Selection and chemical composition of plant species consumed by goats under drought conditions in three microregions of the Comarca Lagunera, Mexico


Pablo Arenas-Báez
Jorge A. Maldonado-Jáquez
Jonathan R. Garay-Martínez
Lorenzo D. Granados-Rivera


Ruminant nutrition, kid production, forage evaluation.


Objective: To evaluate the plant selection of the diet of goats during the dry season and the chemical composition of the said plants in three microregions of the Comarca Lagunera, Mexico.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Three microregions were identified within the Comarca Lagunera: 1) mountain slope, 2) plain, and 3) cultivation areas. The selection of the goat diet, the availability of forage, and the nutritional composition (CP, EE, DNF, AFD, NFC, TDN, and NEl) of plant species and strata were evaluated in the three microregions.

Results: The shrubs and herbaceous in the Comarca Lagunera had the highest forage availability and a better nutritional profile during winter. On the one hand, these plant strata had an adequate protein content. On the other hand, the overall energy content reached <1 Mcal kg-1 DM.

Study Limitations/Implications: The plant strata have an adequate protein content; however, the energy content is not enough and limits growth. Consequently, supplementation programs for grazing dairy goats in the Comarca Lagunera must include sources of energy.

Findings/Conclusions: Regardless of the microregion, the energy content of the species consumed by grazing dairy goats in the Comarca Lagunera is low.

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