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CitationBailey, D. W., & Jensen, D. (2008). Method of supplementation may affect cattle grazing patterns. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 61(1), 131-135.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalRangeland Ecology & Management
AbstractSupplement placement can be used to manipulate livestock grazing patterns. The objective of this case study was to compare the effect of low-moisture blocks (LMB) and range cake (barley-based cylindrical cubes, 2 cm in diameter, and 2 to 8 cm long) supplementation on cattle grazing patterns in Montana foothill rangeland. One group of nonlactating cows (n = 79) was fed cake 3 times per week (1.8 kg cow-1 feeding-1), and the other group (n = 81) had continuous access to LMB in separate pastures using a crossover design. Movement patterns of cows were recorded with global positioning system collars during four periods (2 wk period-1) during autumn. Range cake was fed on accessible areas, and LMB were placed in higher and steeper terrain. Intake of LMB averaged (mean +/- SE) 318 +/- 50 g d-1. Cows fed LMB (8.07 degrees +/- 0.20 degrees) were observed on steeper slopes (P = 0.08) than cows fed range cake (6.96 degrees +/- 0.19 degrees). Forage utilization decreased as slope increased to a greater degree when range cake was fed than when LMB was fed (P=0.001). Cows spent more time (P=0.05) within 100m of LMB (274 +/- 23 min d-1) than at range cake feeding sites (67 +/- 24 min d-1). Strategic placement of LMB on high, steep terrain appears to be a more practical and effective approach than traditional hand-feeding range cake on intermediate terrain to improve uniformity of cattle grazing on rugged rangeland.