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Effect of Season on the Chemical Composition and Nutritive Value of Shrub Foliage (Cotoneaster spp.) of Sub-Alpine Pasture of Kashmir Valley

Shahid Hassan Mir, Haider Ali Ahmed.

The present study was conducted to find out the variation in the chemical composition and nutritive value of Cotoneaster spp. in two different seasons viz. summer (June) and late autumn (November). The samples (leaves and soft twigs) were analyzed for proximate composition, fibre fraction and calcium and phosphorus. Nutritive evaluation in terms of DMD, DMI, DCP and energy content in terms of ME and TDN were estimated using regression equations. The study revealed that CP decreased by 6.8% from June to November, while DCP decreased by 9.83%. However, CF, NDF, ADF, ADL increased by 7.88%, 21.66%, 47.33% and 32.71%, respectively. DMD, DMI, TDN and ME decreased by 15.46%, 17.67%, 10.9% and 18.74%, respectively. Calcium content showed increasing trend while phosphorus content showed decreasing trend from June to November. The Relative feed quality index (RFQi) decreased from summer (120.65) to autumn (83.78). Thus, Cotoneaster pastures in summer are more nutritious and more readily consumed by grazing animals than in late autumn, hence animals must be given more time for grazing in late autumn than for summer to compensate the loss of nutrients.

Key words: Cotoneaster spp. ,Chemical Composition, Nutritive Value, Kashmir Valley, Season, Sub-Alpine Pasture

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