Climate Change Adaptation: Coping Strategies for Minimizing Constraints of Extreme Climatic Conditions of Thar Desert on Sheep Production


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Authors

  • B K Mathur ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur 342 003, India
  • Abhishek Kumar ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur 342 003, India
  • S P S Tanwar ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur 342 003, India
  • Mukesh Barewa ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur 342 003, India
  • J P Singh ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur 342 003, India
  • R K Bhatt ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur 342 003, India

Abstract

Thar Desert is characterized by high ambient temperature, sunshine, desiccating winds and meagre rainfall causing less availability of forage and discomfort to the animals. An experiment was initiated at Chandan area of Jaisalmer district, maintaining sheep of Jaisalmeri breed under continuous grazing system on fenced over mature sevan (Lasiurus sindicus) pasture as per the carrying capacity. The objective of study were to develop coping strategies for minimizing impact of extreme climatic conditions on sheep production of Thar Desert. The treatments were: C1 - Stocking of grazing sheep at recommended stocking rate (1 ACU ha-1 = 5 female + 1 male) + supplementary feeding of balanced concentrate @ 200 gms animal-1 + healthcare as per requirement; C2 - 12 animals per hectare with supplementary feeding and healthcare, C3 - 6 animals ha-1 without supplementary feeding and healthcare and C4 - 12 animals ha-1 without supplementary feeding and healthcare. Sheep were found more adjusted with feed availability through changes in grazing behavior like increased grazing time, bites per minute, change in grazing spot per 5 minutes, time taken while drinking water etc. Animals preferred shade when THI is above 88 particularly tree shed, because of cooling effect of leaves due to moisture evaporation and free flow air in the pasture area compared to erected thatched shade in Thar region. Sheep provided with supplementary concentrate feed and health management (C1, C2), even with double grazing pressure resulted in increase in live body weight and wool yield (C2) compared to the herds maintained exclusively on fenced over mature Sevan (Lasiuruss indicus) grass pasture (C3, C4).Supplementary feeding and healthcare also improved vital parameters like hemoglobin, blood sugar, respiration rate, pulse rate etc. Study showed that when grazing pressure is doubled with no feed supplementation and healthcare (C4) then there is decrease in body weight even though it spends more time for grazing. Thus, it is inferred that only grazing on pastures will not result in realization of actual livestock productivity in extreme hot climatic condition and it could be mitigated by supplementing grazing with balanced concentrates, provision of trees in grazing area and adoption of health management practices. Key words: Climate change, coping strategies, sheep production, supplementary feeding, Thar Desert.

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References

Maiti, S., Jha, S.K., Garai, S., Nag, A., Chakravarty, R., Kadian, K.S., Chandel, B.S., Datta, K.K. and Upadhyay, R.C. 2014. Adaptation strategies followed by the livestock rearers of coastal Odisha and West Bengal to cope up with climate change. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences 84(6): 652-659. McDowell, R.E., Hooven, N.E. and Comoers, J.K. 1976. Effect of climate on performance of Holstein in first lactation. Journal of Dairy Science 59: 965-973. Lemerie, C. and Goddard, M.E. 1986. Assessment of heat stress in dairy cattle in Papua New Guinea. Tropical Animal Health Production 18: 232-242. Sejian, V., Singh, A.K., Sahoo, A. and Naqvi, S.M.K. 2014. Effect of mineral mixture and antioxidant supplementation on growth, reproductive performance and adaptive capability of Malpura ewes subjected to heat stress. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 98: 72-83.

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Submitted

13-02-2020

Published

13-02-2020

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Articles

How to Cite

Climate Change Adaptation: Coping Strategies for Minimizing Constraints of Extreme Climatic Conditions of Thar Desert on Sheep Production. (2020). Annals of Arid Zone, 58(3 & 4). https://epubs.icar.org.in/index.php/AAZ/article/view/98030