Variety of Foods and Flavors Affects Selection of Foraging Location by Sheep

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Applied Animal Behavior Science

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Our objective was to determine if variety of dietary flavors and ingredients affected selection of foraging locations by sheep. We hypothesized lambs would forage in locations that offered a variety of flavors and/or nutritional characteristics and on foods that differed from their basal diet. We tested this hypothesis in four trials. During Trial 1, lambs were fed a basal ration of alfalfa pellets (2.41 Mcal/kg DE, 18% CP), and then offered a test diet that was a ground mixture of 58% barley, 20% alfalfa, 17% grape pomace, 4% soybean meal, and 1% minerals (2.69 Mcal/kg DE and 14.7% CP). The test diet was offered at two different locations, one that provided the diet with a variety of added flavors (apple, anise, unadulterated) and the other that provided the diet in only the most preferred flavor (apple or anise). Procedures were the same during Trial 2, except the basal ration and the test diet were the same and different flavors were offered at the variety (apple, anise, fresh forage) and monotony (fresh forage) locations. During Trial 1, when the test diet differed from the basal diet, variety of flavors did not affect foraging location (P>0.05), but during Trial 2, when the basal diet was identical to the test diet, lambs preferred to forage where there was a variety of flavors (PPP

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