Nutritional value and mineral profile of forest foliages in Temperate Sub Himalayaswca2014-1771 Biswanath Sahoo 1,*A K Garg 1A K Sharma 1R K Mohanta 1P Thirumurgan 2 1Animal Nutrition, 2Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Mukteshwar campus, Nainital, India
Tree leaves of eleven species (Celtis australis, Ficus nemoloris, Ficus palmate, Ficus roxburghii, Grewia oppositifolia, Quercus floribunda, Quercus semicarpifolia, Quercus glauca and Quercus leucotricophora, Alnus nepalensis, Bauhinia variegata) available in temperate sub Himalayas of India were evaluated for their chemical composition, in vitro organic matter digestibility, mineral profile and tannin content. A wide variation in the chemical composition and mineral profile was recorded among different tree leaves. The contents (% DM basis) of organic matter, crude protein, ether extract, neutral and acid detergent fibre (OM, CP, EE, NDF and ADF) ranged between 85.4 to 95.9, 9.5 to 21.1, 3.9 to 5.8, 38.4 to 69.4, 40.1 to 70.5, respectively. The macro mineral (Ca, P, Mg) level (%) ranged between 1.1-3.0, 0.2-1.5, 0.08-0.18, respectively, whereas, the micro mineral (Zn, Mo, Cu, Fe, Mn and I) level (ppm) ranged between 31.6-83.0, 3.8-7.9, 5.2-8.0, 121-177, 42-402 and 0.06-0.09, respectively. In vitro organic matter digestibility (%) ranged between 52.6 -77.2. The condensed tannin level was found to be low to moderate (1.5- 4.2%) in temperate hills. The crude protein level of G. oppositifolia, F. nemoloris, F. palmate, F. roxburghii, Bauhinia variegata and Celtis australis was found to be higher (P<0.05) than other species and the fibre fractions were negatively correlated with the protein content and in vitro organic matter digestibility. The macro mineral (Ca, Mg) and micromineral (Zn, Mo, Fe, Mn, Co and Se) content of tree leaves were higher than the normal range of requirement. However, the level of P, Cu and I was below critical level in most of the tree leaves. It may be concluded that the mineral contents were adequate in most of the foliage except P, Cu and I. Grewia oppositifolia, Ficus nemoloris, Ficus palmata and Ficus roxburghii can serve as good proteinaceous source with higher digestibility in animal’s diet.