The effects of stem density of tropical swards and age of grazing cattle on their foraging behaviour

M. A. Benvenutti, I.J. Gordon and D.P. Poppi (2008) The effects of stem density of tropical swards and age of grazing cattle on their foraging behaviour. Grass And Forage Science, 63 1: 1-8. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2494.2007.00609.x


Author M. A. Benvenutti
I.J. Gordon
D.P. Poppi
Title The effects of stem density of tropical swards and age of grazing cattle on their foraging behaviour
Journal name Grass And Forage Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0142-5242
Publication date 2008-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2494.2007.00609.x
Open Access Status
Volume 63
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Editor John A Milne
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Language eng
Subject C1
070202 Animal Growth and Development
8303 Livestock Raising
Abstract The effects of stem density of tropical swards and age of cattle on their foraging behaviour were evaluated using artificial microswards, consisting of leaves of 20 cm in height and high tensile-resisting stems of 25 cm in height of Panicum maximum. The treatments consisted of a factorial combination of four stem densities of swards (0, 100, 200 and 400 stems m) and two ages of cattle (1- and 3-year-old steers). There was a significant interaction between stem density of sward and age of cattle for bite area (BA), bite mass (BM) and instantaneous intake rate (IIR). Stem density had a significant negative effect on these variables describing ingestive behaviour which was particularly strong for older steers. In leaf-only swards, mature cattle achieved a much greater BA (106.5 vs. 57.9 cm), BM (0.88 vs. 0.47 g DM) and IIR (46.9 vs. 17.2 g DM min) than did young cattle. However, these variables were very similar across ages of cattle at the highest stem density of sward. These results show the importance of the high tensile-resisting stems as deterrents of the grazing process in tropical pastures, particularly in older cattle.
Keyword Bite dimensions
Cattle
Foraging behaviour
Stem density
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
 
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