Echinochloa pyramidalis is a good fodder used for hay and silage, and is excellent for dry-season grazing after burning of waste biomass (Adebowale, 1988). Although very coarse, animals graze it easily at ground level at the end of the dry season (Abiola et al., 2010). It is of great value as deferred feed for cattle, sheep and goats throughout tropical Africa (Abiola et al., 2010).
Echinochloa pyramidalis is highly palatable, especially at the early growth stage, and was among the most palatable (with Digitaria eriantha) of 15 species evaluated for their feeding potential in Venezuela (Cunha et al., 1974). It becomes less palatable at later stages of regrowth, even at the early flowering stage (Bogdan, 1977).
In Guyana, heifers continuously grazing antelope grass had a daily weight gain of 300 g/day and 754 g/ha at an optimum stocking rate of 1.1 head/ha (Seaton et al., 1994). Pasture containing Echinochloa pyramidalis, Cynodon dactylon, Digitaria eriantha and Digitaria swazilandensis, with a 28-day (or less) grazing, was able to maintaining up to 5 cows/ha/year (Cunha et al., 1975).
Black Belly sheep were fed on chopped Echinochloa pyramidalis for 3 years (4.5 kg/ewe/day supplemented with rice bran, wheat middlings and copra meal). Reproductive performance was satisfactory: 40% ewes lambed once per year, 52% ewes had 2 lambs per litter and lambing percentage was 139%.The percentage of lambs weaned per ewe mated was 98.9; birth weight was 1.8 kg (Davis et al., 1994).
Goats could be maintained on Echinochloa pyramidalis after six weeks growth, as it was better ingested than grass after 3, 9 or 12-weeks of growth. At the six weeks stage, daily digestible DM intake was 30 MJ/kg W0.75, DE intake was 0.60 MJ/kg W0.75 and nitrogen retention was 0.1 g/kg W0.75 (Davis et al., 1994).