Recent increases in livestock numbers in Mongolia have led to an increase in the risk of natural disaster. Grassland management by using scientific data is therefore becoming more important. Here, we estimated the forage intake of sheep to obtain basic information for calculating the carrying capacity of the Mongolian steppe zone. The study was conducted during September, 2012 and April, 2013 using 12 castrated sheep born in spring the previous year. Forage intake was calculated from fecal output, and digestibility was determined from the acid detergent lignin (ADL) contents of plants and feces. The dominant plants at the study site were typical steppe species such as Carex pediformis, Agropyron cristatum, and Stipa sp. The aboveground biomass on a dry matter (DM) basis was highest in September (1.080 t DM/ha) but decreased by 81.3% by February (P < 0.05). Body weight (BW), fecal output, ADL content, DM digestibility, and DM intake were statistically compared by month. BW (kg) differed significantly among seasons, but there was no difference among months (51.0 to 57.5). ADL content (% of DM) of plants was lower in September (6.28) and higher in February (10.85) and April (11.63). Fecal ADL content was lower in September (21.4) and higher in February (31.20) and April (31.80). Fecal ADL content increased linearly from September to April, but plant ADL content was the same in October and November. This difference likely occurred because the presence of snow on the ground surface led to differences between the plant parts ingested by sheep and the plant samples collected for chemical analysis and therefore differences in ADL content. DM digestibility (%) was 70.5 (September), 68.2 (October), 0.9 (November), 65.1 (February), and 63.2 (April). Daily DM intake (kg DM/day) was higher in October (1.73) and lower in April (1.30). Daily DM intake per kg BW did not differ significantly among seasons. Forage intake in winter and spring was higher than the current index for Mongolia. Moreover, the carrying capacity in winter and spring was lower than that in available reference data.
To identify soil factors affecting regional difference in aboveground productivity (AGP), soil and plant samples were collected from three typical steppe grasslands of Inner Mongolia exhibiting different productivity levels, and subjected to different grazing conditions. The sampling sites were located in grasslands used for grazing at Keshiketeng Banner (site 1; S1), Xilinhot city (S2), and Siziwang Banner (S3). Three grazing conditions (high grazing intensity: HG; low grazing intensity: LG; no grazing: NG) were categorized in each site. In early May, three fences (2 m × 2 m) for protecting land from grazing were built each in the HG and LG sites. Soil and plant samples were collected from three quadrate areas (1 × 1 m each) in each of the three sampling sites. Concentrations of total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), nitrate nitrogen (NO3--N), and P2O5 in the soil and plant samples were measured.Significant effects of grazing on AGP, plant species diversity, and plant coverage rates were observed only when S2 was subjected to HG. This may have contributed to degradation of vegetation in HG of S2 with a highest grazing intensity. On the one hand, the correlations between AGP and TN or TP in the 0-5 cm depth soil were significant (r=0.820 and 0.543, respectively, P<0.05). Notably, TP levels in soil and plant were lower than those in the 1960s. Thus, soil TP may be a factor limiting AGP. However, soil NO3--N and P2O5 levels did not correlate with AGP, and thus may not contribute to productivity differences among sampling sites.
In the cold and dry Mongolian plateau, dried livestock dung not only plays an important role as fuel but also has manifold uses in folk medicine, divination, etc. Utilization of livestock dung is part of the most important culture of the Mongolian pastoral society. Mongolian pastoralists mainly raise 5 kinds of animals as core livestock: cattle, horses, camels, sheep and goats. They have survived self-sufficiently with raising their livestock. The present study will focus on how dung of the livestock has been used by Mongolian pastoralists in their daily life and how the various names of it, over 30 totally, came into existence according to wide utilization for different purposes.
Deification of cattle of Hinduism is the product of gradual development of such notion over the last several millennia. Milk and its products, dung and urine are all considered to have strong power of purification and bring fertility. In particular, dung is used for making divine images to be worshipped and for burning sacred fire in festivals and rituals. This is an attempt to compile data on the use of dung. Any preceding case studies are scarce, hoping that the present paper would be the first attempt of its kind.
This study reports on the uses of cow dung (zubu and buffalo) in Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat, which lie in the semi-arid areas of northwest India. Cow dung is used for flooring and also as fuel in these areas. For use as fuel, cow dung is molded into the shape of a disk, called a “cow dung cake,” and used for storage in rural areas. In this paper, I present the technique for preparing and storing “cow dung cakes.” A combustion experiment was also conducted on “cow dung cakes” in this study. It was noted that while the use of cow dung as fuel can reduce the stress on the forest resources, the burning of cow dung releases some toxic substances. Finally, this study considered a sustainable use of animal dung in semi-arid areas.
The present paper reports the multifaceted ways of the usage of cow dung cake at Rakhi Khas and Rakhi Shapur in Hisar, Haryana, India. In the two villages belong to the semi-arid climate affected by the wet monsoon, the village people use three types of cow dung cake (i.e. golei, thepuri and gosha), which are made by village women all the year round as one of the most effective solutions for various problems based on the natural environment and a realistic problem, namely, everyday disposal of cow dung, at the everyday scene such as cooking etc. and the extraordinary scene such as the rite etc.