IN- VITRO DIGESTIBLE ORGANIC MATTER AND ENERGY CONTENTS IN WILD GROWING FORAGES OF ARMENIA
2006, 7 (3) p. 445-450
Livestock production system in Armenia is based on forage plants derived from natural and modifi ed pastures and hayfields. At present, because of the lack of a suitable laboratory base, local forages have not been investigated in terms of in-vitro digestible organic matter (IVD), gross energy (GE) and digestible ener gy (DE) values. This study was carried out in the UK Reading University using 110 herbage samples including 37 grasses, 60 legumes and 13 forbs. Samples were col lec ted from the dry steppe (DS), meadow steppe (MS) and al pine (AL) zones of the Geghama Ridge and Mt. Aragats in Armenia. Mean organic matter (OM) content in different species varied within 880-936, IVD – 524-618, crude protein (CP) – 72-200 g/kg dry matter (DM), GE – 17.0-19.0 and DE – 9.5-11.2 MJ/kg DM. A substantial difference in OM, CP and GE contents was revealed between pure species and different botanical groups. Vertical zones also affected forage qua li ty: the CP content increased in all forages and OM content fell in grass and legume forages with increasing elevations. In all zones studied legumes showed higher values of CP and DE than grasses and forbs.