African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576

Full Length Research Paper

Nutritional characteristics of four browse plants consumed by free-ranging ruminants in Western part of Nigeria

Isah O. A.1, Fayemi P. O.2*, Gazaly M. B.1 and Aderinboye R. Y.1
  1Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production, University of Agriculture, P. M. B. 2240, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. 2Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Forte Hare, P. O. Box X1314, Alice 5700, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 January 2012
  •  Published: 26 March 2012



The current study was undertaken to evaluate the chemical composition, in vitro dry matter degradation and gas production of four browse species (Azadirachta indica, Ficus exasperate, Synedrella nodiflora and Boerhavia diffusa). The results showed that ash, crude protein, dry matter and neutral detergent fibre contents were significantly different (pË‚ 0.05) among all the species. A. indica had the highest crude protein concentrations exceeding 30%. In vitro gas production was different (p< 0.05) between B. diffusa and S. nodiflora from 9 to 48 h of incubation. S. nodiflora however, recorded the highest (p< 0.05) values for dry matter degradability of 65.0% at 48 h; organic matter digestibility of 45.86%; the predicted dry matter intake of 4.0% body weight and the lowest (p<0.05) rate of  digestion (0.01 ml/h). It was concluded that, all the browse species would provide good nutrition for browsing ruminants, but of these four plants, S. nodiflora appeared to be the best browse species with the lowest potential for methane emission.


Key words: Browse plants, gas production, in vitro degradation, methane emission.