Mineral and proximate composition of selected forages fed to West African dwarf bucks in Obio Akpa
The nutritive value of leaves from six forages was carried out. The forages were Andropogon tectorum, Panicum maximum, Aspilia aafricana, Gmelina aborea, Alchornea cordifolia and Bambusa vulgaris, and were collected from Obio-Akpa in Akwa Ibom State. The forages were analysed for proximate composition, mineral/vitamin concentrations and anti-nutritive components. Results showed no significant (p>0.05) differences in the dry matter content which ranged from 86.52 to 98.36%. A. africana and G. arborea recorded protein contents which was higher than the crude protein (CP) of other forages analysed. A range of 1.94 to 5.24% and 1.28 to 5.84% were recorded for ether extract (EE) and crude fibre (CF) values for the six forages. The values reported for minerals showed that B. vulgaris had the lowest value of calcium (0.45%) while A. tectorum was low in magnesium (Mg) and potassium (0.57 and 0.22%). Highest content of vitamin A and B12 was recorded in A. tectorum (1.17 and 2.11ìg/100g), respectively. The values reported for anti-nutritive factors ranged from 0.98 to 2.23 for tannins, 1.94 to 3.76 for Saponins, 0.01 to 1.23 for oxalates, 0.22 to 0.71 for hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and 1.05 to 1.55mg/g for phytates. The results showed that the forages studied have good nutrient contents and safe levels of anti-nutritional factors, thus they may be used as feed resources to enhance the production of ruminants.