Nutritional evaluation of some Indian tree leaves and herbs as fodder and defaunating agent in sheep

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  • A SANTRA Principal Scientist, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Eastern Regional Station, West Bengal
  • S A KARIM Principal Scientist, ICAR-Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar, Rajasthan 304 501 India


Ciliate protozoa, Enzyme profile, Fodder quality, Herbs, In vitro rumen fermentation, Tree leaves


Nutritional evaluation as a fodder and defaunating agent of four multipurpose tree leaves namely Ficus religiosa (Pipal), Ficus bengalensis (Bargad), Mangifera indica (Mango), Enterolobium timoba (Jungle jalebi) and two herbs namely Agave americana (Ramkanta) and Plantago major (Isafghol) was done in vitro. The mean content of OM, CP, EE, NDF, ADF, cellulose and lignin of these tree leaves and herbs were 88.6, 12.6, 2.4, 46.2, 33.5, 25.8 and 7.3% on DM basis, respectively. Enterolobium timoba leaves contained highest amount of CP (22.5%) while highest amount of ADF and lignin content was observed in Ficus bengalensis (41.1% / 12.1%) leaves. Total rumen protozoa as well as Holotrich and spirotrich protozoa number became zero due to inclusion of Agave americana and Enterolobium timoba leaves in the incubation media. Total volatile fatty acids (TVFA) and propionate production was higher where as NH3–N production was lower due to addition of Agave americana leaves in the incubation media. Highest IVTDMD and IVTOMD (61.4% / 64.1%) were observed for the Agave americana followed by Enterolobium timoba (59.8% / 62.5%) and Plantago major (57.5% / 59.2%) leaves. Activity of polysaccharide degrading enzymes like carboxymethyl cellulase and xylanase improved due to addition of Agave americana and Enterolobium timoba leaves in the incubation media. However, activity of β-glucosidase enzyme was similar among all the tested tree leaves and herbs. As a defaunating agent (removal of rumen protozoa / anti ciliate protozoal activity), Agave americana leaves were more effective in comparison to Plantage major leaves. The results indicated that among the tested tree leaves and herbs, Agave americana, Enterolobium timoba and Plantago major were good tree fodder for feeding to the animals and leaves of Agave americana and Enterolobium timoba could be used as defaunating agent for reducing rumen protozoal population to improve animal productivity.


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How to Cite

SANTRA, A., & KARIM, S. A. (2019). Nutritional evaluation of some Indian tree leaves and herbs as fodder and defaunating agent in sheep. The Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, 89(10), 1128–1134.