Theme 2: Forage--Oral Sessions

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Camels are both grazers and browsers of a broad spectrum of forages. The objective of this study was to identify and to determine the chemical composition of the most preferred forage species by lactating Somali camels in Laikipia County, Kenya. Lactating Somali camels and their calves were observed during the wet and dry seasons while browsing for a period of two weeks. The forage species were ranked based on the bite count. The most browsed forages identified through observation were sampled for identification by the local and scientific names and laboratory analysis. They were analyzed for proximate composition, detergent fiber fractions, and in vitro dry matter digestibility. The most browsed forage species were Acacia nubica, Acacia seyal, Cucumis aculeatus, Euclea divinorum, Hibiscus parrifolia in the wet season and Barleria acanthoides, Balanites aegyptiaca, Cynodon dactycon, Lycium europium, Pollichia campestris in the dry season. Shrubs constituted 60%, trees 30%, and grasses 10% of the most preferred forage species. The preferred browsed species had high crude protein (7.1±0.4 to 25.7±1.2%) and low neutral detergent fiber concentrations (29.1±2.7 to 74.0±7%). The results of the study show camels fed on different types of forage species and that the forage nutritive value affected the selection.

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Nutritive Composition and In Vitro Dry Matter Digestibility of the Most Browsed Forage Species by Lactating Camels

Camels are both grazers and browsers of a broad spectrum of forages. The objective of this study was to identify and to determine the chemical composition of the most preferred forage species by lactating Somali camels in Laikipia County, Kenya. Lactating Somali camels and their calves were observed during the wet and dry seasons while browsing for a period of two weeks. The forage species were ranked based on the bite count. The most browsed forages identified through observation were sampled for identification by the local and scientific names and laboratory analysis. They were analyzed for proximate composition, detergent fiber fractions, and in vitro dry matter digestibility. The most browsed forage species were Acacia nubica, Acacia seyal, Cucumis aculeatus, Euclea divinorum, Hibiscus parrifolia in the wet season and Barleria acanthoides, Balanites aegyptiaca, Cynodon dactycon, Lycium europium, Pollichia campestris in the dry season. Shrubs constituted 60%, trees 30%, and grasses 10% of the most preferred forage species. The preferred browsed species had high crude protein (7.1±0.4 to 25.7±1.2%) and low neutral detergent fiber concentrations (29.1±2.7 to 74.0±7%). The results of the study show camels fed on different types of forage species and that the forage nutritive value affected the selection.