The study was conducted to evaluate the nutritional value of indigenous leguminous tree leaves at Forest College and Research Institute Campus, Mettupalayam in the sylvan surroundings of Jakanarai Reserved Forest. It is located in the foot hills of Nilgiri hills about 38 km north of downtown Coimbatore, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The leaves of Indigenous leguminous fodder tree species i.e. Acacia nilotica, Albizia lebbeck, Dalbergio sissoo, Erythrina indica and Hardwickia binata were selected and identified for analyzing the proximate composition and structural constituents. The mean values for proximate composition i.e. dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), crude fiber (CF), ether extract (EE) and total ash (TA) in leguminous tree leaves ranged were 27.94 - 42.21%, 9.86 - 23.46%, 17.81 - 28.16%, 3.34 - 6.17%, 6.86 – 9.92% of DM respectively. The mean values from the crude fiber fractions i.e. Neutral detergent fibre (NDF), Acid detergent fiber (ADF), Acid detergent lignin (ADL) and Hemicellulose and Cellulose content of the foliages varied from 42.15 - 52.72%, 28.87 - 34.21%, 12.19 – 15.85%, 11.91 – 17.48%, 16.68 – 18.98% of DM respectively. The ranking order of these tree species on the basis of CP content was Erythrina indica > Albizia lebbeck > Acacia nilotica > Dalbergio sissoo > Hardwickia binata. It is concluded that moderate to high CP values of Dalbergio sissoo, Acacia nilotica, Albizia lebbeck, Erythrina indica foliages are potential source of protein for ruminant feed and Hardwickia binata tree leaves mainly used for supplement of fodder for ruminants.
Leguminous tree fodder, Proximate composition, Crude fiber fractions, Ruminant feed
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