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Potential values of some non-leguminous browse plants as dry season feed for ruminants in Nigeria

DO Ogunbosoye
OJ Babayemi


A study was conducted to assess the nutritive potential of some tropical non-leguminous multipurpose trees: Bombax glabra, Adansonia digitata, Ceiba pentandra, Kigelia africana, Newbouldia leavis, Treculia africana, Milicia exselsa, Mangifera indica, Spondia mombin, Terminalia superba, Terminalia catappa, Tabebuia rosea and Ficus thonningii. A wide variation was observed in the chemical composition, secondary compounds and gas production characteristics. Crude protein (CP) concentration ranged from 6.35 – 16.41 g/100g DM. The ash content varied between 5.27 and 12.46
g/100g DM. The content of neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF) and lignin ranged from 40.49 - 69.31, 28.39 - 52.62 and 6.14 - 16.83 g/100g DM, respectively. At least each possessed steroid as anti-nutrient as revealed from the study. It was observed that five browse species had tannins while eight showed traces of saponin. The degradability of the browse spp can be grouped into 3: High fermentation (> 20.00 ml) for S. mombin, B. glabra, A. digitata, C. pentandra, K. africana and M. exselsa; moderate fermentation (17.00 - 19.00 ml) for T. superba, T. catappa, T. rosea, F. thonningii, T. Africana and M. indica; low fermentation (< 16) was observed in N. leavis. The highest potential gas
production, rate of gas production, metabolizable energy and short chain fatty acid were observed in S. mombin. From the result obtained, it is suggested that some of the browse species could be utilized by ruminants as feed supplement during both wet and dry seasons. S. mombin being high in gas production could be supplemented with energy rich feed like guinea grass in order to sustain livestock production.

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