• Food Habits of Cattle on Shortgrass Range in Northeastern Colorado

      Vavra, M.; Rice, R. W.; Hansen, R. M.; Sims, P. L. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      Cattle food habits and plant composition in the diets were similar on the light and heavily grazed pastures on shortgrass prairie near Nunn, Colorado. Blue grama (36% and 40%), scarlet globemallow (15% and 11%), and sun sedge (9% and 9%) collectively averaged about 60% of the monthly diets at both grazing intensities. The proportions between diets and available forage in each pasture were significantly related for the 12 major foods. Diversity indices of diets and available pasture vegetation were positively correlated. Preference indices averaged the same for the major forages. Significant differences in diet were observed between months and years at both intensities. Fireweed summer-cypress, western wheatgrass, evening-primrose, slimflower scurfpea, and scarlet globemallow ranked highest in preference; and although blue grama was the principal component in the cattle diets, only fringed sagewort ranked lower in preference.