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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2007;20(6): 908-913.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2007.908    Published online May 2, 2007.
Evaluation of Macro Mineral Contents of Forages: Influence of Pasture and Seasonal Variation
Zafar Iqbal Khan*, M. Ashraf, Altaf Hussain
Correspondence:  Zafar Iqbal Khan,
Concentrations of major elements in forages were determined in relation to ruminant requirements at a livestock experimental station in Leiah district, Punjab-Pakistan using mapping techniques. The study investigated the influence of sampling periods and pasture types on the concentrations of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium in forages. The implications of these forages for nutrition of ruminants were assessed for the livestock population at that particular experimental station, which are supported by the farm pastures. Within the farm, variations in the element status of the forages were related to soil pasture types. A tentative assessment of the mineral status of available forages at this farm for different pastures using guidelines developed for domestic animals indicated deficiencies of only Na, but forages contained adequate Ca, Mg, and K levels required for grazing ruminants. The concentrations of Na in the forage reserves indicated that the potential supply of this element to plants was limited from the soil to plants and from plants to the animals grazing them. Soil minerals were not measured in this study. The potential use of fertilizers, as pasture amendment as well as supplementation of ruminants, with a specifically tailored mineral mixture is important to livestock producers and environmentalists as well, because their use may improve forage nutritive value and in turn meet requirements of animals.
Keywords: Forage; Macro-minerals; Arid Regions; Ruminants; Pastures

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