Browsing capacity and nutritive value of indigenous browses in a tropical Coastal Savannah rangeland
AbstractThe study sought to identify indigenous browse species in the Coastal Savannah of Ghana, evaluate their browsing capacity and nutritive value during the dry season. It was hypothesized that indigenous browses maintain a high nutritive value and contribute immensely to livestock feed in the dry season. Data were collected within a 2 m band along a 100 m long transect in thirteen randomly selected sites. Data included; name, plant height, canopy height and canopy radius of browses. Indigenous browses identified were; Securinega virosa, Zanthoxylum xanthoxyloides, Flacourtia flavescens, Capparis erythrocarpos, Diospyros abyssinica, Mellittia thonningii, Urena lobata and Dichrostachys glomerata. Crude protein (CP) contents of browse leaves ranged from 85.4 (Diospyros abyssinica) to 161.2 g/kg (Urena lobata), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) ranged from 244.0 (Securinega virosa) to 488.2 g/kg (Dichrostachys glomerata), acid detergent fibre (ADF) content ranged from 121.0 (Securinega virosa) to 329.8 g/ kg (Dichrostachys glomerata) all on dry matter (DM) basis. The browses had an average browse unit of 447.1 per
hectare and a browsing capacity of 1 tropical livestock unit (TLU) per 1.4 hectares per month. It was concluded that indigenous browses maintain a high nutritive value in the dry season and have a huge potential in curbing
the dry season feed deficit.