Anatomy for economy: Starting from the rumen keratinization degree to enhance the farm income
Federico M. Tardella,
Elena De Felice and
ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, 2018, vol. 20, issue 2, 261-272
This short note presents the economic sustainability of food supplementation as an essential way to contrast the rapid rumen keratinization in sheep fed on the pasture during the summer in Apennine Mountains of Marche region, a region of Central Italy. Grazing is a main tool for biodiversity conservation, however, there is a risk of pasture abandonment due to the climate changes leading to an increasing summer aridity that negatively affect forage features; worsening in forage composition resulted in decline of sheep body status, mainly due to the rise of fiber content, which causes the increase of rumen keratinization degree. During summer, the deterioration of the body condition of sheep is the main cause of the declining milk yield and quality; this can have serious impacts on farm household income, enhancing the risk of pasture abandonment with consequent environmental and territorial degradation. A flock of 45 adult female sheep were conducted on pasture at the beginning of June 2016, where they were free to grazing until the moment of pasture maximum flowering. From this moment until the maximum pasture dryness the animals were divided in two groups: the control group fed only on the pasture, while the experimental group was also supplemented with 600 g/day/animal of corn and barley (1:1). The rumen epithelium keratinization degree, Body Condition Score and milk production were monitored at the beginning and at the end of the period of differentiated diets. The food supplementation didn’t affect the animal body state, but it slow down the growth of the rumen keratinization degree, allowing a better absorption of nourishing principles and then bringing to a significant increase of the milk production. An analysis of cost/benefit, attempted also considering the newborn numerousness, indicated that food supplementation could mitigate the productive loss induced by summer aridity preserving the economic sustainability of sheep milk production, thus avoiding land abandonment.
JEL-codes: Q01 Q54 Q57 R11 Z32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://www.francoangeli.it/riviste/Scheda_Rivista. ... 638&Tipo=ArticoloPDF (text/html)
Single articles can be downloaded buying download credits, for info: http://www.francoangeli.it/riviste/inglese_download_credit.asp
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:fan:ecaqec:v:html10.3280/ecag2018-002010
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.francoang ... ti.aspx?startCode=DC
Access Statistics for this article
ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE is currently edited by Maurizio Canavari, Sedef Akg ng”r, Valeria Borsellino, Christine Mauracher, Simona Naspetti, John L. Stanton, Stefanella Stranieri
More articles in ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE from FrancoAngeli Editore
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Angelo Ventriglia ().