• Diet and Forage Intake of Cattle on Desert Grassland Range

      Hakkila, M. D.; Holechek, J. L.; Wallace, J. D.; Anderson, D. M.; Cardenas, M. (Society for Range Management, 1987-07-01)
      Cattle production on desert grassland ranges in southern New Mexico has been low, although limited research shows diet nutritional quality of cattle is adequate to meet production needs during most seasons. Forage intake data are lacking for cattle on desert grassland ranges. Five esophageal-fistulated steers were used to evaluate diet quality and botanical composition on desert grassland range in southern New Mexico. Another 6 steers were used to collect feces to determine intake. Cattle changed their diet with seasonal advance to maximize diet quality. Crude protein concentrations of cattle diets were well above those needed for lactation and daily gain during spring and summer. Diet samples were high in neutral detergent fiber (66-81%), suggesting low energy in the forage. Low forage intake was the main nutritional constraint identified. Even during the summer growing season, organic matter intake never exceeded 1.5% of body weight. We speculate low intakes may have resulted from high summer temperatures that reduced grazing time. During the late fall and winter, low forage quality appears to explain suppressed intake. Protein supplementation in late fall and winter, and energy supplementation in spring, should be advantageous. We caution that data on diet quality without information on forage intake may poorly describe nutritional status of range cattle.
    • Diet and forage quality of intermediate wheatgrass managed under continuous and short-duration grazing

      Nelson, M. L.; Finley, J. W.; Scarnecchia, D. L.; Paris, S. M. (Society for Range Management, 1989-11-01)
      Diet quality and forage quality were determined under short-duration and continuous grazing of intermediate wheatgrass (Agropyron intermedium) in 72-day grazing trials in 1985 and 1986. The short-duration unit was divided into 8 subunits grazed sequentially for 3 days each. Six crossbred heifers and 2 esophageally fistulated steers were randomly assigned to each grazing treatment. Animals were weighed and fecal samples, pasture samples, and diet (esophageal masticate) samples were collected in each of the three 24-day periods. In vitro organic matter disappearance (IVOMD) of steer diets under short-duration grazing declined linearly across periods of both years and across days within periods in 1986. Crude protein content of steer diets under short-duration grazing declined quadratically across periods in 1986. Crude protein and IVOMD content of steer diets under continuous grazing declined linearly in 1985. The effects of 4 maturities of intermediate wheatgrass on digestibility and ruminal kinetics were compared in a 4 × 4 Latin square design with 4 ruminally and abomasally fistulated crossbred wethers. Organic matter intake and digestibility, in situ rate and extent of NDF digestion, liquid passage rate and particulate mass flowing from the rumen decreased linearly with increased forage maturity. These data suggested that effects of forage maturity or period of grazing had similar effects on diet quality and forage quality. However, diet quality under short-duration grazing also declined across days within subunits.
    • Diet and Grazing Habits of Steers on Foothill Range Fertilized with Sulfur

      Green, L. R.; Wagnon, K. A.; Bentley, J. R. (Society for Range Management, 1958-09-01)
    • Diet and Performance of Sheep on Rangeland in Semiarid Argentina

      Bishop, J. P.; Froseth, J. A.; Verettoni, H. N.; Noller, C. H. (Society for Range Management, 1975-01-01)
      During 1968 a study was conducted with sheep grazing sandhill pasture in the semiarid area of Argentina. Measurements made included botanical analyses of forage available, forages selected, intake, body weight, and wool growth. Botanical analyses showed that sheep selected their diet from species comprising less than one-fourth of all forage available. Two coarse perennials, Sporobolus rigens and Hyalis argentea, representing between 64.0 and 84.8% by weight of all forages available, were not consumed by the sheep. The animals preferentially grazed certain species even when these species were available in very low amounts. Digestible organic matter intake, body weight, and wool production followed a similar pattern. An inadequate intake of energy would appear to be the most serious nutritional deficiency identified by this study.
    • Diet composition of Angora goats in a short-duration grazing system

      Taylor, C. A.; Kothmann, M. M. (Society for Range Management, 1990-03-01)
      Botanical and chemical compositions of Angora goat (Capra hircus) diets, determined with esophageally cannulated animals, were studied with and independent of a cattle-sheep-goat herd in a short-duration grazing (SDG) system. The study site consisted of 2 pastures in a 14-pasture, 1-herd SDG system. Each collection period in both pastures began when 44 animal units of livestock moved into either pasture 1 or 2. This methodology allowed a comparison of diet selection with and without grazing pressure. Goats selected more grass during the summer and fall than during the winter and spring. Browse was preferred over grass and forbs. Generally, higher crude protein values tended to be associated with large amounts of browse and forb selection. In vitro digestibility was highest in April and lowest in August. Crude protein was highest in April and lowest in November. Under this particular stocking rate (.19 animal unit years/ha) and weather conditions, we concluded that increased grazing pressure, caused by a 4-day graze period in a SDG system, had little effect on goat nutrition.
    • Diet Composition of Cattle Grazing Sandhills Range During Spring

      Volesky, Jerry D.; Schacht, Walter H.; Reece, Patrick E.; Vaughn, Timothy J. (Society for Range Management, 2007-01-01)
      The grazing season on upland Sandhills range traditionally begins in mid-May when the dominant warm-season grasses have initiated growth. Initiating grazing earlier would improve efficiency of use of cool-season plants and reduce the time period during which hay is fed. A 2-year study was conducted to determine nutrient and botanical composition of cattle diets when grazing upland Sandhills range during spring. Diets were collected from esophageally-fistulated cows on 10 April, 1 May, and 22 May each year. Concurrently, current-year, and residual herbage was clipped to determine pasture composition and calculate preference indices for the primary plant species and groups. Averaged across dates, needleandthread (Stipa comata Trin. Rupr.), bluegrasses (Poa spp.), and sedges (Carex spp.) accounted for 19% of the total herbage and 68% of the current-year herbage yield. These species constituted an average of 74% of cow diets. Diet composition of sedges was less on 10 April than on 22 May (P < 0.05), whereas similar amounts of needleandthread and bluegrasses were present on all dates. Preference indices indicated strong selection for species with abundant current-year growth and avoidance of residual herbage. Crude protein content of diets was less on 10 April (10.7%) than on 1 May or 22 May (13.9%, P < 0.05), likely because of a greater amount of residual herbage present in 10 April diets. Overall quality of diets would meet requirements of average spring-calving cows; however, grazing management strategies would need to account for the limited availability of current-year growth during spring, particularly April, to ensure that cattle are meeting their nutrient needs. 
    • Diet Composition, Forage Selection, and Potential for Forage Competition Among Elk, Deer, and Livestock on Aspen-Sagebrush Summer Range

      Beck, Jeffrey L.; Peek, James M. (Society for Range Management, 2005-03-01)
      We evaluated elk (Cervus elaphus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), cattle (Bos taurus), and domestic sheep (Ovis aries) diet composition, diet overlap, and forage selection on aspen (Populus tremuloides Michaux)-sagebrush (Artemisia spp. L.) summer range in northeastern Nevada to understand potential for forage competition to provide better information for managing these communities. Diets were determined through microhistological fecal analysis from 1998 to 2000, and forage selection was evaluated at feeding sites in aspen and sagebrush communities in 1999 and 2000. Elk spring diets were the most diverse in composition; summer elk diets were dominated by forbs (59%-78%); deer consumed mostly woody browse (64%-72%); and cattle and sheep ate mostly graminoids. Lupines (Lupinus spp. L.) constituted > 11% of elk, deer, and sheep diets in summer. Spurred lupine (Lupinus caudatus Kellogg) was the lupine typically selected in feeding sites and greatest consumption occurred in summer when total alkaloid levels were lowest. Highest diet overlap was between cattle and sheep in 1999 (68%) and lowest between deer and cattle in 2000 (3%). Summer elk and deer diets overlapped moderately (45%-59%). Diets did not differ between elk in spring with sheep, elk in summer with deer and sheep, or cattle with sheep. Cattle foraged selectively on forbs in aspen communities (68%) and on graminoids in sagebrush communities (88%), reflecting relative forage availabilities. We detected no differences among elk, cattle, and sheep for forage selection in aspen communities. Electivity indices indicated elk preferred forbs in aspen and sagebrush communities; cattle preferred graminoids in sagebrush; and foraging sheep preferred forbs in aspen. Our results suggest potential for forage competition among ungulates on aspen-sagebrush summer range is highest for forbs in aspen communities. Monitoring productivity and use of key forage species, particularly forbs in aspen communities, should complement management objectives on shared aspen-sagebrush summer range. 
    • Diet of Black-Tailed Jackrabbits on Sandhill Rangeland in Colorado

      Sparks, D. R. (Society for Range Management, 1968-07-01)
      The diet and forage preferences of the black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) were studied by stomach content analysis to determine the degree of competition between cattle and jackrabbits on sandhill rangeland. Grasses were most important in the diet in early spring and summer. Forbs were important during summer and fall and shrubs were eaten in fall and winter. Competition for forage between jackrabbits and cattle was greatest in early spring and least in late fall and winter. Jackrabbits influence the longevity of reseeded forage stands and the secondary succession on old fields. A thorough knowledge of diet and forage preferences of jackrabbits permits the land manager to make better decisions for efficient range use.
    • Diet of Guanaco and Red Deer in Neuquen Province, Argentina

      Bahamonde, N.; Martin, S.; Sbriller, A. P. (Society for Range Management, 1986-01-01)
      Spring and summer diets of guanaco (Lama guanicoe) and red deer (Cervus elaphus) in northern Patagonia were determined by the microhistological analysis of their droppings. Forbs were the main components of the guanaco diet both in spring and summer. Spring diet of deer was comprised mainly of grasses, whereas the summer was comprised equally of trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses. These results indicate differential use of the area by both species.
    • Diet of Pronghorn in Western Kansas

      Sexon, Mark L.; Choate, Jerry R.; Nicholson, Robert A. (Society for Range Management, 1981-11-01)
      Pronghorn were common throughout most of Kansas before settlement of the region by European man. They had begun to decline in numbers, even in sparsely populated western Kansas, by 1877, and were nearly extirpated in the state by 1915. However, small herds of pronghorn persisted along the Kansas-Colorado state line, and these were augmented by herds introduced into several regions of Kansas during the years 1964-1979. The diet of the most successful population of pronghorn in western Kansas was found to consist largely of forbs in late spring, summer, and early autumn, of forbs supplemented with wheat and other dicots in late autumn and early spring, and of wheat in winter. Pronghorn are able to live and reproduce where 30% of the land is used for cultivated crops at least in part because they are able to use those crops as food during months when native foods are in short supply.
    • Diet of Walkingsticks on Sandhill Rangeland in Colorado

      Ueckert, D. N.; Hansen, R. M. (Society for Range Management, 1972-03-01)
      The seasonal dry-weight composition of the diet of walkingstick insects collected on sandhill rangeland in northeastern Colorado was determined by microscopic examination of crop contents. The walkingstick was found to be monophagous and highly selective in its feeding habits. Slimleaf scurfpea comprised essentially 100% of its seasonal diet. Preference indices were calculated from herbage availability data. The frequency of plants in the habitat and the frequency of plants in the diet of the walkingsticks were not correlated. Walkingsticks may compete with cattle for high-protein forage.
    • Diet Overlap of Deer, Elk, and Cattle in Southern Colorado

      Hansen, R. M.; Reid, L. D. (Society for Range Management, 1975-01-01)
      The monthly diets of mule deer and elk were estimated by microscopic analyses of fecal samples from December, 1970, through November, 1971, and from June, 1971, through September, 1971, for cattle. Seasonal preferences for plants were observed for mule deer and elk. Deer diets consisted primarily of browse except in summer and early winter when grasses were taken in significant amounts. Forbs were eaten by deer in small amounts only in the spring and summer. Elk diets were mostly grasses, but a significant percentage of browse was consumed in all seasons except the summer. Cattle diets from June through September were almost entirely grasses or grass-like plants. Dietary overlap between deer and elk ranged from three percent in winter to 48% in summer; of deer and cattle in summer from 12% to 38%; of elk and cattle in summer from 30% to 51%. The diversity of plants in the diets was similar for deer, elk, and cattle.
    • Diet Quality of Steers Grazing Three Range Sites in South Florida

      Long, K. R.; Kalmbacher, R. S.; Martin, F. G. (Society for Range Management, 1986-09-01)
      Crude protein and in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) were studied in diets of 4 or 5 esophageally fistulated steers grazing pine-palmetto (PP), fresh-water marsh (FM), or transition (T) sites. Crude protein in summer diets on FM (10.6%) was higher (P>0.05) than that on PP (7.3%) and T (7.3%). There were no differences among sites for diet crude protein content (7.1%) during winter. There were no differences (P>0.05) in diet IVOMD among 3 range sites in summer (46.8%) or winter (33.7%). Data suggest that diets selected on PP and T sites could meet protein requirements for dry cows in summer but not winter. Diets from the FM site could meet protein needs of lactating cows in summer, but in winter crude protein would be deficient for dry cows because of senescence of the major grass, Panicum hemitomon. Energy from the 3 sites in summer would be marginal for maintenance of dry cows, but in winter none of the sites would be adequate without energy supplementation.
    • Diet quality of suckling calves and mature steers on Northern Great Plains rangelands

      Grings, E. E.; Adams, D. C.; Short, R. E. (Society for Range Management, 1995-09-01)
      A study was conducted over 2 years to evaluate the quality of forage selected by suckling calves compared to mature steers. Diets were collected from esophageally cannulated suckling calves or from steers that were two-years-old or older. Sampling was conducted in June, July, September, October, and November in each of 2 years. The forage portion of diets of esophageally fistulated suckling calves (beginning 115 to 136 days of age) were 21% greater (P < 0.01) in crude protein and 5% less (P < 0.06) in neutral detergent fiber relative to those consumed by mature steers in June and July. Diets of calves also contained 14% less (P < 0.01) acid detergent fiber than diets of mature steers in June. There were no differences in diet quality due to age during September, October, and November of either year. We conclude that suckling calves selected diets of higher quality than did mature steers early in the growing season. Forage quality may have allowed selective behavior at this time, low forage intakes of calves may have allowed more time for selection, or exploratory grazing by calves may have resulted in diets with increased nutrient quality in early summer.
    • Diet sample collection by esophageal fistula and rumen evacuation techniques

      Olson, K. C. (Society for Range Management, 1991-09-01)
      Two trials were conducted to compare diet samples collected in the evacuated rumen or through the esophageal fistula. Hypotheses tested were (1) rumen evacuation would not decrease selectivity, (2) being in the rumen during collection would not alter the sample, and (3) both techniques accurately estimated nutritional characteristics of the feed offered. Five steers bifistulated at the esophagus and rumen were used in a grazing and a stall trial. Three collection techniques were used in each trial: rumen collection after evacuation (RC), esophageal collection with the rumen evacuated (ECRE), and esophageal collection with the rumen full (ECRF). Comparison of RC and ECRE assessed the influence of being in the rumen, and ECRE vs ECRF tested selectivity. Hay was sampled before feeding in the stall trial to test hypothesis 3. All samples were analyzed for organic matter (OM), nitrogen (N), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), acid detergent lignin (ADL), hemicellulose, and cellulose. In the grazing trial, collection technique affected only ADL (P = 0.05), with ECRE depressed compared to ECRF. Organic matter, N, ADL, and hemicellulose responded (P < 0.05) during the stall trial as follows. Salivary ash contamination depressed OM (P = 0.03) in all collected masticate compared to the feed offered. Rumen collection elevated N (P = 0.04), but esophageal samples and feed were equal. Hemicellulose was depressed slightly (P = 0.01) in all collected masticate. Both techniques elevated ADL (P = 0.001), with RC having a greater effect than ECRF. Both collection techniques should provide satisfactory results in grazing trials if precautions are taken. Comparison across techniques appears appropriate if caution is exercised, particularly concerning N and ADL.
    • Diet selection and utilization by llama and sheep in a high altitude-arid rangeland of Bolivia

      Genin, D.; Villca, Z.; Abasto, P. (Society for Range Management, 1994-05-01)
      Botanical composition of llamas and sheep diets were quantified monthly during 1 year in the arid highlands of Bolivia to identify competition between these species for forage resources. Results indicated higher proportions of coarse bunchgrasses in llamas diets (48 to 75%) than in sheep (37 to 68%), while sheep consumed more soft herbs and grasses than llamas (25 to 45%, and 8 to 25%, respectively). Llamas had higher (P < 0.05) digestion coefficients than sheep for organic matter, dry matter, crude protein, and fiber fractions of the principle bunchgrass paja brava (Festuca orthophylla) during the vegetative phenological stage. Shrubs represented less than 20% of the diet components in both llamas and sheep. A canonical discriminant analysis showed that there was not a strong dietary overlap between these species, and suggested that mixed herds could allow a better utilization of the overall available forage.
    • Diet Selection by Cattle Under High-Intensity Low-Frequency, Short Duration, and Merrill Grazing Systems

      Taylor, C. A.; Kothmann, M. M.; Merrill, L. B.; Elledge, D. (Society for Range Management, 1980-11-01)
      A study was conducted to evaluate standing crop of forage and cattle diets for a 7-pasture high-intensity low-frequency (HILF) grazing system, and a 7-pasture short-duration grazing (SDG) system on the same area. A 4-pasture, 3-herd (Merrill) deferred rotation grazing system was sampled as a standard for comparison. Standing crop of forage was highest for the HILF grazing system compared to the SDG and Merrill grazing systems. The Merrill system with brush control (Pasture 10) had a greater standing crop than the Merrill system without brush control (Pasture 16) or the SDG system. Standing crop in Pasture 16 was comparable to the SDG system. Cattle diets from the HILF system varied significantly between collections at the beginning and end of each grazing period. A significantly higher percentage of forbs were consumed at the beginning of each grazing period (Period A) compared to the end (Period B). Cattle selected the greatest amounts of pricklypear at the end of each collection period during fall and spring, but not during the winter. Greater amounts of pricklypear were selected when mature grasses and oak and juniper browse were the primary alternatives. Crude protein (CP) levels of diets from the HILF system decreased with shifts in forage selection from Texas wintergrass and forbs (Period A) to pricklypear and dry grass (Period B). Diets from the SDG system were characterized by higher percentages of grass and less forbs and pricklypear compared to the HILF grazing system. Also, there were no major shifts in forage selection between collection period A and B for the SDG system. This resulted in a non-significant difference in CP values for diets collected in period A compared to period B. However, a significant decline was recorded for digestibility of diets between the two collection periods. CP and digestibility were higher for diets from the SDG system compared to the HILF grazing system. Botanical composition and diet quality were comparable for the SDG and Merrill grazing systems. Competition between different kinds of animals may be reduced by changing management from a HILF to a SDG system. This would be important where combinations of animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, and deer utilize a common range. Based on diet quality, livestock production from a SDG system should be equivalent to a Merrill system.
    • Diet selection by sheep and goats on Mediterranean heath-woodland range

      Bartolomé, J.; Franch, J.; Plaixats, J.; Seligman, N. G. (Society for Range Management, 1998-07-01)
      The study determined the species components of the diets of small ruminants grazing mountain ranges of the Montseny Biosphere Reserve (Catalunya, NE Spain). Three mixed flocks of sheep and goats, led by shepherds, were monitored for a year. Animals grazed a mountain rangeland composed of Quercus ilex woodland and Calluna-Erica heathland during the day and were returned to their corrals every night. Diet selection was estimated using fecal analysis. Of the 111 species that were identified, 71 were common to both sheep and goat. Of these, 23 were represented in proportions of more than 1% of the annual diet. Even though goats and sheep grazed together, their diets were significantly different (p < 0.0001), the animal factor accounting for 18% to 60% of the total variation among the main diet components. Variation between seasons was also a major (5% to 56%) highly significant factor, while differences between flocks accounted for a significant, but relatively small part (3 % to 10% ) of the total variation in diet. The outstanding difference was the avoidance of the tree, Quercus ilex, by the sheep while the goats selected it throughout the year. Sheep selected graminoids throughout the year while goats tended to avoid them. For the rest there was substantial overlap in species composition between the diet of sheep and goats, especially when analysed over an entire cycle.
    • Diet Selection of Hereford, Angus X Hereford and Charolais X Hereford Cows and Calves

      Walker, J. W.; Hansen, R. M.; Rittenhouse, L. R. (Society for Range Management, 1981-05-01)
      Botanical composition of cattle diets of Hereford, Angus x Hereford and Charolais x Hereford cows and calves were compared to determine the effect of cattle age and/or breed on species selection. Multivariate analysis of variance showed small but significant differences between cow and calf diets and no differences among breeds. Similarity indices and Spearman's rank correlation coefficient showed a high degree of overlap and significant correlation between ages and among breeds. Differences between cow and calves among breeds were minor and of little value in range management.