Nutritive value of some selected indigenous livestock browse species in the drylands of Southern Province, Zambia

Publication Date : 30/01/2016

Author(s) :

Oswin Chibinga , Eva Nambeye.

Volume/Issue :
Volume 2
Issue 1
(01 - 2016)

Abstract :

Indigenous browse is an important source of quality nutrition of grazing animals in the dry season in arid and semi-arid regions. This study investigated the nutritive values of four important browse species in dry region of southern Zambia. Samples of fresh leaves were collected during the dry season (September to November). The frequency and the density of the browse trees in the grazing area was measured. Crude protein were similar for Julbernadia globiflora and Brachystegia spiciformis (11.70±0.14 and 11.42±0.31 respectively) but were higher than for Dichrostachys cinerea and Piliostigma thonningii (p<0.05). Crude fibre was found to be lowest in Dichrostachys cinerea with 18.16±0.16% which also contained the highest amount of tannins with 4.10±0.06% (p<0.05). Piliostigma thonningii had the highest levels of calcium of 1.76±0.03% and Dichrostachys cinerea had the least amount with 1.35±0.18% (p<0.05).The leaves of Brachystegia spiciformis had the highest digestibility of 67.95±0.85%, followed by Dichrostachys cinerea with 66.03±1.95%, Julbernadia globiflora with 49.47±1.06%, and Piliostigma thonningii with 24.82±2.62% (p<0.05). Overall, the browse species assessed are abundant and have a good potential to supply nutritious and fairly digestible feeds suitable for ruminant feeding in the dry season. Key words: Crude fibre, in vitro dry matter digestibility, tannins

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