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Title

GRAZING BEHAVIOR OF MAKUYI SHEEP BREED (CASE STUDY: MOUNTAINOUS RANGELANDS OF KELID DAGHI, JOLFA)

Pages

 Start Page 725 | End Page 738

Abstract

 Investigation of the grazing behavior of grazing animals on the rangeland is one of the basic necessities of grazing management in different climatic regions. The current study with the aim of exploring the grazing behavior of MAKUYI SHEEP BREED was conducted in the mountainous rangelands of Kelid Daghi of Jolfa as representative rangelands for MAKUYI SHEEP BREED dispersion in East Azerbayjan Province. For this purpose, a herd with 300 sheep including three mature ewes (3 years old) was chosen and tagged. In the next stage, by attaching GPS to each of them, their travelled distance, the movement speed of the sheep while grazing, grazing duration of particular plant species, period of rest and rumination during grazing months were derived. The results indicated that the time spent for grazing, at the final stages of the GRAZING SEASON is longer than at the earlier stages of the GRAZING SEASON. Nearing the final stages of the GRAZING SEASON, distance travelled by the sheep during the day increased. The average speed of the sheep movement at the earlier stages of the GRAZING SEASON was less than their speed at the final stages of the GRAZING SEASON, due to the day length change and, consequently, the daily temperature change, and the change in the vegetation composition of the rangeland and, consequently, the change in forage quality and quantity. Based on the obtained results, the movement path of the sheep, the elevation profile of the path for the livestock movement during the GRAZING SEASON months had the same trend and considerable changes were not observed in it. The small area of the study site, and also livestock lead by shepherd along a specified path during the GRAZING SEASON are effective factors in this regard. Awareness of the mentioned cases is helpful for determining appropriate areas of livestock movement and proper dispersion of livestock in the rangeland, and that if the current dispersion of livestock by shepherd in the rangeland is properly carried out, and leads to livestock efficiency improvement.

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