Frequency of collection, distance from source of collectionc, seasonality and preference rating of identified forage species in Nsukka rural communities of Enugu State, Nigeria
A study of forage plants in Nsukka rural communities was conducted between February and March 2005. Interview schedules were administered to farmers in four communities in Nsukka Local Government Area. Forage collection is done twice in all the sampled communities. The source of forage in the area is generally close to the farmers' residence, being 800 metres away. Most of the species are available and utilized all the year round. Leaves of all the species are consumed while twigs and tubers/roots constitute additional feed sources, comprising 26.1%, and 2.2% of all the species, respectively. Generally, most plant families are very palatable with a mean score of 4.0. Fairly palatable and palatable species (with mean scores of 2.0 and 3.0, respectively) constitute 32.0% while two families, Icancinaceae and Malvaceae, contain poorly palatable or avoided species and these constitute 8.0% of all the families. The following species: Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Moraceae, and Poaceae, had very large number of palatable and very palatable species.
Keywords: seasonality of availability, preference rating.
Agro-Science Vol. 5 (2) 2006: pp. 33-39