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Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 12  |  Page No.: 1158 - 1164

Chemical Composition, Digestion and Mineral Content of Native Forbs Consumed by Range Sheep

Roque G. Ramirez and Maria A. Nunez-Gonzalez    

Abstract: Native forbs from northeastern Mexico such as Coldenia greggii (T and G) Gray., Dyssodia pentachyata (DC) Robins, Happlopapus spinolosus (Greene) Hall., Heliotropium angiospermun (Murr.), Palafoxia texana DC., Polyanthes maculosa (Hook) Shinners., Ruellia corzoi (Tram and Burlk.), Sida filicaulis (T and G.) and Zephyranthes arenicola (Hemsl.) that are consumed by range sheep were evaluated to estimate the seasonal content of ash, Crude Protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), lignin, Ca, P, K, Mg, Na, Cu, Fe, Zn, Mn and the rate and extent of Dry Matter (DM) digestion. The nylon bag technique was used to estimate effective degradability of DM (EDDM). In all forbs during spring and autumn when precipitation was higher, ash (25 and 27%), CP (16 and 18%) and EDDM (71 and 74%, respectively) were higher than other seasons. On the contrary, NDF (37 and 36%) and lignin (6 and 6%, respectively) were lower. It was estimated that an adult range sheep, consuming these forbs, could eat substantial amounts of Ca, K, Mg, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn in all seasons. Phosphorous (in all seasons) and Na (in winter and summer) were marginally deficient in most forbs. Because of their high nutritional quality especially, during spring and autumn, all evaluated forbs could be considered prominent food resources for range sheep.

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