpea straw can be used as a ruminant feed (Bampidis et al., 2011). Compared to other straws, chickpea straw has a relatively high nutritive value (e.g. ME = 7.7 MJ/kg DM for chickpea straw vs. 5.6 for wheat) (Lopez et al., 2004Lopez et al., 2005Bampidis et al., 2011), but lower than that of other legume straws (Hadjipanayiotou et al., 1985Bruno-Soares et al., 2000Lopez et al., 2005). In sheep, DM, OM, crude protein and energy digestibilities of chickpea straw were 49%, 51%, 20% and 49%, respectively (Hadjipanayiotou et al., 1985Bampidis et al., 2011). In rams, potential DM and NDF in sacco degradability were 45% and 39%, respectively (Bruno-Soares et al., 2000). Fed in a total mixed ration with chaffed dry groundnut forage and concentrate (700:150:150 g/kg of the total mixed ration), chickpea straw supported a BW gain of 0.38-0.42 kg/day in 10-month old camel calves (BW 187-240 kg) (Bampidis et al., 2011).

Chickpea pod husks

Chickpea pod husks contain a large rumen degradable DM fraction, above 94% (Ngwe et al., 2012). In 6-8 month old lambs and wethers, chickpea pod husks included at 10 to 20% of the diet (DM basis) replacing deoiled rice bran, or rice straw, increased the digestibilities of DM, OM, NDF and ADF (Ngwe et al., 2012Sreerangaraju et al., 2000). A reduction in the digestibility of crude protein when chickpea pod husks were included at 10% DM was reported (Ngwe et al., 2012).


Chickpeas, in spite of their trypsin inhibitor content, are a valuable energy and protein source for pigs and are used to replace soybean meal in the diets. They can be fed raw, dehulled, cooked or extruded (Christodoulou et al., 2006bSingh et al., 2005; Batterham et al., 1993). True ileal digestibility of all amino acids is similar to that of soybeans (full-fat or soybean meal) (Rubio, 2005Singh et al., 2005). The ileal digestibility of chickpea starch was reported high (85%) in Iberian pigs (Rubio et al., 2005). 

Raw chickpeas

Results on the use of raw chickpeas in pigs are contradictory. Inclusion of up to 75% raw chickpeas (from low fibre varieties or dehulled) replacing soybean meal was found to have no adverse effect on daily gain, feed intake and feed efficiency in growing pigs. Furthermore, pigs tolerated the trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitors of the chickpeas and showed no sign of organ toxicity (Batterham et al., 1993). In another trial, raw chickpeas fed to growing and finishing pigs at 30% of the dietary DM gave a similar body weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio as soybean meal over the whole period (growing and finishing) (Mustafa et al., 2000). Chickpeas included at 10-20%, 26%, and in one study 75% of the diet DM, had no effect on carcass yield, percentage of lean meat and overall meat quality (Pennisi et al., 1994; Batterham et al., 1993; Visitpanich et al., 1985). However, during the growing period, pigs fed 30% raw chickpeas had lower performance (Mustafa et al., 2000). However, in another experiment during the finishing phase, 10% raw chickpeas negatively influenced weight gain and feed conversion ratio compared to the soybean meal diet (Christodoulou et al., 2006b).

Extruded chickpeas

Extruded chickpeas included at up to 30%, in the diets of growing and finishing pigs, fully replaced the soybean meal with positive effects on body weight gain and feed conversion ratio (Christodoulou et al., 2006b), and with no effect on meat quality (Christodoulou et al., 2006d). The positive effect of extrusion may be due to the improved utilization of starch, fat and protein of extruded chickpeas by the pigs (Bampidis et al., 2011).


The digestibility and biological value for poultry of chickpea nutrients are high (Brenes et al., 2008Nalle, 2009). However, due to the presence of antinutritional factors, raw chickpeas have been reported to increase pancreas weight in growth trials, which may indicate some toxicity (Farrell et al., 1999Viveros et al., 2001).


Some experiments in young animals have reported decreased growth when raw chickpeas were introduced at moderate inclusion rates as low as 10% (Brenes et al., 2008Farrell et al., 1999). In older animals, the inclusion of raw chickpeas led to decreased growth performance and an increased feed conversion ratio when used at rates above 15-20% (Christodoulou et al., 2006aViveros et al., 2001). In slow growing organically reared broilers, growth, but not feed efficiency, was degraded by high levels of chickpeas fed without amino acid supplementation (Katogianni et al., 2008)

Treatment of chickpeas has improved animal performance. The positive effect of thermal treatments such as pelleting or autoclaving has been reported by several authors (Farrell et al., 1999Christodoulou et al., 2006aViveros et al., 2001). Extrusion allowed up to 20% chickpeas in diets for young broilers, whereas raw chickpeas reduced performance (Brenes et al., 2008). In turkeys, 20% extruded chickpeas did not reduce performance, and extreme inclusion rates, up to 80% chickpeas resulted in a reduction of only 8% in growth (Christodoulou et al., 2006b).

The recommendation is to limit chickpeas to 5-10% in starter diets and to 10-15% of DM in grower and finisher diets. Higher levels could be used with heat-processed chickpeas.


Inclusion rates of chickpeas as high as 25 to 40% in layer diets were shown to maintain egg production (Garsen et al., 2007; Perez-Maldonado et al., 1999). However, other experiments showed a trend to lower performance at levels above 20%. Dehulling chickpeas, or applying thermal treatments such as pelleting did not change the laying rate but improved layer body weight (Robinson et al., 2001). When used as a substitute for maize grain, chickpeas may decrease egg yolk color, which has to be considered in feed formulation (Garsen et al., 2007). It can be recommended to use chickpeas at up to 20% in layer diets provided that the diet is well balanced (notably for methionine).


Chickpea seeds can be safely used as a protein source for growing and breeding rabbits (Alicata et al., 1992Roy et al., 2002). Inclusion levels up to 35% have been tested in a concentrate fed with green forage ad libitum (Roy et al., 2002), though inclusion rates of 10 and 20% are more common (Lebas, 1988Alicata et al., 1991). Due to their low level of fibre, chickpeas have a digestible energy that exceeds rabbit energy requirements, making them an acceptable energy source for rabbit feeding (Lebas, 1988Nizza et al., 1993).

When chickpeas are included in complete balanced diets, attention should be paid to their low concentration of sulfur-containing amino acids and threonine. Indeed, protein-rich chickpeas (26% DM) only provide 76% and 81% of sulfur-containing amino acids and threonine requirements, respectively (Lebas, 1988). Moreover, the digestibility of chickpea protein is relatively low when compared to other protein sources (such as soybean meal), a situation that accentuates the seed imbalance of available amino acids (Lebas, 1988Nizza et al., 1993). If that imbalance is not corrected with other protein sources (e.g. cereal grains, wheat bran), chickpea-based diets have a low palatability (Alicata et al., 1991Moniello et al., 1993).


With high carbohydrate and fat content, chickpea seeds are potential good sources of energy, and to a lesser extent protein, for fish feeding. However, their trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitors may impair their feeding value for fish (Tacon, 1993).

Gilted sea bream (Sparus aurata)

Chickpeas were used in farmed seabream diets up to 35% without negative effects, replacing other carbohydrate sources and some of fish meal (Adamidou et al., 2011). Chickpea had no immunosuppressive activity on gilted sea bream and was not as effective as field pea in immuno-stimulation (Henry et al., 2012). 

European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax)

Feeding chickpeas to European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) increased nutrient retention time in the gastrointestinal tract. Chickpea had a high apparent digestibility coefficient for fat. Inclusion of chickpeas in fish pellets was reported to improve pellet hardness without modifying water activity within the pellet (Adamidou et al., 2009).

Australian silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus)

Chickpeas were reported to have lower DM and energy digestibilities than other legume grains in the Australian silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus). Dehulling did not improve the protein digestibility (Booth et al., 2001).

Nutritional tables

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 89.0 1.0 87.6 91.0 27  
Crude protein % DM 22.1 2.1 18.2 26.5 39  
Crude fibre % DM 10.5 1.1 8.6 12.9 28  
NDF % DM 22.8 4.2 14.1 29.5 19  
ADF % DM 13.8 2.5 7.6 17.6 19  
Lignin % DM 0.7 0.3 0.2 1.3 7  
Ether extract % DM 5.0 1.2 3.3 7.8 34  
Ether extract, HCl hydrolysis % DM 4.7 1.6 2.8 5.7 3  
Ash % DM 3.3 0.3 2.9 4.0 38  
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 35.6 7.6 22.3 47.1 14  
Total sugars % DM 3.6 1.1 1.3 6.3 13  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 19.6 0.5 17.6 20.0 18 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 1.7 0.4 1.2 2.6 16  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 3.9 0.6 1.9 4.7 17  
Potassium g/kg DM 11.9 1.1 10.2 13.6 9  
Sodium g/kg DM 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.4 8  
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.1 0.1 1.8 2.3 9  
Manganese mg/kg DM 36       1  
Zinc mg/kg DM 38       1  
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Alanine % protein 3.7 0.3 3.2 4.3 19  
Arginine % protein 8.6 1.1 7.1 12.3 28  
Aspartic acid % protein 10.6 0.9 9.0 11.9 19  
Cystine % protein 1.2 0.4 0.6 1.8 30  
Glutamic acid % protein 17.0 2.7 12.7 20.2 19  
Glycine % protein 3.5 0.3 3.1 4.3 19  
Histidine % protein 2.5 0.2 2.1 3.1 29  
Isoleucine % protein 3.8 0.6 2.6 4.8 29  
Leucine % protein 7.1 0.5 5.9 7.8 29  
Lysine % protein 6.6 0.6 5.4 7.7 31  
Methionine % protein 1.2 0.3 0.7 1.6 31  
Phenylalanine % protein 5.3 0.4 4.4 6.1 29  
Proline % protein 4.0 0.3 3.7 4.5 17  
Serine % protein 4.8 0.3 4.2 5.6 19  
Threonine % protein 3.4 0.2 3.0 4.0 29  
Tryptophan % protein 0.9 0.2 0.7 1.2 8  
Tyrosine % protein 2.2 0.4 1.5 3.2 29  
Valine % protein 3.9 0.5 2.8 4.9 29  
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 3.1 3.9 0.7 7.6 3  
Tannins, condensed (eq. catechin) g/kg DM 4.9   1.2 8.7 2  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 90.2       1  
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 88.9       1  
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 17.4         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 14.1         *
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 84       1  
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 75.5 2.8 72.1 81.3 9  
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.6 0.7 13.9 16.3 9  
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 13.9         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 10.0         *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 79.4 3.1 74.7 83.5 8  
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
AME poultry MJ/kg DM 12.7 0.8 11.5 13.2 5  

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Abreu et al., 1998; AFZ, 2011; Allan et al., 2000; Brenes et al., 2008; CIRAD, 1991; Dewar, 1967; Faurie et al., 1992; Gilbery et al., 2007; Lim Han Kuo, 1967; Perez-Maldonado et al., 1999; Portugal et al., 1990; Ravindran et al., 1994; Robinson et al., 2001; Rossi et al., 1984; Salgado et al., 2001; Sen, 1938; Thacker et al., 2002; Tiwari et al., 2006; Visitpanich et al., 1985; Viveros et al., 2001; Wiryawan, 1997

Last updated on 04/09/2013 00:45:07

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 89.0 0.9 87.6 90.8 87  
Crude protein % DM 22.3 1.6 18.8 25.7 102  
Crude fibre % DM 3.9 0.4 3.1 5.1 85  
NDF % DM 11.2 2.4 8.0 17.3 71  
ADF % DM 4.4 0.6 3.6 6.1 70  
Lignin % DM 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.5 52  
Ether extract % DM 6.4 1.0 5.1 8.0 41  
Ether extract, HCl hydrolysis % DM 6.7 0.4 6.0 7.3 47  
Ash % DM 3.5 1.1 3.0 13.9 99  
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 50.1 1.5 46.9 53.3 57  
Total sugars % DM 6.0 1.7 2.6 8.0 18  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 19.6 0.7 18.3 21.7 16 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 1.4 0.2 1.1 1.8 18  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 4.2 0.5 3.3 5.0 18  
Potassium g/kg DM 11.7 3.1 1.3 14.3 16  
Sodium g/kg DM 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.4 14  
Magnesium g/kg DM 1.5 0.2 1.1 1.8 18  
Manganese mg/kg DM 35 11 18 43 6  
Zinc mg/kg DM 38 13 21 50 7  
Copper mg/kg DM 8 3 2 10 7  
Iron mg/kg DM 93 35 55 154 7  
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Alanine % protein 4.0 0.5 3.6 5.1 18  
Arginine % protein 8.5 0.8 7.1 10.2 28  
Aspartic acid % protein 11.6 0.9 10.2 13.1 18  
Cystine % protein 1.5 0.7 0.7 3.4 25  
Glutamic acid % protein 18.4 2.0 15.4 21.0 19  
Glycine % protein 3.6 0.4 3.2 4.3 18  
Histidine % protein 2.6 0.2 2.3 3.1 29  
Isoleucine % protein 4.0 0.5 3.0 4.4 29  
Leucine % protein 7.4 0.3 7.0 8.0 29  
Lysine % protein 6.8 0.3 6.1 7.2 31  
Methionine % protein 1.2 0.3 0.8 1.7 28  
Phenylalanine % protein 5.6 0.3 4.9 6.1 27  
Proline % protein 4.3 0.6 3.8 5.8 18  
Serine % protein 4.9 0.2 4.7 5.3 18  
Threonine % protein 3.6 0.2 3.1 4.0 29  
Tryptophan % protein 0.9 0.3 0.6 1.4 7  
Tyrosine % protein 2.4 0.5 1.6 3.3 27  
Valine % protein 4.2 0.4 3.2 4.8 29  
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 2.1 2.5 0.0 6.2 5  
Tannins, condensed (eq. catechin) g/kg DM 0.0       1  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 88.1   84.0 92.1 2  
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 85.1   79.0 91.2 2  
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 16.7   15.0 17.6 2 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 13.6         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 79.0       1  
Nitrogen degradability (effective, k=6%) % 93 3 88 95 4  
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 83.8 4.1 73.3 89.4 13  
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 16.4 0.6 15.5 17.6 13 *
MEn growing pig MJ/kg DM 15.8         *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 11.9         *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 82.3 4.1 75.1 86.9 11  

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Abreu et al., 1998; Abu-Shakra et al., 1970; AFZ, 2011; Alicata et al., 1992; Christodoulou et al., 2005; Christodoulou et al., 2006; CIRAD, 1991; Combe et al., 1991; Faurie et al., 1992; Hadjipanayiotou et al., 1985; Hadjipanayiotou, 2002; Harmuth-Hoene et al., 1987; Illg et al., 1987; Kande, 1967; Lebas, 1988; Nalle, 2009; Pennisi et al., 1994; Portugal et al., 1990; Rossi et al., 1984; Salgado et al., 2001; Thacker et al., 2002; Visitpanich et al., 1985; Viveros et al., 2001; Wiryawan, 1997

Last updated on 04/09/2013 00:46:31

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 89.7   88.4 91.0 2  
Crude protein % DM 15.6 3.0 12.5 18.5 3  
Crude fibre % DM 27.7   24.3 31.1 2  
NDF % DM 43.0         *
ADF % DM 35.3         *
Ether extract % DM 3.5   2.8 4.2 2  
Ash % DM 6.1   5.1 7.0 2  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 19.0         *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 10.4 4.6 6.7 15.6 3  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 3.0 0.2 2.7 3.2 3  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 59.6       1  
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 57.3         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 10.9         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 8.7         *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 59.4       1  

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Jain et al., 1980; Krishna, 1985; Vargas et al., 1965

Last updated on 31/08/2013 16:23:42

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 90.4 1.9 88.7 93.0 4  
Crude protein % DM 5.4 1.8 2.8 8.8 11  
Crude fibre % DM 41.0 7.2 31.4 50.6 5  
NDF % DM 65.6 10.0 46.0 78.0 10  
ADF % DM 46.9 8.2 33.0 59.6 10  
Lignin % DM 11.9 2.7 8.5 15.8 8  
Ether extract % DM 1.0 0.4 0.5 1.6 6  
Ash % DM 7.4 2.7 3.8 13.3 12  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.1   18.1 18.6 2 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 9.4 4.2 3.4 13.6 5  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1.6 1.6 0.5 4.4 5  
Magnesium g/kg DM 2.9 1.2 1.8 4.1 3  
Manganese mg/kg DM 10       1  
Zinc mg/kg DM 37   6 68 2  
Copper mg/kg DM 0       1  
Iron mg/kg DM 1500       1  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 45.0 8.0 42.7 60.7 4 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 41.4         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 7.5         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 6.1         *
ME ruminants (gas production) MJ/kg DM 6.8   6.5 7.2 2  
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 47.3   40.0 54.6 2  

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Abreu et al., 1998; Alibes et al., 1990; Bruno-Soares et al., 2000; Gowda et al., 2004; Hadjipanayiotou et al., 1985; Lander et al., 1936; Lopez et al., 2005; Nsahlai et al., 1996; Sehu et al., 1998; Singh et al., 2011; Yaméogo et al., 1991

Last updated on 31/08/2013 16:24:45

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 87.3   86.6 88.0 2  
Crude protein % DM 6.2 3.0 3.5 10.5 4  
Crude fibre % DM 48.4       1  
NDF % DM 67.1 9.7 56.7 76.0 3  
ADF % DM 59.0 10.5 46.9 65.2 3  
Lignin % DM 4.7 1.4 3.3 6.1 3  
Ether extract % DM 1.5 1.0 0.9 3.0 4  
Ash % DM 5.4 1.6 3.8 7.3 4  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.9         *
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Tannins, condensed (eq. catechin) g/kg DM 84.0       1  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
ME ruminants (gas production) MJ/kg DM 8.6       1  

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Ngwe et al., 2012; Sen, 1938; Sreerangajaru et al., 2000

Last updated on 04/09/2013 00:37:30

Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., Boudon A., Bastianelli D., Lebas F., 2015. Chickpea (Cicer arietinum). Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://feedipedia.org/node/319 Last updated on October 20, 2015, 14:04

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)