Browsing Rangeland Ecology & Management, Volume 60, Number 6 (November 2007) by Subjects
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Effects of Supplementation on Juniper Intake by GoatsThe potential for winter supplementation to increase juniper intake by goats on rangelands in the Edwards Plateau region of Texas was assessed in two experiments. The first experiment evaluated the effect on juniper intake of either no supplementation (negative control) or supplementation with corn, alfalfa, or cottonseed meal fed at an isonitrogenous protein level of 1.5 g kg body weight-1 for 12 days. Redberry juniper (Juniperus pinchotii Sudw.) consumption by individually penned Spanish, Boer 3 Spanish, Spanish 3 Angora, and Angora goats was measured on days 11 and 12. Each goat received each supplement in a complete 4 X 4 Latin square design. Juniper intake increased for goats supplemented with alfalfa and cottonseed meal (P = 0.001), but not for those supplemented with corn (P = 0.944). Boer 3 Spanish goats did not differ in levels of consumption (P = 0.085) from the other breeds. A second study investigated the effect of either no supplementation or soybean meal supplementation on juniper consumption by free grazing Angora and Boer 3 Spanish goats. Forty goats were assigned to four pasture groups by breed and previous juniper intake, and randomly allocated to either the treatment (supplementation) or control (no supplementation) regime in a complete block design. After 4 days of grazing and supplementation, fecal samples were collected to estimate percent of juniper in the diet using near-infrared spectroscopy. Goats were then rotated to another pasture. Juniper intake was highest for goats supplemented with soybean meal (P = 0.034). Breed of goat did not affect intake (P = 0.240). Goats previously categorized as high juniper consumers based upon prior measurements of juniper intake ate more juniper (P = 0.003) than those classified as low consumers. This research indicates that the effectiveness of goats for biological control of juniper can be improved with a high protein, low starch supplement.