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Small Ruminant Research
Aharon, H., MIGAL - Galilee Technology Center, P.O. Box 831, Qiryat Shemona, 11016, Israel
Henkin, Z., Beef Cattle section, Newe-Ya'ar Research Center, Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 1021, Ramat Yishay, 30095, Israel
Ungar, E.D., Department of Natural Resources, Institute of Field and Garden Crops, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, 50250, Israel
Kababya, D., Sheep and Goats Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Bet Dagan, 50250, Israel
Baram, H., Department of Natural Resources, Institute of Field and Garden Crops, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, 50250, Israel
Perevolotsky, A., Department of Natural Resources, Institute of Field and Garden Crops, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, 50250, Israel
Brush encroachment is reducing pasture and amenity values of rangelands in the upper Galilee, Israel. Local Mamber goats are efficient at preventing brush encroachment, but their low prolificacy and slow growth of their kids prevent profitable farming. Boer goats from southern Africa are deemed to be prolific and rapidly growing, but their ability to exploit Mediterranean woodland and scrubland in Israel was unknown. Simultaneous observations (n = 604) on the eating behaviour of Boer goats imported from Namibia and of local Mamber goats were recorded from May 1997 to January 1998. Socialization between breeds was prevented by keeping them in distinct flocks in two similar paddocks. Boer goats spent less time than Mamber goats in grazing herbaceous species (22 and 44%, respectively), which suggests that Boers would be potentially less competitive to cattle than Mambers in mixed grazing systems. Boers allocated 90% of their eating time to eight species, compared with only four species for Mambers. Browse use on the main encroaching species differed between goat breeds: Mambers spent more time browsing on Sarcopoterium spinosum whereas Boers spent more time on Cistus creticus and Cistus salvifolius. No difference between breeds was observed with regard to Calycotome villosa, the main encroaching species on the range. Boers exhibited a 10% lower bite rate than Mambers, but no difference between breeds was noted in their mass per bite of browse species. Results of this study suggest that Boer goats have the potential to control brush encroachment more than Mamber goats, especially when they are associated with cattle. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Foraging behaviour of the newly introduced Boer goat breed in a Mediterranean woodland: A research observation
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Aharon, H., MIGAL - Galilee Technology Center, P.O. Box 831, Qiryat Shemona, 11016, Israel
Henkin, Z., Beef Cattle section, Newe-Ya'ar Research Center, Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 1021, Ramat Yishay, 30095, Israel
Ungar, E.D., Department of Natural Resources, Institute of Field and Garden Crops, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, 50250, Israel
Kababya, D., Sheep and Goats Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Bet Dagan, 50250, Israel
Baram, H., Department of Natural Resources, Institute of Field and Garden Crops, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, 50250, Israel
Perevolotsky, A., Department of Natural Resources, Institute of Field and Garden Crops, Agricultural Research Organization, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, 50250, Israel
Foraging behaviour of the newly introduced Boer goat breed in a Mediterranean woodland: A research observation
Brush encroachment is reducing pasture and amenity values of rangelands in the upper Galilee, Israel. Local Mamber goats are efficient at preventing brush encroachment, but their low prolificacy and slow growth of their kids prevent profitable farming. Boer goats from southern Africa are deemed to be prolific and rapidly growing, but their ability to exploit Mediterranean woodland and scrubland in Israel was unknown. Simultaneous observations (n = 604) on the eating behaviour of Boer goats imported from Namibia and of local Mamber goats were recorded from May 1997 to January 1998. Socialization between breeds was prevented by keeping them in distinct flocks in two similar paddocks. Boer goats spent less time than Mamber goats in grazing herbaceous species (22 and 44%, respectively), which suggests that Boers would be potentially less competitive to cattle than Mambers in mixed grazing systems. Boers allocated 90% of their eating time to eight species, compared with only four species for Mambers. Browse use on the main encroaching species differed between goat breeds: Mambers spent more time browsing on Sarcopoterium spinosum whereas Boers spent more time on Cistus creticus and Cistus salvifolius. No difference between breeds was observed with regard to Calycotome villosa, the main encroaching species on the range. Boers exhibited a 10% lower bite rate than Mambers, but no difference between breeds was noted in their mass per bite of browse species. Results of this study suggest that Boer goats have the potential to control brush encroachment more than Mamber goats, especially when they are associated with cattle. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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