Research Note

Nutritional evaluation of Ficus thonningii Blume leaves as ruminant livestock feed in the Ahferom district of Tigray, Ethiopia

  • Daniel H Berhe
  • Agena A Tanga

Abstract

We evaluated the fodder quality of Ficus thonningii Blume in the Ahferom district of Tigray, Ethiopia. Determination of foliar macronutrients and proximate chemical compositions was undertaken using five diameter classes (11–20, 21–30, 31–40, 41–50 and 51–60 cm at breast height). In both cases, four replications in randomised complete blocks were considered. Data on foliar nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), digestible crude protein (DCP), ether extract (EE), crude fibre (CF), ash content and nitrogen free extract (NFE) were collected. Results revealed that the tree diameter size had an effect on foliar N, P, K, DM, CP, DCP, EE and CF, whereas it had no effect on ash content and NFE. The results also showed that F. thonningii leaves are a good source of nutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates and minerals) as well as fibre and are within the recommended range for ruminant livestock growth and development. Hence, use of F. thonningii as a supplement/substitute livestock feed to low-quality grasses during the periods of feed scarcity should be widely considered.

Keywords: leaf proximate composition, macronutrients, tree fodder

African Journal of Range & Forage Science 2013, 30(3): 149–154

Author Biographies

Daniel H Berhe
Axum Agricultural Research Centre, PO Box 230, Axum, Ethiopia
Agena A Tanga
Plant Science, Arba Minch University, PO Box 21, Arba Minch, Ethiopia
Published
2013-11-13
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1727-9380
print ISSN: 1022-0119