Sheep Feeding Strategies in the Face of Declining Steppe Fodder Resources in Tebessa Region/Algeria
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Keywords:Animal feed, Breeder, Sheep farming, Steppe rangelands, Stratetgy
In Algeria, sheep farming in the steppe areas is the main source of income
for the populations of these regions. The share of pasture in the daily food ration of
sheep has become very low, less than 30%. As a result, breeders have diversified their
feeding system strategies. Our questioning concerns the different strategies adopted
by breeders and their efficiency to deal with the lack of fodder from natural steppe
rangelands. To carry out our research, we used free interviews, with resource persons
(extension worker, developer, etc.) and surveys/interviews with 100 breeders from
two municipalities in the center of the province of Tébessa. We opted for a holistic
and systemic approach to acquire and analyze our collected information. This result in
three main feeding strategies adopted by 3 groups of herders: The 1st strategy exploited
all the food resources available in the study environment, namely the exploitation of
natural rangelands, pastures from cropland, fodder supplementation and concentrate
supplementation (barley grains and wheat bran, etc.), the 2nd strategy used all the
resources of the 1st except natural rangelands. The 3rd strategy consisted of grazing the
free fodder supply from natural rangelands of different statuses and using the cheapest
concentrated feeds (wheat bran). The use of supplementation in concentrate was essential,
it was found in all strategies.
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