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Comparative Diets of Rambouillet, Barbado, and Karakul Sheep and Spanish and Angora Goats

L. E. Warren, D. N. Ueckert and J. M. Shelton
Journal of Range Management
Vol. 37, No. 2 (Mar., 1984), pp. 172-180
DOI: 10.2307/3898910
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3898910
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Comparative Diets of Rambouillet, Barbado, and Karakul Sheep and Spanish and Angora Goats
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Abstract

Diets of Rambouillet, Karakul, and Barbado sheep (Ovis aries) and Spanish and Angora goats (Capra hircus) grazing in 3 plant communities in western Texas were determined by microhistological analysis of fecal samples. Grasses were commonly the major foods of all sheep breeds as well as Angora goats. Forbs were major diet items of all breeds of sheep and goats when they were readily available. Spanish goats, and to a lesser extent Angora goats, relied heavily on browse. Barbado sheep consumed more browse than did Rambouillet or Karakul sheep. Diets of Rambouillet and Karakul sheep overlapped considerably, whereas diets of Rambouillet sheep and Spanish goats were quite dissimilar. Barbado sheep appeared to occupy a food niche intermediate between that of the goats and the other sheep breeds. Spanish and Angora goats exhibited the strongest tendency and Karakul sheep exhibited the least tendency to selectively graze. Neither Barbado nor Karakul sheep consumed sufficient amounts of undesirable shrubs to be considered valuable for brush suppression.

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