Timahdit sheep production and behavior at three stocking rates in the Moyen Atlas of Morocco
in vitro digestibility
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CitationEl Aich, A., Rittenhouse, L. R., El Khamkhami, S., & Mhand, T. A. (1990). Timahdit sheep production and behavior at three stocking rates in the Moyen Atlas of Morocco. Journal of Range Management, 43(5), 390-396.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractLiveweight (LW) changes and behavior of growing rams were measured in 1981, 1982, 1985, and 1986 at the Timahdit Experiment Station in the Middle Atlas, Morocco, at stocking rates of 2.78, 4.17, and 6.67 rams/ha during the growing season. Maximum animal production would have occurred at a stocking rate greater than any imposed in the study in all years except 1982. Increased variable costs should drive stocking rates down while increased selling price would provide an incentive to increase stocking rates. Mean grazing time of animals stocked at tight, moderate, and heavy rates was 410, 436, and 504 minutes/day, respectively. Mean resting time was 206, 174, and 106 minutes/day, respectively. Rams under light, moderate, and heavy stocking rates walked 2.1, 2.4, and 3.1 km/day, respectively. Diet IVDMD was highest early in the grazing season and lowest in the nongrowing season, and was not affected by stocking rates. Early in the spring, diet diversity was low, increased during active growth, and then deciined as the season advanced. Selectivity was lowest when forage was abundant. Dry matter intake varied with season in 1985 but not 1986. There was less opportmdty to be adaptive under heavy than under light stocking, resulting in a stocking rate by season interaction in 1986. Under heavy stocking, forage intake (G/kg LW/min) was 61 and 83% of intake under light and moderate stocking, respectively, and forage intake per km walked was 71 and 84%, respectively