Diet of free ranging Angora goats in a False Upper Karoo veld typ

Author: O.B. Kok, L.J. Fourie and L.M. Barkhuizen
Year: 1994
Issue: 3
Volume: 24
Page: 80 - 86

The diet of free ranging Angora goats in a False Upper Karoo veld type in the south-western Orange Free State is described. Angora goats are inherent browsers feeding on a wide variety of plants. Based on utilization frequency and feeding duration, six shrub and/or tree species, namely Melolobium calycinum, Olea europaea, Protasparagus sp., Rhus burchellii, R. ciliata and Tarchonanthus camphoratus, constitute approximately two-thirds of their diet. Compared with ewes and kids, castrated males and rams utilized O. europaea and R. burchellii to a greater extent. Based on utilization frequency, grasses are utilized mainly during the wet season and leaves of woody plant species during the dry season. For the optimal utilization of the available vegetation the judicious, simultaneous use of goats and sheep in Karroid foraging systems of the south-western Free State is recommended. As a consequence of their feeding behaviour Angora goats can potentially play an important role in an integrated control system against the Karoo paralysis tick.

Keywords: Angora goats, diet, False Upper Karoo, semi-arid region
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