The current research was carried out at Rakh Khaire Wala, well known as one of the most developed animal husbandry in Punjab, Pakistan. This location in the arid region, where sheep farming is a common practice, was selected for this study. The aim of the study was to determine and collect data on the mineral contents of forages or feedstuffs that are harvested and used in animal nutrition in the region, in order to gain information on the deficiency and/or excess of mineral levels for ruminants grazing therein, fed mainly with these feedstuffs. These pastures were visited twice during the study, in summer and winter, to collect samples in order to determine the effect of seasonal changes on the mineral contents of forages. In each location, samples from the available forages were collected. Forage samples were analyzed in order to determine the Ca, Mg, Na, K, Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn levels using an Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. These results show that pasture grasses/forages had sufficient levels of K, Ca, Mg, Mn and Zn to meet requirements of ruminant animals, but the occurrence of marginal to deficient supplies of Na, and Cu appear very likely. There is an urgent requirement for experimentation on supplementation regimes involving these minerals, so that appropriate recommendations can be formulated.
Mineral Composition, Forage, Grazing, Pakistan