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Paper Information

Journal:   RANGELAND   SPRING 2011 , Volume 5 , Number 1; Page(s) 57 To 68.
 
Paper: 

EFFECT OF WEATHER CONDITION ON DIET SELECTION BY SHEEP AND GOATS IN JAVAHERDEH RANGELAND OF RAMSAR, IRAN

 
 
Author(s):  ASKARIZADEH D.*, HESHMATI GH.A.
 
* GORGAN UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES SCIENCES, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

Knowledge of grazing behavior and diet selection of animal has an important role in grazing management of rangeland ecosystems. In order to investigate grazing behavior and diet selection of sheep and goats under various weather conditions, upland rangeland of Javaherdeh (Ramsar) was selected. The study was carried out under three weather conditions (sunny, cloudy and semi-cloudy) at summer time. Investigation was carried out based on four main plant life forms (perennial grasses, perennial forbs, shrubs and bushy trees) during grazing periods (end of Jun, July, and August 2009). Grazing behavior and diet selection of animal were studied by direct vision from 0.5 to 2 m distance with half an hour concentration on target animal. Range condition was analyzed by Range Value method as well as variation of range condition was obtained by Trend Balance method in each grazing period. Data obtained from different weather conditions, animals and plant life forms were analyzed using ANOVA in PASW v.18 software. Results showed that animal graze on different strata of vegetation in their own grazing land, and that weather and rangeland condition effectively changed grazing behavior and diet selection of animals. Also under undisturbed condition, sheep preferred to graze on the forbs while goats preferred to browse on the shrubs and bushy trees. Hence, studying of grazing behavior and diet selection of animal has an important role in regulation of grazing program and suitable using of forage capacity of the rangeland ecosystems.

 
Keyword(s): WEATHER CONDITION, GRAZING BEHAVIOR, DIET SELECTION, DIRECT VISION, SHEEP AND GOAT, RANGELAND, NORTHERN ALBORZ, JAVAHERDEH
 
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