• Grazing Habits, Diet and Performance of Sheep on Alpine Ranges

      Strasia, C. A.; Thorn, M.; Rice, R. W.; Smith, D. R. (Society for Range Management, 1970-05-01)
      An Alpine range, average elevation 3,200m, was divided. One portion was fenced and sheep were allowed to graze it freely, the other was managed by a herder. The grazing season was for 60 days during July and August. Diet samples for botanical analyses were collected by esophageal fistulated sheep. Generally the grazing behavior of the free sheep was similar to the herded group except that the band was somewhat more loosely organized in the absence of a herder. Nitrogen and in vitro digestibility of diet samples were slightly lower and fiber and cellulose slightly higher from the free grazed sheep. There were no differences in the botanical composition of diet samples from the two groups. The sheep ate more forbs early in the grazing period. They were more selective in choice of grass and sedge species than in choice of forb species eaten. There were no differences in lamb gains during the grazing period.