Effect of season on the quality of forages selected by sheep in citrus plantations in Ghana

Leonard K. Adjorlolo, Tsatsu Adogla-Bessa, Kofi Amaning-Kwarteng, Benjamin Kwadwo Ahunu

Abstract


The study aimed at assessing the effects of season on chemical composition of forages selected by sheep grazing in a citrus plantation. Forage species growing in a sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) plantation were identified and sampled monthly for 2 years. Samples were bulked on monthly basis for chemical analysis. The average dry matter content of the forages increased from the rainy to the dry season but effects of season on the chemical components were inconsistent. Some species, such as Asystasia gangetica, had a higher crude protein concentration in the dry season, whereas for others, such as Panicum repens, the reverse occurred. However, average concentrations of crude protein, detergent fiber and components of fiber for all species for the rainy season were not significantly different from the dry season values. It was concluded that there were differences among forage species in their responses to changing seasons, such that grazing ruminants may select a diet to enable them to meet their nutritional requirements, provided forage biomass is adequate.

Keywords: Crop-livestock integration, tree plantations, chemical composition, seasonal effects, forage quality.

DOI: 10.17138/TGFT(2)271-277

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17138/tgft(2)271-277

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