Correlation between chemical composition and in vitro dry matter digestibility of leaves of semi-arid browses of north-eastern Nigeria.
Studies on selected browses of southeastern Nigeria with particular reference to their proximate and some endogenous anti nutritional constituents.
Keywords: Animal feed, Browse species, Cholistan rangelands, Palatability, Nutritive value.
These browse species are one of the most important and nutritionally rich resources of feed for livestock in Cholistan rangelands (Arshad et al., 2001).
The significance of browse foliage for livestock feeding is determined by their availability, palatability and nutritive composition.
Identification of Plants: Floristic surveys were conducted in different seasons to collect and identify the browse species of Cholistan Desert.
Degree of Palatability: Classification of browse species based on palatability, parts used and animal's preferences was recorded by direct observing the grazing livestock (cattle, sheep, goats and camel) in field for two consecutive years from 2012-2013.
Procurement of Samples: The samples of selected browse species were collected in spring seasons (February) 2013 from the different range sites of Cholistan desert.
Summer browse availability was measured between 25 July and 14 September 2012, and winter browse availability between 3 January and 22 March 2013.
At all sites we measured browse under 4 different protocols to produce 4 foraging path types: 1) large feeding stations along the foraging path, 2) random plots along the foraging path, 3) random feeding stations along the foraging path, and 4) plots along a straight transect through the area containing the foraging path.
At each large feeding station we counted the unbrowsed and browsed twigs of each browse species between 0.5 and 3 m above the ground (Table 1; Shipley et al.
Random plots on the foraging path--We created the random plot path type by stopping along the foraging path and repeating our browse measurements in random plots.
Some cover types had little available browse making the foraging path difficult to follow in summer when 10 of 30 foraging paths had <10 plots in all path types.
Biomass-diameter at point of browsing regressions, ANOVAs on browse density, Kruskal-Wallis comparisons of diet, Pearson [chi square] Goodness of Fit tests, and Bonferroni Z-tests were all performed in Jmp 10.0.
Regressions--Simulated diameters at point of browsing and dry masses of twigs from the unbrowsed winter twigs were [log.sub.10] transformed and used to make 2 separate diameter-biomass regressions for each of the main browse species.