Animal feed resources information system

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is it valuable to you? Feedipedia is encountering funding shortage. We need your help to keep providing reference-based feeding recommendations for your animals.
Would you consider donating? If yes, please click on the button Donate.

Any amount is the welcome. Even one cent is helpful to us!

Feijão-de-boi (Desmodium pabulare)


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

Feijão-de-boi [Portuguese]


Meibomia pabularis Hoehne

Feed categories 
Related feed(s) 

Desmodium pabulare Hoehne is a shrubby perennial, erect plant up to 3 m high but usually shorter, woody at the base. Its leaves have one or three elliptic or ovate leaflets, 2 x 1-1.3 cm. Flowers are borne in terminal racemes up to 50 cm long. The pods have 5 to 7 joints. A valuable forage plant and a good seed producer, it was considered in the 1950s to be promising for cultivation (Bogdan, 1977), but this promise does not seem to have been fulfilled.


Native to tropical America, Desmodium pabulare is distributed mainly in Brazil (particularly in the Minas Gerais and the São Paulo areas) and has been mentioned in Cuba. It can be abundant in relatively cool areas, mostly in grass-bush habitats (Bogdan, 1977).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Limited information is available about the nutritional value of Desmodium pabulare. Its protein content is relatively high, in the 20-22% range, as are its OM and protein digestibilities (69 and 73% respectively). It has been considered as a valuable forage plant that makes good hay, well appreciated by cattle provided that it is cut before lignification (Braga, 1960; Bogdan, 1977; Calvino, 1952).

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

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 27.4 1
Crude protein % DM 22.0 20.2 23.8 2
Crude fibre % DM 23.0 22.6 23.4 2
Ether extract % DM 2.3 1
Ash % DM 10.2 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.4 *
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 69.4 1
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 66.3 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 12.2 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 9.6 *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 72.9 72.8 73.0 2

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


Bogdan, 1977; Calvino, 1952

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:07

Datasheet citation 

Tran G., 2015. Feijão-de-boi (Desmodium pabulare). Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/302 Last updated on May 11, 2015, 14:31

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