The study was conducted in east Hararghe zone of Oromia regional state, eastern Ethiopia to assess the major available livestock feed resources. A total of 150 households with experience in livestock keeping practice for at least two years were selected. All respondents indicated that shortage of feed resources, dominance of unpalatable forages and low nutritive values of usable forages were the major feed problems. Overall, 73% of the respondents used cut and carry system as a grazing system and 93% indicated that feeding hay, crop residues and concentrates were the methods used to combat feed shortages. The major feed resources were crop residues, natural pastures and fodder trees/shrubs. Sorghum and maize were the main sources of crop residues, whereas leaves of Cordia Africana, Veranonia amygdalina, Erythrina burana, Combretum molle, Casimiroa edulis and Olea Africana were the major indigenous fodder trees used to supplement livestock species in the dry season. Adequate conservation, improvement and utilization of hay and crop residues as well as the introduction of potential forage production (e.g. planting multipurpose fodders and producing improved forages), and use of animal source as supplement need to be practiced to overcome feed shortage and optimize production. Regulation policies of land use need to be employed in the area to ensure land units for livestock feed production, which will allow the livestock sector contribute to poverty eradication and encourage smallholder farmer to be a food secured household.
Key words: Feed resource, crop residues, fodder tree, forage production.
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