Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 83, Issue 3, pp 279–286

Potential contribution of Quercus durata and Adenostoma fasciculatum supplemented with Medicago sativa on intake and digestibility in sheep and goats

  • Nelmy Narvaez
  • Arieh Brosh
  • Miguel Mellado
  • Wolfgang Pittroff


A digestion trial was conducted to estimate the potential contribution of the chaparral browse Quercus durata (leather oak) and Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise) on intake and nutrient digestion in goats and sheep. Four wether Kiko goats (avg. wt. 22.9 kg) and four wether Targhee sheep (avg. wt. 39.6 kg) were housed in metabolism cages. Alfalfa pellets were used as a dietary supplement. Digestibility of the shrubs was measured by difference and metabolizable energy (ME) and ME intake (MEI) were calculated from digestibility and plants intake values. Oak and chamise had low crude protein (CP) content (6.5 and 4.3% DM) and high content of extractable condensed tannins (17.8 and 9.8% DM). In vitro organic matter digestibility (OMD) and ME for oak and chamise were 35.6 and 33.1% and 5.0 and 4.7 MJ/kg DM, respectively. In vivo OMD (calculated by difference with alfalfa) and MEI, for browse were greater (P < 0.01) for goats fed chamise compared to sheep. In oak, OMD was similar for both animal species but MEI was greater (P < 0.01) for goats. Greater (P < 0.05) DM and CP intakes (per kg BW0.75) were observed for goats fed either oak or chamise compared with sheep. When an energy source was given as supplement, the potential contribution of chamise and oak to total ME requirements for maintenance was about 58.3 and 60.4% in goats and about 17.1 and 32.9% in sheep, respectively. In consequence, metabolizable energy supplied by these shrubs may not be adequate for maintenance when, during grazing, they are consumed in high proportions with other chaparral plants that may have lower nutritional value than the alfalfa supplemented in this study. Under an appropriate supplementation program, goats could be more effective than sheep to control fuel load in California chaparral, as they consume more chamise and leather oak and obtain more nutrients from them.


Chamise Chaparral Digestibility Feed Intake Leather oak 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nelmy Narvaez
    • 1
    • 4
  • Arieh Brosh
    • 2
  • Miguel Mellado
    • 3
  • Wolfgang Pittroff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Newe Ya’ar Research CenterInstitute of Animal Science, ARORamat YishayIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Nutrition and FoodsUniversidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio NarroSaltilloMexico
  4. 4.Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research CenterLethbridgeCanada

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