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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #311685

Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR CONSERVATION OF WESTERN RANGELANDS

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Using goats and sheep to control juniper saplings: what we've learned

Author
item Cibils, Andres - New Mexico State University
item Utsumi, Santiago - New Mexico State University
item Estell, Richard - Rick

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2014
Publication Date: 10/24/2014
Citation: Cibils, A., Utsumi, S., Estell, R.E. 2014. Using goats and sheep to control juniper saplings: what we've learned. Proceedings, Corona Range and Livestock Research Center - 2014 Field Day, July 19, 2014, Corona, New Mexico. p. 11-12.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The primary findings and conclusions were synthesized from a series of papers published between 2006-2014 from studies conducted at CRLRC and the NMSU Campus Farm seeking to determine the feasibility of using sheep and goats to suppress oneseed juniper sapling encroachment. We found that protein supplements and polyethylene glycol (PEG) can be used to boost juniper intake of goats and sheep (especially goats) in all seasons except fall. Co-grazing of sheep and goats (approximately 50% of each) at high stocking density was the grazing prescription that achieved highest juniper sapling utilization. Browsing of small saplings was most frequent in summer, whereas debarking of branches on taller saplings was the most common impact in spring. Browsing-induced sapling mortality was approximately 5%; however, branch mortality due to debarking ranged from 13-22%. We observed no adverse effects of this grazing treatment on understory herbaceous vegetation.