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A. E. Sidahmed


The role of more than one billion head of sheep and half a billion head of goats in the world has attracted considerable attention in recent years (e.g. Oltenaca et al.1976, Qureshi, 1984). Most emphasis is directed towards assessing the potential of small ruminants in developing countries (Devendra, 1980; McDowall, 1977; Winrock International, 1983a). A major study conducted by Winrock International (Fitzhugh et al.1978) investigated the role of ruminants in support of man. That study used data provided by the USDA's world Soil Geography Unit in an effort to project potential land area and productivity that would support sheep and goats and other ruminants. The projected areas of potential arable land, permanent meadows and pastures and non-agricultural lands are shown in Table 1. While a considerable increase in arable land is expected, only a 4% increase in areas used permanently (more than 5 years) for herbaceous forage crops (cultivated or natural) was suggested. Both intensive (improvement) and extensive (expansion) efforts are needed to double arable land areas. On the other hand, appropriate technologies (management, fertilization, introduction of legumes and improved forage cultivars, etc.) are suggested to increase feed production from the permanent meadows and pastures. Despite the tragic realities of hunger and malnutrition which are threatening entire regions of the world (Robinson, 1984) some optimistic notes were recorded. The grazing lands of the developing countries were characterized as being “the most over-utilized and at the same time under-utilized resources in agriculture” (United Nations, 1974). Also, an overall conclusion by a recent Winrock International (1983b) study suggested that the world will be able to feed its much larger population in 1993 marginally better than at the end of the 1970's. This report, however, did admit the fact that these conclusions were shadowed with grim realities of highly vulnerable economic and social factors. There are many reasons to be skeptical. First, as projected by Winrock International (1983b), although population growth rate will slow slightly by the year 2000 the world will have 1.8billionmore people to feed, clothe and shelter. Second, the majority of the world population occupies the developing (poorest) regions and, disturbingly, there is a declining trend in the percentage of the agriculturally active sector (Table 2) and a very low and slightly declining trend in livestock/human ratios (Table 3).Currently, the small ruminant/human ratios are 0.34, 0.47 and 0.30 in the world, developed and developing regions, respectively. According to Fitzhugh (1976) the increased demand for sheep and goat meat in the year 2000 will require a world population of 2003 million sheep and 919 million goats. To meet that target a small ruminant/human ratio of 0.46 must be recorded in the world for the year 2000. This ratio was maintained for the developed countries during the last decade. However, the 12% increase in small ruminant population of the developing countries was coupled with an 18% rise in number of people inhabiting the developing countries between 1974 and 1983, pulling that coefficient down by two units (from 0.32 in 1974 to 0.30 in 1983).

FAO, UTFN/LIB/011/LIB, Libya.

Between 1981 and 1983 fifty-three percent of the sheep and 94 of the goat population was raised in the developing countries. The emphasis of this paper will be towards exploring the potential for increasing land utilization by small ruminants in the developing countries. The feeding habits of small ruminants will be discussed in relation to the predominant feed resources and the existing production systems using examples from the grazing lands of the arid and semi-arid regions and the small mixed farm systems in the sub-humid (wet-dry) tropics.


Sheep and goats have been classified as medium sized herbivores, medium sized ruminants or small ruminants (Kay et al. 1980; Demment and Van Soest, 1983). According to Winrock International (1983a); “Sheep and goats are the principal domisticated small ruminants in terms of total numbers and production of food and fiber products. The genus Lama (including alpaca, llama, guanaco and vicuna) is concentrated in the Adrean region of South America and is locally important for production of meat, fiber and in case of llama, as beast of burden. Undomesticated small ruminants (including most deer, gazzelle, and antelope) are hunted for food and sport and are a major tourist attraction in many African countries”.

Foraging and Feeding Behavior

Sheep and goats are “opportunist generalists” in their foraging behavior. More accurately they exhibit an adaptable and intermediate mixed feeding strategy. Both species can select their diets from a wide range of feeds extending from high quality grasses to bitter and tanniferous browse. Whereas sheep tend to take forbs more readily than goats, the latter seems to have a unique preference for shrubs and tree leaves (NRC, 1981).However, this tendency for browsing is breed dependent (Tables 4 and 5).The wide range of diet composition of sheep and goats summarized by Breymeyer and Van Dyne (1980) could be related to animal breed, plant growth stage and vegetation composition (Warren et al. 1983). Spanish goats usually consume larger proportion of browse, but have the tendency to vary their diets when resources are abundant (Sidahmed and Morris, 1982). In Libya, Barbari sheep consumed a mixture of shrub species for a period of 1 to 3 months without any ill-effects (Dumancic, 1983).

Another important observation about small ruminants is their selective behavior when offered cut-and-carry forages. For example, local feed stuffs consumed by dual-purpose goats during early to late lactation (Sidahmed et al. 1985) did not reflect what was offered in quality or quantity. By exhibiting a very selective behavior the goats consumed only small quantities of some feeds (e.g. Sesbania, pigeon pea and Sudan grass) although the digestible energy of what was consumed was high. These sub-requirement consumption rates resulted in poor performance (abortion, loss of body weight…etc.).

It is important to understand feeding behavior of small ruminants in our attempt to investigate ways and strategies of introducing interventions aiming at increasing feed resource utilization. For example, the fact that goats rejected the dry leaves of Sesbania (high crude protein content) should not justify neglecting this abundant biomass in Western Kenya. Probably by mixing Sesbania with local grasses (high energy) or by supplementing tethered sheep and goats with hand harvested twigs a better use of this resource could be achieved. Also, it is necessary to note that small ruminants are less efficient in fiber digestion compared to cattle. By exhibiting a very selective behavior, small ruminants - particularly goats - consume the young and fresh portions of forages, whereas the large rumen size and the longer retention time of feed insures higher digestion of low quality high fiber feeds by cattle.


The majority of sheep and goats are raised in the developing countries (Table 3).In the arid and semi-arid regions an extensive animal production system prevails where permanent meadows and pastures (rangeland) provide the majority of animal feed. The herd composition in these predominantly pastoral systems includes varied proportions of small ruminants depending on several environmental, social and economic factors. In the medium to high rainfall tropics the people are sedentary and mixed farming is the common system of production. In the developing countries two thirds of goats and 52% of sheep are produced in small (<5 ha) farms (FAO, 1970). It is, therefore, pertinent to discuss land use in the developing countries under these two distinct classes of production system.

Extensive Production Systems

Under the erratic and low rainfall conditions of the tropics livestock are the most efficient convertors of a fragile cover of primary production into animal protein. In the very arid environments the users are extremely mobile where migration is usually in search of water, forage and mineral supplementation. In these systems livestock represent the main enterprise for a subsistence livelihood. The herd structure could be dominantly cattle, sheep, goats or camel. For example, in the southern rangelands of Ethiopia, an area with 600 mm annual rain, the cattle/small ruminant/camel ratio is 3.6/1.3/1 whereas in the much more arid northeast rangeland areas the livestock species ratio is 9.3/11.25/1 (Cossins, 1983). The pastoralist in the more arid regions (northeast) have adopted a drought risk strategy by raising more goats compared to those in the southern rangelands.

The extensive systems include also the semi-nomadic pastoralists and the transhumant system. In the former, livestock is equally important to food cropping in providing subsistence production. Cropping is more important for transhumants than livestock and movement is limited to dry seasons and for short distances. Sometimes movement of transhumant livestock is undertaken to avoid trespassing cultivated lands during the growing season. Detailed analysis of animal production systems in arid and semi-arid regions are reported elsewhere (Sidahmed and Koong, 1984; Sidahmed, 1985).

Mixed Farming Systems in the Tropics and Sub-Tropics

In the humid, sub-humid and semi-arid zones of the tropics (irrigated and medium to high rainfall areas) the small ruminants play an integral part in the production systems. Livestock production in these systems comes second in importance to food production. For example, in Western Java villages of Indonesia (3000–4000 mm annual rain) agriculture is intensive and the small ruminants are raised in complete confinement. On the other hand, in the wet-dry tropical sites of Western Kenya the rainfall (1100–2100 mm) pattern is bimodal with two distinct dry periods (June–August and November–February). In these areas, small ruminants are confined over-night (to avoid predators and theft) and herded or tethered during the day. Cut-and-carry of local forage resources and crop residues also contribute significantly to animal feed.


The food resource base for sheep and goats-in the developing countries is diverse and greatly reflects the environment where these animals are raised. In the marginal lands (arid and semi-arid) grazing, harvested forage and crop-residues supply almost all of the energy consumed by sheep and goats. In the humid and sub-humid tropics small farmers invest most of their labor in food production. Usually small ruminants - particularly goats - are raised as extra investment without a major labor input. Small ruminants in these environments are usually herded or tethered in abandoned or unimproved lands between farms. Roadside and fence vegetation provide also a sizeable portion of energy consumed.

Constraints on small ruminant production in the arid and semi-arid environments

Rainfall - Rainfall is erratic, low and unpredictable with seasonal dry periods and occasional long droughts. The Sahel and Eastern Africa are examples of recent lengthy droughts which have caused the loss of large numbers of animals.

Soil Fertility - Soils in arid and semi-arid regions are generally impoverished, subject to run-off, erosion, and trampling. The soils lack organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorous, and mineral salts. Lack of technical capabilities, uncertainty of rain and vastness of the rangelands may prohibit fertilizer application.

Water distribution - Irrationally constructed new water points have resulted in range deterioration due to overstocking around the drinking facilities. On the other hand, several rangelands are under-used because of the scarcity of drinking water. However, some of these rangelands have been over utilized (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates) where livestock owners were able to truck water to the range sites or even to haul animals to outlying grazing areas (Al sharif, 1985). Permanent depletion of seeds and severe range deterioration around water points in Kardofan and Darfar regions of the Sudan resulted in the abandonment of these water points and imposed more stocking pressure on rangelands southwards in the Savanna region.

Fires - Prescribed fires are tools for range improvement. Traditionally, pastoralists used fires to exterminate ticks and undesirable insects in the high-rain savanna zones (Majid, 1972). Also prescribed fires are useful for fire breaks and to revegetate new shoots during the early dry seasons. However, irrational fires during the dry season have the devastating effect of elimination of forage biomass and seed reserves. Also repeated burning replaces the high quality perennials by the low quality annuals.

Dryland Farming - With developments in farm technology during the last two decades dry farming has spread in the arid and semi-arid regions with its highest toll being in the low rainfall areas where such activities are extremely dangerous to soil fertility and cover. According to a UNESCO report (1979) the minimum necessary precipitation for crop agriculture should not be lower than 500 mm. Yet, conversion of grazing lands to crop production has frequently occurred in areas with considerably less than this minimum rainfall, often with poor results. Pandelton and Van Dyne (1980) suggested that the best pastoral lands, in terms of soils and rainfall, are typically those which are most readily converted to crop production. Often land which is unsuited for cropping is removed from grazing and planted and then later the pastoralists recover it in a much less productive state. For example, areas under cereal cultivation in the Sahelian and Sudanian regions of Africa increased by 6% between 1960 and 1970 (UNESCO, MAB 1977). In North Africa and the near East the increase was 10% in twenty years (1950–1970), then a reduction of 3.5 % followed between 1974 and 1983 (FAO, 1983). Countries with very arid environments, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are using several water harvesting and management techniques to grow cereals with the aim of self sufficiency. On the other hand, traditional cereal cultivation in the wadis and depressions of the 150–200 mm rain belt of Libya have proven to be economically sound (FAO, 1984). In these depressions usually the “rain-equivalent” exceeds annual rates and probably is above the 500 mm limit mentioned above (Telahique, personal communication, 1985)

Fuelwood - In many African and Near East regions several tree and shrub species provide fuel wood. Wood is the principal cooking and heating fuel in the nomadic camps of Saudi Arabia (Al Sharif, 1985). Other uses are for construction of traditional dwellings, local tools, utensils, beds, boats and railway sleepers (Zaroug, 1984). With the increase in human population the demand for wood increased and most forest reserves in the marginal lands gave way to desert.

Overgrazing - The arid and semi-arid rangelands occupy one third of the potential meadows and pastures of the world. More than three quarters of the world's range-lands are in poor to fair condition producing less than half their potential, and in many cases they are still deteriorating (Fitzhugh et al, 1978). As discussed dry farming, water provision, transport of animals to the far out-reaches by trucks etc. have imposed tremendous pressures on these rangelands. Expansion in veterinary care resulted in sharp increases in livestock numbers. Development projects, relief funds and health care have caused sharp increases in human population of some regions. For example, drought stricken districts of Turkana in Kenya suffer from a high population density (3 persons/km2) with no resources for survival other than famine relief provisions. Heavy continuous grazing at stocking rates twice the capacity of North Africa's Mediterranean rangelands (2 ha/ sheep) along with cereal cropping and fuel wood harvesting were considered by Le Houerou (1977) as the cause of an alarming degree of range deterioration. Consequences of over-stocking are many, most important being conversion of rangelands to waste lands (as happened in the Sahel) and the spread of undesirable plants. Soil compaction is another consequence of heavy livestock pressure. A majority of the shallow gravel plains and clay depressions in northern Saudi Arabia have developed crusted hard pans as a result of trampling by grazing livestock (Al Sharif, 1985). This has increased surface run-off and has depleted large areas of vegetation. Also, incentives and subsidies paid to livestock owners in the oil rich countries of the Arabian peninsula have caused higher stocking rates than the capacity of the rangelands with ultimate deterioration and degradation.

Administrative - Pastoral systems are based on communal grazing of rangelands. The livestock owner's strategy is to ensure maximum conversion of primary production to his animals. When the traditional systems prevailed management procedures ensured adequate seed reserves, less trampling and appropriate stocking densities. Recent technological advances have not recognised the pastoral systems and have always worked against their interests. Consequently, land use practices were altered by an increasing trend toward cultivation, urbanization and in some countries industrialization. Animal herding ceased to be a respected profession and way of life in countries like Saudi Arabia and was replaced by immigrant labour with little or no experience in animal husbandry. In countries such as Sudan the long traditions of local administration systems were abolished without an effective alternative; hence subjecting the pastoral systems to extreme pressures and inflicting drastic levels of deterioration to the rangelands (Abdalla 1982; University of Khartoum, 1982). The mutually beneficial relations between village farmers and pastoralists have deteriorated with trespassing of growing crops replacing the use of crop residues during the dry season causing personal conflicts and imposing harm to both arable and grazing lands.

Socio-economic - Livestock for nomads and transhumants is a symbol of wealth and social prestige. Traditionally large numbers of stock are raised, and several observers have identified this social behaviour as the major cause of rangeland deterioration. However, others (UNESCO, MAB, 1977) observed that pastoralists keep large numbers of livestock as a security against uncertain environments and natural disasters. Nomads sell their livestock only when the price is right and only when they need cash. During recent decades several developing countries which were subjected to inflation and foreign debt pressures were forced to devalue their local currencies. Commodities such as land and livestock maintained high and stable prices, encouraging more investment in livestock production. This encouraged livestock owners to import concentrates to feed their stock during dry seasons. This prolongs the life of standing animals and leads to overgrazing and range deterioration.

Constraints to Small Ruminant Production ìn the Mixed Farms in the Tropics and sub-Tropics'

Low soil fertility - This could be remedied by fertilizer application. However, economic feasibility and ability (economic, labour) of the farmer impose practical limitations.

Competition with food crop production - Land in mixed farms is mostly used for food cropping. Ignorance about the significance of balanced diets and the readiness of food crop production compared to the conversion of primary produce (forage) to animal protein makes the fanner always favour the growing of food crops.

Inadequate quantities and qualities of animal feeds - Heavy grazing pressure in tethering and herding locations have caused deterioration of the vegetational cover where highly palatable species gave way to low quality undesirable species.

Predators and thefts - In some mixed farm areas sheep and goats are confined in the homesteads as a protection from predators and theft.This decreases the use of fallow lands several kilometres away from the farm and imposes heavy pressure on the feed resources produced in the immediate vicinity.

Trypanosomiasis - Sizeable areas of grazing lands in Africa are not used for the production of sheep and goats. Only trypanotolerant species (e.g. west African dwarf sheep and goats) live under these conditions, and generally these animals have low production levels (ILCA, 1979).


The potential for increasing small ruminant production is great. By reducing the nutritional, health, socio-economic and legal constraints much more development is expected. However, the approaches to consider are complex and difficult to comprehend considering the nature of the contribution of small ruminants to agricultural production systems in the developing countries. Although sheep and goats are integral components of most production systems (pastoral, mixed farming and commerical feedlot operations) they are always dominated by other agricultural enterprises. The small ruminants are next to cattle in importance and are raised by the poorest of subsistance farmers and pastoralists. In the small farms of western Kenya the small ruminants are raised as a reserve enterprise to provide cash or food when need arises. Consequently, labour provison is mainly directed towards cultivation of food crops. Plans to increase land use for small ruminant production should be cost effective, systems oriented and should ensure adequate involvement of and participation by the producer at all phases of implementation and testing of interventions and technologies.

Range management practices which suit the traditionally existing pastoral systems are essential. The vast communal grazing lands where pastoralists perform a cyclic migration pattern in search of fodder and water are traditional adjustments to the erratic rainfall patterns. Interventions such as fencing and fertilizer application are economically prohibitive and unaccepted by the nomads. According to Draz, (1985),“Tradition and sometimes local legislations were powerful means of regulating timing of herd movements, routes of migration, rights of use and to maintain sound grazing systems that would compete in technical standards with any modern up-to-date system”. Revival of the “Hema” system of grazing practices several hundred years ago in the Arab world is receiving fair attention. The system protects rangelands in the following ways (Draz, 1983 as quoted by Heady, 1985); (1) Complete prohibition of grazing but cutting of grass allowed at certain times and places; (2) yearlong grazing with the kind of animals and numbers specified; (3) grazing and cutting at certain times of the year; (4) no grazing until after flowering for bee keeping purposes; (5) grazing restricted to protect trees. Heady (1985) considers these five ways as excellent principles for the management of rangelands. “Hema” is, but one example from the many which efficiently used a fragile vegetation cover through the long history of pastoral ism.

The “Hema” system was developed in Syria through the technical assistance of UNDP/FAO/SYR/68 Project and by 1981 three hundred cooperatives occupying 60% of the 11 million hectare steppe (200 mm rainfall) were participating (Al Saman, 1985). On-going activities included; (1) Regeneration and management of the grazing lands, (2) Management, fattening and marketing activities involving the 5 million head of sheep owned by the cooperatives, (3) Establishment of 8 centres for research, training and extension which proved to be effective in implementation efforts, (4) Integration of animal production into agricultural systems through introduction of forage legumes to replace fallow in the traditional wheat, fallow rotation, (5) Building up a national feed conservation and distribution systems, (6) Water harvesting and management, (7) Development of animal health and hygiene programmes, and (8) Plantation of desirable drought resistant shrubs such as Atriplex species.

Revegetation of fodder shrubs is also being implemented in several countries in the Near East and North Africa regions. Atriplex and Acacia plantations in several improved range perimeters in Libya aim at improving dry season forage and to form a drought reserve as well as to stabilize sand dunes.

Evaluation of diet selection by sheep, goats and cattle in order to assess competitive or complementary use of resources is useful when disigns of mixed herds are being considered, or when a new technology is being introduced. Dietary competition and overlap between dual-purpose goats (new technology) and local livestock was monitored in Western Kenya (Sidahmed et al.,1985). This scientist managed on-farm trial is part of the Farming Systems Research (FSR) methodologies undertaken by a multidisciplinary team of scientists developing an improved small farm production system in that country.

Intensification of forage production in mixed farms

Medium to high rainfall tropical lands respond dramatically to nitrogen fertilization. This is very important in the highly populated areas with less than 1 hectare farms. The Small Ruminant Collaborative Research Support Programme (SR-CRSP) is involved in an interdisciplinary Farming Systems Research approach to introduce dual-purpose goats and improved feed resources in the small holder farms of Western Kenya. Results of on-farm trials on the effects of fertilizer application and intercropping food/feed crops on forage yield were very encouraging (Onim et al. 1984). At one farm location significant increase in yield of fodder was achieved from both inter-cropping and nitrogen fertilization (Onim etal. 1985).

Alley farming is considered an improvement to the traditional bush fallow system of Western Africa (Atta-Krah, 1985) and has the potential for checking soil degradation, soil fertility and crop yield. In Alley farming food crops are cultivated between rows of fast growing leguminous trees that are managed to provide nitrogen rich mulch for crops and high protein fodder for small ruminants.

Another method of increasing forage production is the mixed cereal/shrub grazing approach in Libya (FAO, 1984a). In that country cereal cultivation in Wadis and depressions is an economically sound traditional practice in the 150–200 mm rainfall belt. FAO Range and Livestock Development Project recommended planting shrubs at 10–15 meter rows to permit mechanical cultivation and harvesting of barley between the rows. This approach will provide multiple use of the land and alternative use (browse only) during dry years when cereals are not cultivated. Other benefits of this system is the protection of shrubs from browsing during the 6 month growing season of barley and providing sheep and goats with the nutritional benefit of supplementing stubble grazing with browsing.

Enhancing primary productivity in arid lands

The most limiting factor for food production in arid regions is plant available water supply. The projected increase in the area of permanent meadows and pastures in the world is very small. Countries like Kuwait, Libya and United Arab Emirates are dominantly barren and waste land. For example, only 3.1% of the total land area of the United Arab Emirates (60–100 mm rain) is classified as potential arable and rangeland. Prospects of increasing food supply for small ruminants could be achieved by interventions promoting efficient water harvesting and management. Some progress was achieved in commercial production of alfalfa and shelter belts in Kuwait using sewage effluent (Abu el Shawarib, 1985). Trials conducted by Taha et al. (1985) to establish seedlings of salt tolerant fodder (i.e. Atriplex species) using brackish water and diluted sea water have shown encouraging results.

Processing, conservation and treatment of feed resources

The small ruminants are less efficient ulitizers of high fiber feeds compared to cattle. Therefore, treatment of fibrous feeds is more essential for increasing productivity from sheep and goats. Encouraging progress was achieved at the experiment stations level, and at feedlot levels with treatment or supplementation. However, on-farm or on-range application is important for any real significance of these practices. For example, although silage and hay preserved the nutrients in 5 forage species in Western Kenya with equal efficiency, on-farm application by the farmers was not confirmed (Brown et al. 1984). Agro-industrial residues compiled from different sources (Fitzhugh et al. 7 1978; ILCA, 1979, and Preston, 1982) is presented in Table 6.

Establishment of certified pasture and range seed reserve centres

National and regional efforts should be directed towards collection, screening and breeding of improved fodder crop seeds. Along with this effort legal problems related to exchange and transfer of seeds and seedlings between countries should receive attention as it is currently imposing some practical difficulties.


The main constraints to small ruminant production in the developing countries is year-round feed availability. The projected increase in area of land considered as permanent meadows and pastures is not high (only 4% of the total world land area by the year 2000). However, the potential to increase feed production and utilization from the dry rangelands and pastures is enormous. The approach to achieve this increase is mainly by application and implementation of advanced technology. The projected increase in arable land area is high. This amounts to 13% of the total global land area or 68%, 159% and 116% change in the area of arable land in developed, developing and all world regions respectively as compared to the 1983 status. Much of the gap between poor and potential food yields has already been covered in the developed countries (Robinson, 1984). However, this gap is still wide in the developing countries which have a slightly larger share of arable lands than the developed regions.

The complex nature of the small ruminant production systems in the developing countries emphasizes the need for a multi-disciplinary, systems oriented approach for conducting research and designing alternative interventions. Techniques of computer based mathematical modelling and steps in the Farming and Pastoral Systems Research methodologies should be utilized to facilitate screening and prioritizing research and improvement requirements. Introduction and application of development technologies should be phased in stages which could permit accumulation, understanding and exchange of knowledge among the scientists (expatriates and local) and between them and the producers. Wide-scale application and testing of interventions should follow. Location and site specific recommendations and research areas which recognize the impact of the cultural, economic and administrative realities of each region should be developed together with training of producers, technicians and professionals to ensure continuity and validity of introduced technologies.


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TABLE 1. Potential arable land, permanent Meadows and Pasture and non-agricultural land (million ha).

Arable Land   
3 Potential3112620633189
% change4682063116
Permanent Meadows and Pasture 
% change191517
Non-agricultural land5 
% change-13-34-25

1, 2 FAO Year Book 1974 and 1983

3 Fitzhugh et al., 1978

4 % change from 1983 to Potential

5 Forests and woodlands + others

TABLE 2. Trends in total and agriculturally active population densities (% ) in developed and developing countries

YearPopulation density% agriculturally active

TABLE 3. Sheep, Goat and Human population (millions) and the ratio (R) of small ruminants to humans

1974–761 0574224 070.36
1981–831 1354744 670.34
% change71215-6
1974–76519241 124.48
1981–83535261 195.47
% change386-2
1974–765383972 946.32
1981–836004483 475.30
% change121318-6

Source: FAO Production yearbook, 1983

TABLE 4. Dietary Preference of Livestock under grazing conditions1

VegetationDiet Composition (% DM)

1 Source: Breymeyer and Van Dyne (1980).

TABLE 5. Diet Composition (% ) for different breeds of Sheep and Goats in Mixed Vegetation Community
(G = Grass; F = Forbs; B = Browse) in Texas

Grazing season YearSHEEPGOATS
Nov. 19796323363235403573616362138
Feb. 19808211787112772211718267129
Apr. 198073207771585228202486832959
Aug. 19804923285219294523322576850941
Feb. 198178121077111280137681121761410
Apr. 1981564047030167294402139451738

Source: Compiled from Warren et al., (1983)

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