Regional Assessment of the Virtual Water of Sheep and Goats in Arid Areas
Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Volume 6, Issue 4, July 2018, Pages: 58-66
Received: Aug. 13, 2018;
Accepted: Aug. 29, 2018;
Published: Oct. 13, 2018
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Ke Zhang, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China
Chao Li, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China
Wen Bao, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China
Mengmeng Guo, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China
Qi Zhang, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China
Yuxin Yang, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China
Qifang Kou, Ningxia Tan Sheep Farm, Hongsibu, China
Wenrui Gao, Shanbei Cashmere Goats Farm, Hengshan, China
Xiaolong Wang, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China
Zhaoxia Yang, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China
Yulin Chen, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China
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The increased consumption of livestock products is likely to put further pressure on the world’s freshwater resources, an agricultural virtual water strategy will alleviate the water resources pressure of livestock husbandry, especially in arid areas. The research on the virtual water requirement of living animals is still blank in China. Most of the researches on the virtual water of animal products in China adopt foreign data and there is some error with the actual situation in China. In this study, the virtual water requirements of sheep and goats (n=80) in North China were evaluated and validated. Factors that affect animals’ virtual water requirements and the water supply for sheep and goat management were analyzed. We found that the virtual water productivity in sheep at five growth stages (40-day-old [D40], 6-month [M6], 12-month-old [M12], 24-month-old [M24], and 36-month-old [M36]) was lower than that in goats. The amount of virtual water requirements was 496.07 m3 from birth to M36 in sheep and was 217.14 m3 in goats. The water consumes were estimated to be 9 019.4 m3 /t in sheep and 4 825.3m3 /t in goats. The virtual water requirement for feed accounted for more than 99% of the total water consumption. Daily water consumption in rams is larger than that in ewes. We found that the crop type and yield, the proportion of high water consumption feed raw material in complete diet pellets, as well as the flock structure are the three major factors influencing virtual water demand in animals. Our results provided strategies to reduce water consumption in animal husbandry industries in arid areas, and further show that the crop import trade strategies can be used to increase the import of high water-consuming crops, instead of the virtual water consumption of the sheep and goat industry output, thereby alleviating the pressure on local water resources.
Virtual Water, Water Resource, Goat, Sheep, Animal Husbandry
To cite this article
Regional Assessment of the Virtual Water of Sheep and Goats in Arid Areas, Animal and Veterinary Sciences.
Vol. 6, No. 4,
2018, pp. 58-66.
Copyright © 2018 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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