Date of Award:

5-1990

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Committee Chair(s)

John C. Malechek

Committee

John C. Malechek

Committee

Mike Arambel

Committee

Jim Pfister

Committee

Fred Provenza

Committee

Phil Urness

Abstract

Small-ruminant production is an important part of the agricultural economy of northeastern Brazil. However, mild-to-severe undernutrition of livestock is an annual occurrence. Goats can tolerate the marginal forage conditions better than sheep, but the mechanisms underlying their superior tolerance are not understood.

An analysis of animal liveweights at the end of the year-long study indicated that reproducing mixed-race goats gained nearly twice (P

In the wet season, reproducing sheep and goats gained similar (P>.05) weight, while non-reproducing sheep gained more (P~.05) than non-reproducing goats. Non-reproducing goats had greater (P.05) digestible protein intake (DPI) as sheep.

In the dry season, reproducing sheep and goats lost similarbn(P> . 05) weight but only the five better performing sheep were weighed at the end of the dry season. The five poorer performers were removed from the study and given supplemental feed to keep them alive. The non-reproducing sheep lost weight during the dry season, while the non-reproducing goats gained weight . Non-reproducing sheep and goats had similar (P>.05) OMI and DEI during the dry periods. In the late-dry period when forage quality was lowest, the animals experienced their greatest weight loss, and both species had greatly reduced DPI; the goats had 83 percent greater (P

Digestion trials were conducted with actual diet samples selected by free-ranging animals. Goats had greater (P

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