Increase in livestock and human population and decrease in land under cultivation has resulted in acute shortage of feeds and fodder for livestock which further increases due to natural calamities like droughts and flood. The feeds which are traditionally not used for feeding animals are called unconventional feeds. Their use in livestock ration is increasing day by day due to shortage of animal feeds. The main source of such feeds is agricultural and forest by-products. Such feeds are not used either because of traditional beliefs of livestock owners or due to less palatability and presence of incriminating factors in them. It also happens that certain un-conventional feeds are being traditionally fed to animals in particular region but the same may be neglected in other regions. Recent studies indicated that quite a large number of agricultural by-products and industrial waste materials could be used for livestock feeding.
Unconventional feeds are described under the following categories:
1. Protein sources
2. Energy sources
3. Miscellaneous unconventional feeds