Effects of protein supplementation on the consumption of salt cedar in goats.
Garcia, Ruben A.
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Saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb.) has encroached upon many Texas riparian and floodplain areas, causing decreases in water quality and plant/animal diversity. The objectives of this study were to determine if (1) goats would increase consumption of salt cedar, and (2) if protein supplementation improved salt cedar intake. Goats (n=20) were randomly selected and divided into 2 separate treatments. Treatment 1 was supplemented daily with a 37% crude protein ration and Treatment 2 (control group) was not supplemented. All treatments were given a basal ration of alfalfa (2.5% BW) and offered salt cedar. Salt cedar intake increased (P<0.05) on a daily basis in both treatments. Protein supplementation did not affect salt cedar intake. Alfalfa intake was similar between treatments. Both treatments gained weight during the study. Collectively, the results of this study suggest that goats will readily consume salt cedar, and protein supplementation has little apparent effect on salt cedar intake.