Cassava Root Silage as a Feed for Ruminants

ALÇİÇEK A. , Matovu J.

4th International Students Science Congress, İzmir, Turkey, 18 - 19 September 2020, vol.1, pp.53-63

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 1
  • City: İzmir
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.53-63


Cassava Root Silage as a Feed for Ruminants

Jacob Matovu*, Ege University, Dept. of Animal Science, subDept. of Feeds and Animal Nutrition, İzmir, Turkey

Ahmet Alçı̇çek, Ege University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Animal Science, İzmir, Turkey

*Corresponding author:

Keywords: Cassava root silage, hydrocyanic acid, feed, ruminant

Discipline: Agriculture, Animal Nutrition


Roots and tubers have high moisture content which makes them difficult to handle. During

harvesting, transporting, and storage, roots can get damaged which makes them get spoilt quickly. The

poor storage life of cassava roots necessitates rapid processing into a stable product. Normally the

commonly used method of processing cassava is sun drying. Sun-dried cassava chips are susceptible to

attack by several insect pests, even when stored for a short period, making an economical and eco –

friendly storage impossible. Furthermore, in seasons of heavy rains, sun drying is hard to be done and

is accompanied by the need for much labor force and there are high risks of aflatoxin contamination. To

ensure the supply of safe animal feed all year round the technique of ensiling cassava has been constantly

investigated. Cassava root is rich in energy and has a high amylopectin content (83%) that makes it a

good energy feed for ruminants. Cassava silage has been used in areas where feeds become inadequate,

especially during the dry seasons. Several studies have stated the use of cassava silage in livestock

feeding, especially for monogastric. However, little or no information has critically analyzed cassava

root silage as a potential feed for ruminants. This review paper discusses cassava production and world

distribution, utilization of cassava root silage as feed-in ruminants, effects of ensiling on hydrocyanic

acid, and its effects on ruminants.


Cassava is said to have originated from South America and the major area of concern is Brazil due

to the evidence for manioc cultivation dating to between 6,500–5,500 BC, in the Amazon lowlands(1).

Cassava is being grown in most of the tropical countries. Africa is considered the highest producer in

the world accounting for 61.1%, followed by Asia with 29% (2). The continuous increase in the cost of

conventional energy sources worldwide due to insufficient supply along with stiff competition between

humans and other industries for these resources. This scenario has led to higher prices and a need for

research to discover new reliable sources of energy for the diet of livestock (3). As a result of this, the

best alternative has been cassava. Due to a lack of advanced post-harvest technologies, large quantities

of cassava are wasted. However, the ensiling of cassava has shown to solve this problem (4). The use of

ensiled cassava in ruminant feeding has been studied, and this has shown improvement in feed intake,

digestibility, and increased milk production, daily weight gain, and increased feed efficiency (5).


This review suggests the need for much more research. Some areas in which research is required

are; How best can the ensiled cassava be kept for quite long for example more than a year and remain

in a suitable form. Silage keeping qualities of the sweet and bitter cassava varieties. Development of

appropriate feeding systems (feeding trials) and technologies suited in most economic ways to cassava

silage utilization by the ruminants.


[1] Watling J, Shock MP, Mongeló GZ, Almeida FO, Kater T, De Oliveira PE, et al. Direct

archaeological evidence for Southwestern Amazonia as an early plant domestication and food

production centre. PLoS One. 2018;13(7):1–28.

[2] FAOSTAT 2018,

[3] Morgan NK, Choct M. Cassava: Nutrient composition and nutritive value in poultry diets. Anim

Nutr [Internet]. 2016;2(4):253–61. Available from:

[4] Loc NT, Preston TR, Ogle B. Cassava root silage for crossbred pigs under village conditions in

Central Vietnam. Livestock Research for Rural Development. 1997;9(2):12-9.

[5] Bureenok S, Yuangklang C, Vasupen K. Effect of Cassava Root Ensiled with Cassava Top or

Legumes on Feed Intake and Digestibility of Dairy Cows. 2013;47160(1):4–6.