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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2013  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 135 - 143

Mineral Profile of Browse Species Used as Feed by Grazing Livestock in Cholistan Rangelands, Pakistan

Muhammad Abdullah, Rashid Ahmad Khan, Shahid Yaqoob and Munir Ahmad    

Abstract: The Cholistan rangelands were observed to be degrading due to various stresses, whose effects could be seen as poor livestock production. Hence a preliminary survey was conducted in order to assess the nutrients concentration of major browses used as feed during the period of whole year for livestock grazing therein. The browse species were evaluated by their mineral composition including the macro minerals (P, K, Na, Ca and Mg) and micro minerals (Mn, Cu, Zn and Fe). The investigated species were consisting of Calligonum polygonoides, Suaeda fruticosa, Salsola baryosma, Haloxylon recurvum, Haloxylon salicornicum, Capparis decidua, Calotropis procera, Tamarix aphylla, Prosopis cineraria and Acacia nilotica. The browse samples were collected based on preferences by grazing animals, accessibility to browsing and abundance in the said area. The results of this study indicated that the concentration of almost all the minerals (micro and macro) except Na among selected browses was less than required level for ruminants grazing therein. This may be, one of the causes responsible for the pitiable health and productivity of livestock in Cholistan rangelands. The low quality forages require the attention of range manger to improve the habitat conditions and livestock breeds. It was proposed that fertilization of soil and vegetation with additional sources will not only improve the over all vegetation but also enhance the productivity of grazing animals and other wildlife. These rangelands have potential for improvement provided proper ecological management practices and with participation of local community.

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