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Cornell University

Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition

Effect of Goat Management Practices on Animal Nutrition and the Environment in Western Odisha, India


India has a shortage of forage and feed for its estimated 535 million head of livestock. Nutrition is the most limiting factor for goats in India to fulfill their genetic potential. Most Indian goats are managed in extensive grazing systems and information about goat nutrition and management practices in India is scarce. Consequently, this study’s objective was to identify how goat management practices impact goat health and the environment in Western Odisha. A nine-month goat observation experiment took place in the Kandhamal District of Odisha to observe the current livestock system and browsing behavior of goats. The methods utilized for goat observations were novel and suggest how other researchers could approach future grazing systems research. Digestible dry matter intake of forages selected by goats in the available pasturage was low compared to similar studies. There was a high proportion of non-native, invasive species selected by goats. Livestock management practices in combination with other human interventions that are disturbing forest and pastureland ecology are degrading available lands for grazing. To improve the productivity of grazing livestock and the condition of common property resources, investment must be made by government departments to monitor land management practices and reestablish pastures with improved forages.

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