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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2004;17(6): 777-783.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2004.777    Published online January 1, 2004.
Evaluation of Forest Tree Leaves of Semi-hilly Arid Region as Livestock Feed
M. P. S. Bakshi, M. Wadhwa
Samples of 13 species of forest tree leaves fed to livestock in the semi-hilly arid zone of Punjab State in India were collected at 30 d interval for 12 months, in order to assess their nutritional worth for livestock. The ground samples were pooled for 4 different seasons viz. dry hot, hot humid, fall and winter. The chemical composition irrespective of the season revealed that CP content varied between 8.9 (Carrisa) to 22.0% (Leucaena). Globulin was the major protein fraction in most of the leaves. The lowest concentration of cell wall constituents was observed in Morus alba and Grewea. The leaves in general became fiberous and lignified during winter and fall as compared to summer season. The leaves of Grewea, Morus alba, Leucaena, Carrisa and Acacia were rich in Ca, P and most of the trace elements. The total phenolics ranged between 1.88% (Azardirachta) to 15.82% (Acacia). The leaves of Acacia had the highest concentration of hydrolysable tannins (14.6%) whereas that of Carrisa had that of condensed tannins (5.9%). The condensed tannins (more than 3%) were negatively correlated to the digestibility of dry matter (DM), neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and crude protein (CP). The digestion kinetic parameters for DM, NDF and CP revealed that leaves of Morus alba, Zizyphus and Ehretia had highest insoluble but potentially degradable fraction. The minimum rumen fill values also revealed that leaves of Grewea, Azardirachta, Morus, Ehretia and Leucaena had great potential for voluntary DM intake. The leaves of Ougeinia, Malha, Dodenia and Carrisa had significantly higher rumen fill value indicating poor potential for voluntary DM intake. Season did not have any significant impact on digestion kinetic parameters except that most of the leaves had low potentially degradable fraction, which was degraded at slow rate during winter. It was concluded that the leaves of Morus, Ehretia, Grewea and Leucaena had great potential as livestock feed, while feeding of Ougeinia, Malha and Dodonea leaves should be avoided
Keywords: Forest Tree Leaves; Protein Fractions; Tannins; Mineral Profile; In-sacco Degradability

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