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Breed and maternal effects on the intake of tannin-rich browse by juvenile domestic goats ( Capra hircus )

By T. A. Glasser, E. D. Ungar, S. Y. Landau, A. Perevolotsky, H. Muklada, J. W. Walker

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Goat breeds differ in their consumption of tannin-rich browse, but the relative contributions of genetics and learning to these differences is unclear. The objective of this study was to differentiate between the effects of breed (nature) and rearing environment (nurture) on consumption of a tanniferous species by kid goats. We used Damascus and Mamber goat kids, and the browse species Pistacia lentiscus L. (tannin-rich) and Phillyrea latifolia L. (tannin-poor) to study the effects of breed and maternal attributes on: (i) propensity to consume these species when offered separately as a single food and (ii) preference when offered together. A cross-fostering experiment was conducted in which groups of Mamber and Damascus kids were reared indoors by biological mothers or by does of the reciprocal breed. To this design was added an artificially reared group of each breed that had been fed milk powder and had no adult role model. Propensity to consume and preference were tested prior to weaning when the "Naive" kids had no foraging experience, and after the "Experienced" kids had been weaned and allowed to forage, either together with their treatment does or alone in the case of the artificially reared groups, in an area containing both target species. For both Naive and Experienced kids, testing comprised nine 5-min exposures under controlled conditions. In the propensity test, Naive and Experienced kids of all treatment groups consumed both browse species readily. In the preference test, the rearing doe had a significant effect on the preference for P. lentiscus shown by Experienced but not by Naive, kids. This showed that exposure to different role models while foraging induced differences in diet selection. Kid breed did not have a significant effect on preference for P. lentiscus. The preference for P. lentiscus shown by kids reared artificially (61

Date 2009
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 119
Issue 1/2
Pages 71-77
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2009.02.028
Language English
Author Address Department of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization-The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal genetics
  3. Animal nutrition
  4. Animal reproduction
  5. Asia
  6. Avoidance
  7. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  8. Buildings
  9. Capra
  10. Developed countries
  11. Dog Breeds
  12. Effect
  13. Field crops
  14. Flowers
  15. Fodder
  16. Food economics
  17. Foraging
  18. Genetics
  19. Goats
  20. Intake
  21. Kids
  22. Mammals
  23. Maternal effects
  24. Mediterranean region
  25. Middle East
  26. Milk and dairy products
  27. models
  28. mothers
  29. peer-reviewed
  30. Plants
  31. Ruminants
  32. Syria
  33. Threshold Countries
  34. weaning
  35. young animals
  36. Zoology
  1. peer-reviewed