FODDER, (Ger. fetter, Anglo-Sax. foddor), the food collected by man for the use of the domestic herbivorous quadrupeds. In English, the term is commonly restricted to dried herbage, as hay and straw; but in other languages, it is more comprehensive, and in cludes all the food of cattle, except what they gather for themselves in the field.
The principal part of the food of all the domestic herbivore is furnished by grasses, almost all of which are eaten by them when fresh and green. Besides the supplies which they receive of all the kinds of corn cultivated for human food, they are also, to a considerable extent, dependent on the stiyrio or dried herbage of the corn-plants for their winter provender; and that of many other grasses, cultivated on this account alone, is converted into hay for their use. Hay, being cut and rapidly dried whilst the plant is still full of sap, contains more nutritious matter than the ripened straw of the cereals. The most important fodder grass of Britain is RYE GRASS, next to which must be ranked TIMOTHY GRASS; but all the meadow grasses and larger pasture grasses also contribute to the supply of hay.
Next to the grasses must be ranked different kinds of /squininom, affording food for cattle in their seeds—as beans,,uense, lentils, lupines, etc.---aml in their herbage, on account
of which many of them are cultivated, as clover, medick, meillot, vetch, tare, sainfoin, etc., of some of which there are numerous species. Some of these also often enter pretty largely into the composition of hay, being cut and dried with the grasses along with which they have been sown; which is the case also with some plants of other orders, as the ribwort plantain, etc. Some of the cruciferce are cultivated to a consid erable extent as forage-plants, cattle being fed on their green herbage, although they are not suitable for drying as fodder. Among these are kale and cabbage, rape, etc.
In some parts of the world, cattle are not unfrequently fed on the leaves of trees, as in the Himalayas, where the leaves of different species of aralia, gre2ria, elm, and oak, are chiefly employed for this purpose, and are collected, dried, and stacked for winter fodder.
Roots, although not F. in the English sense, must here be mentioned as constituting a large part of the food provided for cattle, particularly those of the potato, turnip, man gold, and carrot, and to some extent also those of the parsnip and Jerusalem artichoke.