Effect of concentrate supplement to ewes on nutritive value of ingested Caatinga native forage nutritive value as affected by season. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this study was to identify by microhistological technique the reference chemical components for use as indicators of the nutritive value of Caatinga plants forage grazed by sheep throughout the year. A flock of twenty mixed-race meat ewes, multiparous, in production, with an average 34.84 ± 1.75 kg live weight and 36 months of age was assigned to supplement treatment of 0, 200, 350, and 500 g concentrate/head/day for 3 years. The experiment was designed as a randomized complete design with repeated measures over time. Supplementation with concentrate did not influence chemical composition of selected forage. In contrast, season heavily influenced diet chemical composition. Canopy stratum, season, and plant botanical family of selected species affected forage chemical composition selected by ewes. The ewes selected forage with greater nutritive value during the rainy season. Based on principal component analysis of the nutritive value of the primary forage species selected, ewes preferentially grazed plants contained greater neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, crude protein (CP), C fraction of nitrogenous compounds, and carbohydrate fractions A + B1 and C compared to the average native Caatinga herbage. Rangeland botanical composition and ewe diet varied during the year, affecting forage nutrients on offer, with the best diet selected during the rainy season because of the presence of dicotyledonous herbaceous species rich in CP as well as soluble carbohydrates and nitrogenous compounds. Concentrate supplement strategies for ewes on rangelands, such as Caatinga, should be determined by herbaceous species nutritive value during the rainy season and deep-rooted perennial dicotyledons during the dry season. These include the need to monitor ewe selection of forage species and their nutritive value, which is effectively accomplished with fecal microhistological techniques.

published proceedings

  • Trop Anim Health Prod

author list (cited authors)

  • de Carvalho, W. F., Alves, A. A., Pompeu, R., Araújo, A. R., Fernandes, F., dos Santos Costa, C., ... Rogério, M.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • de Carvalho, Wanderson Fiares||Alves, Arnaud Azevêdo||Pompeu, Roberto Cláudio Fernandes Franco||Araújo, Alexandre Ribeiro||Fernandes, Francisco Éden Paiva||Dos Santos Costa, Clésio||de Sousa Oliveira, Delano||Memória, Humberto Queiroz||Guedes, Luciana Freitas||Muir, James Pierre||Rogério, Marcos Cláudio Pinheiro

publication date

  • December 2021