Forage intake by goats and sheep on semi-arid to arid pastures in northern Kenya.
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Feeding behaviour of Somali Blackhead sheep and Small East African goats was observed twice monthly for 2 years. The pasture was Acacia tortilis woodland with a dwarf shrub layer dominated by Duosperma eremophilum. Mean species number in the diet during the dry season was significantly greater for goats (32.13) than sheep (22.50) but the percentage of grass, forbs and CF in diets was significantly greater for sheep than goats. The number of plant species utilized throughout the year, proportion of browse and CP content were all higher in goats' diets but not significantly different from that of sheep. Goats and sheep selected diets of similar energy content (10-11 ME/kg DM) during the growing season. At the height of the dry season goats selected diets with 6.5 ME/kg DM compared with 3.5-4.0 ME/kg DM for sheep. Data from linear and multiple regressions of goat OM intake on various parameters are also presented.