Determining when to rotate livestock under short duration grazing

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Title: Determining when to rotate livestock under short duration grazing
Author: Mosley, Jeffrey Clyde
Abstract: Determining when to rotate livestock from pasture to pasture is a critical decision with short duration grazing (SDG ) management on rangeland . Currently , however , grazing managers have few criteria upon which to base this key decision . Responding to this need , this study attempted to develop a practical management indicator . Specific objectives were to identify a potential rotation indicator and then evaluate the efficacy of this indicator . The initial part of this study monitored a 6 -pasture SDG system and examined changes within 7 -day grazing periods in diet quality , diet composition , forage quality , forage availability , and grazing behavior of 60 yearling steers . Forage availability and grazing behavior were the only parameters that consistently changed (P < 0 .10 ) within grazing periods , but forage availability was not limiting . Accordingly , a rotation indicator does not appear necessary when rangeland is properly stocked . If a useful indicator does exist , forage availability is favored over grazing behavior because it is more readily monitored by grazing managers . The second part of this study evaluated the utility of forage availability as a rotation indicator . Four simulated C -pasture SDG systems were established , each flexibly stocked with 4 -9 yearling steers . Livestock in two of the simulated systems were rotated on a fixed schedule of 7 days per pasture . Steers in the remaining two simulated systems were rotated independently according tc forage availability with grazing periods varying from 0 -14 days . No general differences (F > 0 .10 ) were detected in forage quality , forage availability , or animal gains between systems rotated flexibly according to forage availability or those systems rotated every 7 days . Therefore , using forage availability to indicate when to rotate livestock under SDG did not prove advantageous under the conditions of this study . Results of this study support recommendations for SDG that 7 -day grazing periods are sufficiently short on properly stocked rangeland .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /16992
Date: 1987-08

Citation

Determining when to rotate livestock under short duration grazing. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /16992 .

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