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Effect of Calcium Hydroxide on Intake of Varied Mediterranean Shrubs Offered by Sheep and Goats

Rogošić, Jozo; Estell, R. E.; Ražov, Josip; Škobić, Dragan
Effect of Calcium Hydroxide on Intake of Varied Mediterranean Shrubs Offered by Sheep and Goats // Applied Animal Behaviour Science (2006) (znanstveni, prihvaćen)

Effect of Calcium Hydroxide on Intake of Varied Mediterranean Shrubs Offered by Sheep and Goats

Rogošić, Jozo ; Estell, R. E. ; Ražov, Josip ; Škobić, Dragan

Vrsta, podvrsta
Radovi u časopisima, znanstveni

Applied Animal Behaviour Science (2006)

Status rada

Ključne riječi
Biodiversity; calcium hydroxide; diet selection; goats; Mediterranean maquis; secondary compounds; sheep; shrubs

Maquis plant communities are one of the most varied vegetation types in the Mediterranean region and an important habitat for wild and domestic herbivores. Although the majority of these shrubs are nutritious, secondary compounds such as tannins can reduce their forage value. Understanding how tannins affect herbivores and how herbivores respond to these compounds is important for managing plant and animal populations in Mediterranean shrubland ecosystems. Six trials were conducted to determine the effect of calcium hydroxide on intake and how number of shrubs in the diet influence foliage intake by goats and sheep. In Trials 1 and 2, we offered 6 shrubs: Quercus ilex, Erica multiflora, Arbutus unedo, Juniperus phoenicea, Viburnum tinus, and Pistacia lentiscus. In Trials 3 and 4, we offered three shrubs: Quercus ilex, Arbutus unedo, and Pistacia lentiscus and in trials 5 and 6, only Pistacia lentiscus was offered. Total intake of six Mediterranean shrubs by goats was greater (P = 0.0001) than sheep (45.1 ± 1.1 g/kg b.w. versus 29.8 ± 0.7 g/kg b.w.), but when three shrubs were offered (trials 3 and 4), sheep and goats did not differ (P = 0.66, mean 38.9 ± 0.6 g/kg b.w.). Sheep and goats supplemented with calcium hydroxide consumed more (P = 0.03) shrub biomass than controls (41.9 ± 0.7 g/kg b.w. versus 35.9 ± 0.8 g/kg b.w). When offered only one shrub (Pistacia lentiscus) in trials 5 and 6, there was no effect from calcium hydroxide supplement (P = 0.29) for either species. Sheep and goats again differed in foliage consumption (8.4 ± 0.45 g/kg b.w. versus 18.4 ± 0.84 g/kg b.w.), with goats eating more (P= 0.001) than sheep. Both species of animals showed a numerical decrease in total shrub intake as biological diversity of the diet decreased, with or without supplemental calcium hydroxide. Consequently, this research supports the hypothesis that biological/biochemical diversity plays an important role in herbivore diet selection on Mediterranean rangelands, thus enabling animals to better meet their nutritional needs and avoid tannin toxicity. When fed three shrub species (decreased biochemical diversity), the concentration of tannins in diet probably increased and calcium hydroxide had a greater impact on shrub intake than when fed six shrubs. However, this effect was not found when fed animals were fed only one high tannin shrub (Pistacia lentiscus), as calcium hydroxide had no effect for either sheep or goats. Calcium hydroxide appeared to influence sheep and goats similarly throughout the trials, even through goats are better suited to utilize forage potential of the Mediterranean shrubs.

Izvorni jezik

Znanstvena područja
Poljoprivreda (agronomija)


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