Identification of potential untapped herbaceous flora in the
mid rift valley of Ethiopia and their nutritive value
Belete Shenkute1*, Abubeker
Hassen2, Abule Ebro1, Tadese Asafa3
and Nura Amen4
of Animal and Wildlife Sciences, University of Pretoria,
Pretoria 0002, South Africa.
Agricultural Research Institute, Adami Tulu Research Centre,
P. Box. 35, Zeway, Ethiopia.
Meat and Dairy Technology Institute, P. Box. 1573, Debre
and Development Action (SEDA), Meki, Ethiopia.
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Accepted 26 June, 2011
This study was conducted with the objective to identify
untapped herbaceous flora that were used as livestock feed
and to determine their chemical composition in wet season.
Twelve peasant associations (PAs) and a total of 120
households were selected for the study. Key informants were
also used for vernacular name identification and
utilization. Samples were also taken from their edible parts
for analysis of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), total
ash, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF),
cellulose and lignin. A total of 17 different herbs and
forbs were identified which have a feed value for different
livestock species. The CP values of species ranged between
10.9 to 27.86% with the highest value being recorded in
Sida ovata Forssk. while the lowest value was recorded
in Gutenbergia rueppellii Sch.Bip. The NDF value
ranged from 26.1 to 53.16%. The highest NDF value was
recorded in G. rueppellii Sch.Bip. and the lowest was
recorded in Achyranthus aspera L. Generally, the
differences within species and among different species in
terms of chemical composition of these browses was
significant. Some of them contain crude protein
content of more than 190 g/kg DM, which has a capacity of
supplementing poor quality roughages.
Herbs, chemical composition, nutritive value, mid rift