The University of Arizona

Degradability of Andrean range forages in llamas and sheep.

D. Genin, M. Tichit


In sacco dry matter degradability (DMD) of the most commonly consumed range forages by llamas and sheep in the arid highlands of Bolivia was measured during the wet and dry seasons to determine if llamas exhibit a higher digestive ability than sheep. Results showed that degradability of low quality forages (DMD below 60% in sheep) was 20 to 30% higher for llamas than sheep, while no significant differences were found for highly digestible forages. There was a high correlation between DMD in llamas and sheep with a coefficient of determination of 0.96. Parameters of degradation curves indicated that llamas did not have higher microbial activity than sheep, since there was no consistent difference in degradation rates of the studied forages. Nonetheless, significantly higher potential degradability and effective degradability found in this study suggested that the longer retention time in the forestomach of llamas may be responsible for higher digestibility of poor quality forages.


in sacco dry matter degradation;degradation;Bolivia;llamas;highlands;arid lands;digestibility;kinetics;shrubs;sheep;grasses;forage;dry matter

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