Assen Ebrahim, Amsalu Sisay, Marwa Asfaw


Background. Utilization of indigenous browse species have considerable potential to improve the nutritional deficiencies of low quality ruminant feeds under farmers’ condition. However, there is scarcity of scientific information on their nutritive value and ultimate impact on animals’ performance in Southern Tigray, Ethiopia. Objective. To evaluate the chemical composition, in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) and in sacco degradability of selected indigenous browse species as animal feed in Southern Tigray, Ethiopia. Methodology. Chemical analysis, IVDMD and in sacco degradability evaluation were done, following standard procedures, on leaf samples collected from nine dominantly available browse species (Ziziphus spina-Chiristi, Acacia tortilis, Balanites aegyptiaca, Grewia mollies, Carissa spinarum, Acacia etbaica, Pittosporum viridiflorum, Olea europaea and Dodonaoea angustifolia) during the main rainy season (end of September, 2020). Results. The crude protein (CP) contents of the browse species ranged from 9.96 to 23.32% on dry matter (DM) basis. The fiber components were highest for P. viridiflorum and lowest for D. angustifolia. The highest values of IVDMD (64.75%) and metabolizable energy (9.01 MJ/Kg DM) were recorded for Z. spina –Chiristi. All in vitro digestibility parameters were positively correlated with CP content but negatively correlated with acid detergent lignin (ADL) contents of the browses. The highest in sacco DM disappearance was recorded for Z. spina–Chiristi   at 48 and 72 hours. The concentration of calcium (Ca) ranged from 0.69% for O. europaea to 0.98% for G. mollis. The mean Ca to Phosphorus (P) ratio was 2.7:1. Implications. The information generated in this study is useful for efficient utilization of these valuable indigenous browse species in the study area. Conclusions. All studied browse species could be considered as potential feed sources to supplement low quality roughages. 


Indigenous browse; In vitro digestibility; In sacco degradability

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