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THE RELATIVE GRAZING PREFERENCES FOR THREE SALTBUSH SPECIES AS DETERMINED WITH DORPER SHEEP AT THE GROOTFONTEIN COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE

 

G Jordaan & P C V du Toit

Grootfontein College of Agriculture

Private Bag X 529

5900 MIDDELBURG

 

The relative acceptability of Oldman saltbush (Atriplex nummularia), Israeli saltbush (A. vestita var appendiculata = A. halimus) and Fourwing saltbush (A. canescens) was evaluated in a study of paired species combinations. The three combinations were replicated three times.

The saltbush plantations were force-grazed by Dorper sheep accustomed to saltbush grazing. Previously problems were experienced when "untrained" Angora- and Boergoats and Dorper and Merino sheep were used in the evaluation. The relative percentage utilization of the plants was determined by volume determinations (height X diameter) of each bush prior to and after grazing.

Leaf- and twig samples were collected prior to grazing and analyzed for crude protein, crude fibre, calcium, sodium, phosphorous, potassium and chlorine.

Significant differences between species (p = 0.05) were recorded for acceptability and chemical composition. There is a definite relationship between chemical composition and acceptability.

 

Published

Annual Research Meeting of the Karoo Biome 1990: 26