Nutritive value of selected naturally growing dry season pastures in flood plains of Kafue river in Southern Zambia

  • Smart Gondwe University of Zambia
  • Oswin Chifungwe Chibinga The University of Zambia
  • Francisco Kanyinji University of Zambia
Keywords: Digestibility, forage, livestock, wetland

Abstract

Wetlands are an important source of pastures for livestock forage in the dry season in arid and semi-arid regions. In this study forage samples were collected during the dry season (September to November) to evaluate the nutritive value for potential to supply livestock requirements during dry season under the transhumance system of livestock production in the Kafue Flood Plains in Mazabuka district of Southern Province. The frequency, height and cover of the grass species in upper and lower parts of the grazing area were measured. Proximate components, fibre fractions and in vitro dry matter digestibility were determined using standard laboratory procedures. The grass species found in the upper land were Acroceras macrum, and Vetiveria nigritana at the frequency of 60 and 56 percent, respectively. Panicum repens, Polygonum spp and Cyperus papyrus are the grass species that were found in the lower area at a frequency of 44, 52 and 80 percent. Ground cover was 69 and 100 % for upper and lower area, respectively. The Crude Protein was significantly different among the species Vetiveria nigritana (7.90%) and Polygonum salicifolium (8.46 %), Cyperus papyrus (6.12%) and were also higher than for Panicum repens (3.37%) and Acroceras macrum (3.32%) (p ˂ 0.05). Crude fiber ranged from 12.8% (Polygonum salicifolium) to 34.6% (Vetiveria nigritana). Polygonum salicifolium had higher in vitro dry matter digestibility (INVDMD) (50.8%) followed by Vetiveria nigritana (46.4%), Cyperus papyrus (44.5%), Panicum repens (39.9%) and Acroceras macrum (39.7%) at (p ˂ 0.05). These results clearly shown that the some of the grass species of the Kafue flat have good nutrition content and therefore are a good source of nutrition for ruminants in the dry season
Published
2023-10-27
How to Cite
1.
Gondwe S, Chibinga O, Kanyinji F. Nutritive value of selected naturally growing dry season pastures in flood plains of Kafue river in Southern Zambia. University of Zambia Journal of Agricultural and Biomedical Sciences [Internet]. 27Oct.2023 [cited 16Apr.2024];7(1). Available from: https://journals.unza.zm/index.php/JABS/article/view/1084
Section
Agriculture Sciences