FECAL NIRS TO DETERMINE UNGULATE DIET QUALITY FROM RANGE PLANTS IN THE SOUTHWEST
AuthorLEONE, SOPHIA JOSEPHINE
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractIn an attempt to make positive adjustments to Southern Arizona rangeland and grazing usage for livestock and wildlife species, a variety of mixed forages were fed to goat and sheep research models to determine optimal diet composition. The five goats and five sheep were broken up into pairs with one of each species, each animal kept individually in a pen, with pairs adjacent to each other. Each pair was fed a different diet every week over a period of two weeks. During the third and final week, all pairs were fed a rich finishing diet of alfalfa prior to sale or slaughter. Samples were collected from each diet for analysis of nutrient composition, and fecal samples were collected from each animal on designated collection days. The fecal samples were analyzed with Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy to identify their relative digestibility and nutrient content, and were predicted with existing calibrations developed for elk, sheep, and goats. The results show statistical significance through ANOVA, the P values for crude protein, digestible organic matter, and spectral similarity to previous calibration equations.