Partial nutritional evaluation of some browser plant species utilized by communal livestock in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Author: S. Mthi, J.M. Rust & T.L. Morgenthal
Year: 2016
Issue: 1
Volume: 9
Page: 25 - 30

The aim of the study was to establish the nutritional value of different browse species utilized by communal livestock farmers, in various local municipalities of Amathole and O.R. Tambo districts of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Leaves from twelve different browse species i.e. Vachellia karroo, Prunus persica, Ziziphus mucronata, Diospyros dichrophylla, Vepris lanceolata, Haemanthus coccineus, Grewia occidentalis, Schotia latifolia, Calpurnia aurea, Olea europaea subsp. africana, Cordia rudis and Mimusops obovata, were identified and collected during the dry season (June). The chemical composition of these samples was determined using standard laboratory analytical techniques. Nutritional elements of importance analyzed included: Ash, Ca (Calcium), Mg (Magnesium), K (Potassium), Na (Sodium), P (Phosphorous), Zn (Zinc), Cu (Copper), CP (Crude Protein), CF (Crude Fiber), Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) and Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF). It was found that, CP, CF and Ash content of the leaves ranged from 1.9-18.5%, 1.7-47.6% and 6.0-20.5% respectively. The NDF and ADF ranged from 17.6-37.26% and 17.6-69.54% respectively. Minerals such as Ca, Mg, K, Na and P ranged from 1.2-9.71%; 0.0-1.436%; 0.0-2.08%; 0.0-0.072% respectively, whilst Zn, Cu, Fe and Mn values were 0.7-23.6 ppm, 6-1 ppm, 3.0-566.9 ppm and 4-662 ppm respectively. In the light of the present data, it can be concluded that certain browse species are within normal range in nutritionally important elements. However, in some plants, imbalances do occur and additional supplementary feeding should be considered.

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