Seasonal variation in nutrient composition in the leaves of two Bauhinia speciesNeeraj Yadav, Bhupendra Singh, Vinod Prasad Khanduri
Trees happen to be a prominent source of nutritive fodders and provide sufficient nutrients to the cattle throughout the year. The leaves of two Bauhinia species, that is, Bauhinia retusa and Bauhinia variegata, were collected in different seasons from their natural growing habitats. The collected leaves were air-dried to make a fine powder, and the nutrient concentrations were estimated as per the standard processes. Significant variations were recorded in the nutritive values of both species in different seasons. The leaves of B. retusa revealed highest dry matter and total carbohydrate in the summer season, while the rainy season exhibited the highest value of ash per cent and crude protein.The ether extract and nitrogen-free extract per cent were higher in the winter season, and the maximum crude fibre and organic matter per cent were prominent in the spring season. In case of B. variegata leaves, the dry matter, nitrogen-free extract, ash and ether extract per cent were higher in the winter season. The highest crude fibre percent and total carbohydrate were found to be the maximum in the rainy season, and crude protein was higher in summer season. The results of the present study revealed that the both Bauhinia species are good sources of green fodder for cattle, especially in the rainy season in case of B. retusa and in the summer season for B. variegata, to correct the deficiency of protein in animals in the hill state of Uttarakhand, India.