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Foraging behaviour of beef cattle in the hilly terrain of a Mediterranean grassland
Year:
2012
Source of publication :
Rangeland Journal
Authors :
Henkin, Zalmen
;
.
Ungar, Eugene David
;
.
Volume :
34
Co-Authors:
Henkin, Z., Beef Cattle Section, Newe-ya'Ar Research Centre, Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 1021, Ramat Yishay 30095, Israel
Ungar, E.D., Department of Natural Resources, Agricultural Research Organisation the Volcani Centre, PO Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Dolev, A., MIGAL Galilee Technological Centre, Kiryat Shemona, PO Box 831, Kiryat Shmona 11016, Israel
Facilitators :
From page:
163
To page:
172
(
Total pages:
10
)
Abstract:
The objective of this study was to determine the role of terrain in the foraging behaviour of beef cows grazing hilly Mediterranean grasslands. The study was conducted in eastern Galilee, Israel, during 2002 and 2003 on two similar 28-ha paddocks encompassing distinct terrain types in terms of slope and rock cover. The paddocks were continuously grazed by cows from mid winter (JanuaryFebruary) to autumn (September) at two different stocking rates (1.1 and 0.56 cows per ha). From early June to the end of September the cows were offered poultry litter ad libitum as a supplementary feed. The location and activity of cows were monitored with GPS collars during four periods in each year: early spring (FebruaryMarch), late spring (April), early summer (June) and late summer (August). Herbage mass was measured at the beginning of each of these periods. During early and late spring, when the herbage mass and nutritive value of herbage were high, the cows spent 4050% of the day grazing, with peaks in the morning and afternoon. In the dry, late summer period (August), grazing of the herbage was 2022% of the day, occurring only in the early morning and late afternoon with sporadic bouts of grazing until midnight. In all periods the cows tended to prefer the flattest terrain sites. As the herbage mass declined to 10001500kg ha-1, the exploitation of the pasture during grazing became increasingly similar among the different terrains. Even on relatively small paddocks, where grazing pressure was close to the full potential of the site, free-ranging cows tended to prefer less sloping and rocky sites. It is concluded that the grazing strategy of beef cows is determined by the interaction between terrain, the distribution of the herbage mass and the nutritive value of the herbage. As herbage mass declines during the growing season, the distribution of grazing becomes uniform and all terrain types are exploited. © Australian Rangeland Society 2012.
Note:
Related Files :
Bos
cattle activity
cattle spatial distribution
cows
geographic information system
Global Positioning System
herbage mass.
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Related Content
More details
DOI :
10.1071/RJ11096
Article number:
Affiliations:
Database:
Scopus
Publication Type:
article
;
.
Language:
English
Editors' remarks:
ID:
27514
Last updated date:
02/03/2022 17:27
Creation date:
17/04/2018 00:31
Scientific Publication
Foraging behaviour of beef cattle in the hilly terrain of a Mediterranean grassland
34
Henkin, Z., Beef Cattle Section, Newe-ya'Ar Research Centre, Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 1021, Ramat Yishay 30095, Israel
Ungar, E.D., Department of Natural Resources, Agricultural Research Organisation the Volcani Centre, PO Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Dolev, A., MIGAL Galilee Technological Centre, Kiryat Shemona, PO Box 831, Kiryat Shmona 11016, Israel
Foraging behaviour of beef cattle in the hilly terrain of a Mediterranean grassland
The objective of this study was to determine the role of terrain in the foraging behaviour of beef cows grazing hilly Mediterranean grasslands. The study was conducted in eastern Galilee, Israel, during 2002 and 2003 on two similar 28-ha paddocks encompassing distinct terrain types in terms of slope and rock cover. The paddocks were continuously grazed by cows from mid winter (JanuaryFebruary) to autumn (September) at two different stocking rates (1.1 and 0.56 cows per ha). From early June to the end of September the cows were offered poultry litter ad libitum as a supplementary feed. The location and activity of cows were monitored with GPS collars during four periods in each year: early spring (FebruaryMarch), late spring (April), early summer (June) and late summer (August). Herbage mass was measured at the beginning of each of these periods. During early and late spring, when the herbage mass and nutritive value of herbage were high, the cows spent 4050% of the day grazing, with peaks in the morning and afternoon. In the dry, late summer period (August), grazing of the herbage was 2022% of the day, occurring only in the early morning and late afternoon with sporadic bouts of grazing until midnight. In all periods the cows tended to prefer the flattest terrain sites. As the herbage mass declined to 10001500kg ha-1, the exploitation of the pasture during grazing became increasingly similar among the different terrains. Even on relatively small paddocks, where grazing pressure was close to the full potential of the site, free-ranging cows tended to prefer less sloping and rocky sites. It is concluded that the grazing strategy of beef cows is determined by the interaction between terrain, the distribution of the herbage mass and the nutritive value of the herbage. As herbage mass declines during the growing season, the distribution of grazing becomes uniform and all terrain types are exploited. © Australian Rangeland Society 2012.
Scientific Publication
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