Using goats and sheep to control juniper saplings: what we've learned

TitleUsing goats and sheep to control juniper saplings: what we've learned
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsCibils AF, Utsumi S.A, Estell RE
Conference NameCorona Range and Livestock Research Center
Date Published07/2014
PublisherNew Mexico State University
Conference LocationCorona, NM
ARIS Log Number311685

The primary findings and conclusions were synthesized from a series of papers published between 2006-2014 from studies conducted at CRLRC and the NMSU Campus Farm seeking to determine the feasibility of using sheep and goats to suppress oneseed juniper sapling encroachment. We found that protein supplements and polyethylene glycol (PEG) can be used to boost juniper intake of goats and sheep (especially goats) in all seasons except fall. Co-grazing of sheep and goats (approximately 50% of each) at high stocking density was the grazing prescription that achieved highest juniper sapling utilization. Browsing of small saplings was most frequent in summer, whereas debarking of branches on taller saplings was the most common impact in spring. Browsing-induced sapling mortality was approximately 5%; however, branch mortality due to debarking ranged from 13-22%. We observed no adverse effects of this grazing treatment on understory herbaceous vegetation.