Nutritional Characteristics of Dominant Wild-Plant Species in Salt-Accumulated Grasslands Producing a Local Sheep Breed with High Twinning Rate in Harigabi, Inner Mongolia
In Harigabi, Inner Mongolia, farmers use salt-accumulated grasslands as autumn grazing area with halophytes for ewe on the assumption that this feeding practice increases the twinning rate. We suggested that nutrients in halophytes might be a possible factor fort the increase of the ovulation rate. To test this hypothesis, we surveyed the feeding practices and performed chemical analyses of forage plants. The survey revealed that the average litter size increased from 1.1 to 1.5 when ewes first grazed on a typical grassland with Poaceae from spring to summer (S–S grassland) and then grazed on a salt-accumulated grassland from autumn to spring (A–S grassland). The chemical analysis revealed that halophytes of the A–S grassland tended to contain higher concentrations of sugar and starch than the dominant plants of the S–S grassland. These results might indicate that the higher soluble carbohydrates in halophytes could be a possible cause of the higher twinning rate of sheep in Harigabi.
熱帯農業 60(1), 10-13, 2016