Heather moorland is recognized as having international importance, yet there has been a decline in the extent and condition of this habitat as a result of inappropriate management. In this experiment the diet composition and herbage intake of cattle and sheep grazing heathland swards with Low (8%) and High (61%) percentages of cover of Calluna vulgaris were estimated from faeces profiles of n-alkanes and long-chain fatty alcohols. Two breeds of sheep (Welsh Mountain, Scottish Blackface) and two breeds of cattle (Welsh Black, Continental cross) grazed each experimental site during two separate sampling sessions in July and September. On each site both cattle and sheep were selective feeders, consuming grasses in preference to dwarf shrub. The quantities of C. vulgaris consumed were small, even on the High site, reflecting the biomass of the graminoid species present, and hence availability of preferred items. There were several significant differences in the proportions of different plant groups consumed by the cattle and sheep. There were also significant differences in the composition of the diets selected by the different breeds of sheep, whereas the diets of the two cattle breeds were generally similar.
|Title of host publication
|Proceedings of the 22nd General meeting of the European Grassland Federation, 'Biodiversity and animal feed - future challenges for grassland production', Uppsala, Sweden, 9-12 June, 2008
|European Grassland Federation
|Number of pages
|Published - 2008
|22nd General meeting of the European Grassland Federation, 'Biodiversity and animal feed - future challenges for grassland production' - Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: 09 Jun 2008 → 12 Jun 2008
|22nd General meeting of the European Grassland Federation, 'Biodiversity and animal feed - future challenges for grassland production'
|09 Jun 2008 → 12 Jun 2008