Livestock rearing is a common practice in Gadoon Hills by the locals to earn their livelihood. Low productivity due to poor health of livestock is major consideration in the study area. In order to know whether this low productivity and poor health might be due to poor quality of forage, eight shrubs, namely, Berberis lycium, Debregeasia salicifolia, Dodonea viscosa, Gymnosporia royleana, Indigofera heterantha, Justicia adhatoda,Rosa moschata and Zizyphus nummularia were analyzed for micro-mineral quantification at three phenological stages. The palatability of these species was recorded from the shepherds and after following the animals while grazing in the rangeland during this study. The samples were analyzed for Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb, Zn and Mn minerals. Cd contents ranged from 0.205 to 0.217, Cr: 0.006 to 0.967, Cu: 0.031 to 0.123, Fe: 1.819 to 12, Ni: 0.109 to 0.184, Pb: 0.08 to 0.8, Zn: 0.082 to 0.371 and Mn: 0.077 to 0.432 ppm in different investigated forage shrubs. ANOVA (P = 0.05) revealed significant difference in micro-mineral contents among the various phenological stages of the different shrubs while insignificant difference was observed for these micro-minerals among the different shrubs except Cu and Fe levels, which showed significant difference. It is concluded that micro-minerals concentrations available in these forage plants to the grazing livestock were very low, hence this may be, one of the causes responsible for the pitiable health and productivity of the grazing animals in Gadoon Hills, KPK, Pakistan.
Key words: Micro-mineral contents, forage shrubs, phenological stages, livestock health, Gadoon Hills.
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