Preliminary studies into bush utilization by cattle in Zambia.
A study was made in the Northern Province, during Aug. and Oct. 1968, of the suitability of miombo woodland (Brachystegia/Julbernardia) for cattle rearing. Estimates of the extent of browsing of tree species were obtained for four 1-year-old zebu steers placed successively for 2-day periods, in three 0.2-ha paddocks, where trees of d.b.h. > 10 in had been decapitated at a height of 1 m during the previous season. Mean density of trees in the paddocks was equivalent to 762 trees/ha comprising 38 species, and data are tabulated for the frequency of occurrence and degree of utilization of each. Chemical analyses were made of leaf and grass samples to determine contents of crude protein and available energy. Although the species composition of the paddocks varied widely, it is suggested that browse could make a significant contribution to the protein and energy requirements of grazing cattle at a time when the grass is at its poorest.