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Agronomía Costarricense

versión impresa ISSN 0377-9424


CANDELARIA-MARTINEZ, Bernardino; RIVERA-LORCA, Juan Antonio  y  FLOTA-BANUELOS, Carolina. Availability of biomass and eating habits of sheep in a silvopastoral system. Agron. Costarricense [online]. 2017, vol.41, n.1, pp.121-131. ISSN 0377-9424.

The effect of grazing on the availability, biomass quality and feeding behavior of sheep in a silvopastoral system of star grass (Cynodon nlemfuensis), tulip (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) and leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala), was evaluated at 50, 60 and 70 days in rainy, dry and northern season. For each treatment, 2 plots of 8x24 m and 6 adult pelibuey ewes were used. The availability of biomass in leucaena and tulip was evaluated by total harvest of 20 to 40 plants per treatment. Star grass was measured before and after grazing. The 3 species were separated into morphological components, and crude protein and neutral detergent fiber were determined in leaves. Sheep habits were determined by direct observation. The availability of total biomass, consumption per group and use of star grass were higher at 70 days and in rainy season. The highest leaf ratio of the 3 species was greater at 50 days, as to the affect of the season, it was more abundant in rainy, north and dry for star, leucaena and tulip, respectively. PC availability did not vary (p>0.05) due to frequency nor grazing season. The longest consumption time was dedicated to stargrass, tulip and leucaena. The designs should favor the multi-jointed silvopastoral systems, to enhance the positive effects of their relationships. Grazing frequencies should be adjusted to the time of year, under a mixed grazing and pruning management model, for better utilization of the biomass.

Palabras clave : Seasonality; fodder; sustainable livestock.

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