Himalayan dock (Rumex nepalensis): the flip side of obnoxious weed

  • Wangchuk, Kesang (Renewable Natural Resources Research and Development Center)
  • Received : 2015.06.04
  • Accepted : 2015.09.15
  • Published : 2015.11.30


Himalayan dock (Rumex nepalensis) was evaluated for forage value and antinutrients under three, five and seven weeks cutting intervals in the temperate environment. Dry matter (DM) content was measured for each cutting interval. Forage quality parameters such as Crude Protein (CP), Acid Detergent fiber (ADF), Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF), Calcium (Ca) and Phosphorus (P) were analyzed. Plants with seven weeks cutting interval gave higher DM yield. CP and P content were significantly higher for three weeks cutting intervals. Average CP contents were 31.38 %, 30.73 % and 27.32 % and average P content 0.58 %, 0.52 % and 0.51 % for three, five and seven weeks cutting intervals, respectively. Ca content did not differ significantly between cutting intervals. The average Ca content were 0.91 %, 0.90 % and 90 %, for three, five and seven weeks cutting intervals, respectively. Tannin and mimosine contents were not significantly different between cutting intervals. Average tannin contents were 1.32 %, 1.27 % and 1.26 % and mimosine 0.38 %, 0.30 % and 0.28 % for three, five and seven weeks cutting intervals, respectively. The study concluded that R. nepalensis could be a potential source of protein for livestock. The study also suggests seven weeks harvesting interval to provide plants with high dry matter yield, high forage quality and very low levels of anti-nutrients.


Acid detergent fiber;Anti-nutrient;Crude protein;Dry matter;Neutral detergent fiber;Rumex nepalensis


  1. AOAC. Official methods of analysis of AOAC International. Gaithersburg, Maryland: Association of Official Analytical Chemists; 1995.
  2. Matsumoto H, Sherman GD. A rapid colorimetric method for the determination of mimosine. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1951;33:195-200.
  3. Burn ER. Methods for estimation of tannin in grain sorghum. Agron J. 1971;63:511-2.
  4. Landau S, Everitt S. A Handbook of Statistical Analyses using SPSS. New York, USA: CRC Press Company Chapman & Hall/CRC; 2004
  5. Upreti CR, Shrestha BK. Nutrient Contents of Feeds and Fodder in Nepal. Kathmandu, Nepal: Nepal Agriculture Research Council; 2006.
  6. Topps JH. Assessment of forage legumes as protein-rich supplement in ruminant production systems in Zimbabwe. In: Ndikumana J, de Leeuw P, editors. Proceedings of the Second African Feed Resources Network (AFRNET) Workshop. Harare, Zimbabwe: African Feed Resources Network (AFRNET); 1993. p. 201.
  7. Norton BW. Differences between species in forage quality. In: Hacker JB, editor. Nutritional limits to animal production from pastures. Farnham Royal: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux; 1982. p. 89-110.
  8. Linn J. Ration Guidelines for Milking and Dry Cows. Minnesota Dairy Initiatives Dairy Diagnostics Tool Box. Minnesota, USA: Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota; 2015
  9. Wangchuk P, Nidup K. Evaluation of Broiler Feeds. Proceedings of the 2nd Annual National Livestock Coordination Workshop (Research and Extension). 2007:50-53.
  10. Raju J, Sahoo B, Chandrakar A, Sankar M, Garg AK, Sharma AK, et al. Effect of feeding oak leaves (Quercus semecarpifolia vs Quercus leucotricophora) on nutrient utilization, growth performance and gastrointestinal nematodes of goats in temperate sub Himalayas. Small Ruminant Res. 2015;125:1-9.
  11. Barry TN, Manley TR. The role of condensed tannins in the nutritional value of Lotus pedunculatus for sheep 2. Quantitative digestion of carbohydrate and Protein. Brit J Nutr. 1984;51:493-504.
  12. Lohan OP, Lall D, Pall RN, Negi SS. Note on tannins in tree fodders. Indian J Anim Sci. 1980;50:881-3.
  13. Seresinhe T, Pathirana KK. Forage tannins in ruminant nutrition. Trop Agr Res Ext. 2003;6:29-43.
  14. Szyszka M, Termeulen U. The reaction of sheep to the consumption of the toxic mimosine in Leucaena leucocephala. J Anim Physiol An N. 1985;53:65-9.
  15. Samdup T, Udo HMJ, Eilers CHAM, Ibrahim MNM, VandZijpp AJ. Crossbreeding and intensification of smallholder crop-cattle farming systems in Bhutan. Livest Sci. 2010;132:126-34.
  16. Roder W, Wangdi K, Gyamtsho P and Dorji K. Feeding the Herds: Improving Fodder Resources in Bhutan, ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal: 2001.
  17. Frame J and Newbould P. Agronomy of white clover. Adv. Agron. 1986;40:1-88.
  18. Parker C. Weeds of Bhutan. Thimphu, Bhutan, United Kingdom: Royal Government of Bhutan, National Plant Protection Center; 1992.
  19. Humaira S, Rahmatullah Q, Shahid I, Mirza FQ. Seasonal availability and palatability of native flora of Santh Saroola Kotli Sattian, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Afr J of Plant Sci. 2014;8:92-102.
  20. Al Haj Khaled R, Duru M, Decruyenaere V, Journey C, Cruz P. Using leaf traits to rank native grasses according to their nutritive value. Rangeland Ecol Manag. 2006;59:648-54.
  21. Hameed I, Dastagir G. Nutritional analyses of Rumex hastatus D. Don, Rumex dentatus Linn and Rumex nepalensis Spreng. Afr J Biotechnol. 2009;8:4131-33.
  22. Abbasi AM, Shah MH, Khan MA. Wild Edible Vegetables of Lesser Himalayas: Ethnobotanical and Nutraceutical Aspects 2015;1:1-360.
  23. Martens SD, Tiemann TT, Bindelle J, Peters M, Lascano CE. Alternative plant protein sources for pigs and chickens in the tropics - nutritional value and constraints: a review. J Agr Rural Dev Trop. 2012;113:101-23.
  24. MoA. Dzongkhag data sheets for Bumthang. Thimphu, Bhutan: Ministry of Agriculture; 1994.
  25. Wangchuk K. Species Composition of Improved Dairy Pasture in Bumthang, Bhutan. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: The University of Melbourne; 2005.
  26. Goering HK, Van Soest PJ. Forage fiber analysis (apparatus, reagents, procedures, and some applications). Washington DC: USDA Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture; 1970
  27. Van Soest PJ, Robertson JB, Lewis BA. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber and non-starch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. J Dairy Sci. 1991;74:3583-97.