Variation in Utilization of Big Sagebrush Accessions by Wintering Sheep
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CitationWelch, B. L., McArthur, E. D., & Rodriguez, R. L. (1987). Variation in utilization of big sagebrush accessions by wintering sheep. Journal of Range Management, 40(2), 113-115.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractWe observed the effects of accessions of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) on big sagebrush utilization by wintering domestic sheep. The sheep had continuous access to high quality alfalfa hay and were fed 0.28 kg of rolled barley per head per day. Utilization was expressed as a percent of the current year's vegetative growth consumed by the sheep and also as grams of dry matter eaten per stem. Utilization of accessions varied from 0 to 98% over 3 sites and from 0 to 7.112 g of dry matter per stem. The sheep tended to remove significant (60 to 70%) amounts of current growth from the more preferred accessions before removing even small (15%) amounts of less preferred accessions. If this is typical grazing behavior, preferred big sagebrush plants may be lost in areas subject to repeated grazing.