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Geese Reared in Vineyard: Soil, Grass and Animals Interaction

Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Science, University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno 74, 06124 Perugia, Italy
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sassari, Via Vienna 2, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(4), 179;
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Poultry Production Systems)
PDF [492 KB, uploaded 21 April 2019]

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Agroforestry is a practice, which consists of having orchard, crops and animals in the same land. This system shows many sustainability advantages like reductions of land use, permitting to obtain two productions (vegetal and animal) in the same area. Moreover, if the animals are well managed, they exert a double action by fertilizing and weeding the soil. The agroforestry system here studied consists of an organic vineyard where geese at two densities (High Geese Density-HGD and Low Geese Density-LGD) were reared. In the organic vineyard, only Copper (Cu) treatment is allowed, like antifungal. The aim was to investigate the chemical and biochemical properties of the soil with geese and the impact of Cu on the soil and animal tissues. The main results showed that the presence of animals improves the efficiency of the microbial biomass mainly in the upper soil horizons. Moreover, the grazing activity of geese removes Cu from the soil with the grass intake and showed a moderate accumulation in the liver. However, no significant difference was present in the edible tissues (breast and drumstick) of the vineyard geese in respect to the control ones.


Agroforestry systems aim at increasing the productivity and the environmental sustainability of both crop and animal productions. The integration of small animals such as geese in the vineyard could represent an opportunity to improve farm income and reduce land use for grazing. The main objective of this work was to study the impact of geese rearing in an organic vineyard on the chemical and biochemical properties of the soil and the effect of Copper (Cu) supplied with the fungicide treatments. Furthermore, the amount of Cu in the animal tissues was also investigated. Three experimental areas within the vineyard were selected: High Geese Density (HGD-240 geese ha−1), Low Geese Density (LGD-120 geese ha−1) and Without Geese used as control soil (WG). The results indicated that both HGD and LGD did not affect the main chemical properties of the vineyard soils. LGD increased the amount and the efficiency of the microbial biomass in the upper soil horizons. Moreover, geese through the grazing activity reduced the Cu content in the vineyard soils, accumulating this element in their liver. However, the content of Cu in the breast and drumstick of vineyard geese did not show any significant difference in respect the meat of the control ones. View Full-Text
Keywords: geese; copper; vineyard soil properties; agroforestry geese; copper; vineyard soil properties; agroforestry

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Massaccesi, L.; Cartoni Mancinelli, A.; Mattioli, S.; De Feudis, M.; Castellini, C.; Dal Bosco, A.; Marongiu, M.L.; Agnelli, A. Geese Reared in Vineyard: Soil, Grass and Animals Interaction. Animals 2019, 9, 179.

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