Comparative nutritional evaluation of some lesser known non leguminous browse plants for ruminants.
Foliage of some non-leguminous plants was examined by their chemical composition and in vitro gas fermentation characteristics. Dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), crude fibre (CF) and ash level of the browse species ranged between 27.75 and 43.99, 5.43 and 20.93, 26.53 and 40.09, 5.37 and 11.52 % respectively. Neutral detergent fibre (NDF, 32.08-65.33 %), acid detergent fibre (ADF, 22.08-49.61 %) and acid detergent lignin (ADL, 5.76-12.60 %). The gas volume (GV) and methane produced at 24hrs incubation varied significantly (P<0.05) among the species with values 13.50-25.50 and 8.00-13.50 respectively. Organic matter digestibility (OMD, 36.13-54.22%), Metabolizable energy (ME, 4.72-6.74 %) and Short chain fatty (SCFA, 0.26-0.55 %) also varied greatly among plant species. The result revealed that some of the plants studied could be proved to be useful to ruminants as dietary supplement to poor quality dry season feed since their protein concentrations are above the minimum recommended level.
Key words:browse species, lesser known, dry season foliage and in vitro fermentation