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Chemical composition and in vitro ruminal fermentation of common tree forages in the semi-arid rangelands of Swaziland

Tefera, S., Mlambo, V., Dlamini, B. J., Dlamini, A. M., Koralagama, K. D. N. and Mould, F. L. (2008) Chemical composition and in vitro ruminal fermentation of common tree forages in the semi-arid rangelands of Swaziland. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 142 (1-2). pp. 99-110. ISSN 0377-8401

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2007.07.011


Browse plants play an important role in providing feed for livestock in semi-arid rangelands of Africa. Chemical composition and in vitro ruminal fermentation of leaves collected from Acacia burkei, Acacia tortilis, Acacia nilotica, Dichrostachys cinerea and Ehretia obtusifolia in communal grazing lands in the lowveld of Swaziland is presented. Leaves were collected from trees located on two soil types (i.e., lithosol and vertisol) in the communal land but it had no effect on the chemical composition of tree leaves. The NDFom and ADFom content were highest in D. cinerea and A. burkei and lowest in E. obtusifolia and A. nilotica. Crude protein (CP) contents ranged between 108 g/kg and 122 g/kg DM. D. cinerea had the highest Ca and Mg content, while A. tortilis had the lowest. There were marked variations in K level amongst browse species, with A. tortilis (9.1 g/kg DM) having the highest value. The P, Zn and Fe did not differ between browse species. Soil type and tree species interaction impacted in vitro fermentation parameters. Extent of fermentation, as measured by 48 h cumulative gas production, and organic matter degradability was highest in E. obtusifolia leaves and lowest in D. cinerea leaves within soil type. Fermentation efficiency, as measured by partitioning factors, was highest in A. nilotica leaves. Leaves of E. obtusifolia could be a valuable supplementary feedstuff for ruminant livestock due to its in vitro fermentation characteristics as well as low fibre and moderate CP levels. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:9267
Uncontrolled Keywords:browse leaves, chemical composition, in vitro fermentation, soil type, GAS-PRODUCTION, ANIMAL NUTRITION, AFRICAN BROWSE, OLIFANTS DRIFT, CATTLE, FIBER, PHENOLICS, BOTSWANA, TANNINS, LEAVES

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