Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Also known as pastoralism, grazing livestock have been around for millennia, ever since domestic animals--cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, horses--have been successfully domesticated. Grazing involves the consumption of forages and range or pasture management is a tool used to control grazing activities of livestock, primarily in effort to improve the quality of the land.

1,732 Questions
Horse Diet and Nutrition
Cattle Diets and Nutrition
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Do horses eat more grass than cows on a paddock?

I heard they eat pretty much the same amount. But if you have a horse like my Silky, your horse would probably eat more than a cow. And then again my neighbors' horses hardly eat the grass in their pasture, they like to bask in the sun and play more than eat grass. In my option it depends on your horse or cow.

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Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Field where animals graze?

Pasture.

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Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

What is a grazing herbivore?

A grazing herbivore is an animal--predominantly mammalian--that subsist on consuming grasses as primary herbage as part of their diet. Such animals live on massive tracts of native grassland or man-made tamed meadows called pastures. A large portion of animals domesticated by man are grazing herbivores--horses, cattle, sheep, goats, llamas, donkeys and mules--and there are many species or types of wild animals that are this as well: wildebeest, zebras, hartebeast, American bison, pronghorn, elk, gazelles, cape water buffalo, asian water buffalo, guar, banteng, yak, big-horn sheep, mountain goats, Dall's sheep, and many, many more.

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Cattle Diets and Nutrition
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Why do cows graze?

They're adapted to graze; their mouths, teeth and digestive system are designed to eat and digest grass, not foliage or browse like goats are. Cows are what is called "Roughage Consumers," or, they are adapted to eat grasses that are quite coarse and don't have much nutrient to them. Browsers like goats and deer are called "Selective Consumers" because they are more picky about what they eat, when and where, unlike cows.

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Cattle Diets and Nutrition
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Can a newborn calf eat grass?

No. Their stomachs aren't well developed to consume grass when they are so young. They begin to sample grasses and other stuff Mom eats when they get around a week old. They are fully on grass and other feedstuffs offered to them by the producer by the time they reach between 6 and 8 months of age.

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Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

What is Swath Grazing?

Swath grazing is when dry mature cows are allowed to graze swaths of oats, barley, winter wheat or winter rye during the early winter or late winter/early spring. They are on the field and only allowed access to the swaths a little at a time through a method called strip grazing. Temporary electrical fencing is used, and is shifted once daily according to the number of cows, forage quality of the swaths, and size of the cows; the fencing is located perpendicular to the direction of the swaths. Swath grazing is a method of winter grazing to minimize the amount of time spent feeding cattle in winter, as well as labour and time spent in late spring cleaning out the manure in the drylot. Here the cows are working for you, cleaning up the swaths as they go, and you are only spending 20 to 30 minutes moving the electric fencing to fresh grazing every one or two days for the cowherd.

Note swath grazing really only works for dry brood cows with no calf. If younger stock like heifers or steers or lactating cows are grazed, they need supplementation as often the forage in the swaths are not enough to meet these animals' dietary requirements. Shelter and water must also be met, though if there is fresh snow the cows can get water from eating snow. In most cases fresh water should be supplied daily.

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Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

What energy content is in pasture grass?

Energy content depends on what growth stage the grass is in and the time of year the grass is growing in. Cool-season grasses tend to have the highest energy content from May to June when their peak growing season occurs. This decreases as the summer grows hotter, since the grasses are reaching maturity and going into dormancy. Warm-season grasses, have their energy contents increasing from June to August, making them an ideal grass to graze during the hot summer months.

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New Zealand
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Why is clover important in New Zealand pastures?

Clover is important to New Zealand pasture for it adds nitrogen.

To enable the clover to be pollinated, Bumble Bees were introduced, for Honey Bees lack a sufficiently long tongue.

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Rhyming Words
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

What rhymes with graze?

Some words that rhyme with graze are:

  • craze
  • glaze
  • blaze
  • laze
  • haze
  • maze
  • phase
  • raise
  • gaze
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Cats (Felines)
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Do cats graze?

Cats do not graze as such, but they do occasionally eat grass. Because they lack the enzymes needed to digest grass, they regurgitate it.

Some people theorize that cats eat grass in order to vomit. Whether they do it knowingly or not, it may help them get rid of indigestible pieces of food. Grass also contains folic acid, which cats need, and the grass juice may provide this. It may also be that it helps them expel fur balls.

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Tennis
Table Tennis
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

How can you fix a tennis serve that either falls into the net or goes long?

Focus on your ball toss if you are having trouble with your serve. The way you toss the ball has a huge impact on where your ball is going to go. Is your toss out in front of you? Is your toss behind you? Also look at when you are catching the ball with your racquet. Do you catch it at its peak, meaning your full arm extension? Or do you hesitate and wait till the ball toss is closer to the ground? A serve that goes into the net can mean that your ball toss is out too far in front of you or you are catching your toss too low or both. A serve that goes into the net can also result from dropping your head too soon. Over exaggerate by keeping your head up until the ball has crossed the net. You be may be catching your toss behind you or too high or both if your serves are going long. Try shortening your toss and make sure that it does go behind your ball. Your toss should fly easily off your fingertips.

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Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Who owns the majority of U.S grazing land?

The majority of U.S grazing land is owned by private land owners, not the Bureau of Land Management. Private land owners collectively own 613 million acres (EPA, 2007), whereas the BLM only owns around 155 million acres that us put into livestock grazing.

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Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

What is the word that means raising and grazing of livestock?

Animal Husbandry

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Cattle Diets and Nutrition
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

How do you keep a cow from eating grass on the other side of the fence?

Modify your grazing management practices so that you are bunching up your cattle in a group and, using electric fencing, moving those animals before they are interested in the grass on the other side of the fence.

By doing this you ensure there's plenty of litter left behind and enough leaf area of the grazed plants so that they can recover fairly quickly before next grazing.


Rest needed for each paddock will depend on your area. Some areas can have as little as 30 days of rest, other areas will need as much as 18 months of rest or more.


The amount of forage you have available will determine several things, from the number of animals you can have in the whole area without causing damage to the resource, to number and size of paddocks needed to graze.


Basically the key thing to remember is don't keep animals on for too long, and don't let the grass rest for too long otherwise it will get ahead of you (as in head out and reach maturity (set seed) before you can get in there and get the animals to graze that piece).


Making these kind of changes, with more management for better grass, more fence posts and daily or once-every-three-day moves, you'll find that the animals won't be reaching under the fence nearly as often as before, and that you'll get more grass then you thought you could have.

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Cattle Diets and Nutrition
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Bacteria in grazing mammals help digest in the digestive system?

Yes. There are bacteria inside the digestive tract of a cow and other grazing animals that helps to digest fibrous plant material such as cellulose.

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Goats and Sheep
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

How much lawnyard do you need to pasture a sheep or a goat?

In multi-species grazing, with cows, goats, and sheep in the same pasture or paddock together, it can be seen that the cattle prefer the grass, sheep the forbs (broad-leafed herbs), and goats the browse (woody herbs and shrubs). Each species does eat of all three categories, but the animals select their respective plants first, moving to other plants later. My research has focused on miniature dairy goats on intensively managemed pasture (attempting a zero grain, low hay diet). I live in subtropical Florida, so we have green grass all year round. Though my interest is in goats, the bulk of information available is on cattle, so most of my collected knowledge relates to grass rather than browse (and forbs least of all). My research has shown that, intensively managed, my 0.6-ac backyard with low natural fertility will be sufficient for a herd of between 6 and 8 goats (average weight of each miniture goat is 75-lbs). That being said, the University of Minnesota Extension Service has put out a very in-depth publication on intensively managed grazing called "Grazing Systems Planning Guide", which is available online. Also, the NCAT has good info on sustainable agriculture at www.attra.ncat.org The chance of goats (or sheep) getting infected with worms becomes much greater as they graze close to the ground (minimum grazing height is 2 to 4-in. Do Not Graze Below 2-in or you WILL have worm problems eventually.) The nutrition of the grass is at its peak just before seed head formation. Therefore, a paddock in Bermuda grass that is at least 6-in or up to 10-in high is ready to be grazed. Note, if it is lawn currently (maximum height less than 4 or 6-in), it will have a shallow root system and will not get to the minimum recommended grazing height before wide-spread seed-head formation. Go ahead and graze it with a high stocking rate for short durations to add manure (i.e. natural fertilizer) to it and leave it alone until seed-head formation becomes wide-spread again. Repeated application of manure and sufficient periods of assimilation will strengthen the roots and cause the sward to grow taller giving you more forage. The volume of feed is found by taking the area of each paddock and multiplying it by the difference between the initial height and the final height of the grass. Multiply this by a "weight per inch" of the species of forage, then by an efficiency ratio (the amount of grass actually consumed to the amount available), and finally by an "intake per day" ratio to determine the size of each paddock and the duration your herd can stay on each. The design length of time that the paddock requires to assimilate will dictate the number of paddocks you'll need. A lot of this is best determined by experience rather than numbers, but try to research about your grass as well as you can. When forage quality is low (like in the winter here, which means the late fall and early spring in most other places), you'll be moving the herd through each paddock quickly so as to not deplete and kill your stand. Forage duration can get longer during optimum growth. One more thing: my pastures will be planted in a warm season pernninel grass (such as Bermuda or Bahaia) mixed with a perennial legume (like clover or perennial peanut). That is important. During the winter here, I will overseed with a cool season annual grass (probably ryegrass) and maybe a cool season annual legume if I find that my herd requires it for health and production.

They'll also need a mineral source (like a salt lick) to make up for any deficienies in your soil. And, of course, constant access to clean water is a must for any animal (humans included).

Remeber, ruminants were designed by God to graze, not subsist on a grain-heavy, high input diet. If you want to feed your animals a high energy, low nutrient diet and give them a few hundred feet of "excercise yard", that's what most people do. But if you want healthy animals, especially if you desire a top-quality milk or fiber, then you'll want to invest in the grazing-based approach detailied here.

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Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

What is the difference between pasture and forage?

Not much. Forage is the herbaceous plants that are eaten by livestock, be it harvested by man and fed to livestock, or that which livestock harvest themselves. Pasture is where much of livestock's forage is located, and where livestock like cattle, sheep and horses are able to harvest their own food through the process of grazing.

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Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

What is the large sheep-grazing area in southern Argentina?

The Pampas!

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Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Is there a symbiotic relationship between cattle egret and grazing animals?

The only relationship between a Cattle Egret and grazing animals is that the Egret will remove fleas and ticks from cattle. It will also follow other grazing animals as they eat, picking the insects that they stir up while they graze.

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Exotic Farm Animals
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Why do animals graze?

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Lions
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Where do lions graze?

Lions actually do not graze. They are carnivorous mammals, meaning they eat other animals--preferably grazers--to survive.

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Lawn Care
Ranching
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

How much and how often do you water your grass?

In general, it's best to water your grass deeply and infrequently rather than a little bit at a time. If you water too frequently, the grass won't develop a deep root system and will die out if there is an extended drought or watering restriction imposed. By watering once a week or less, you are training your grass to develop much deeper roots that allow it to do better in periods without water. Do not water in the heat of the day, because a large part of the water just evaporates without helping your grass at all. It is a big waste of water. Many areas of the country even ban watering in the afternoon hours for this very reason. Water in the early morning, or in the evening, when it is cooler and there is less direct sun. The Better Lawn and Turf Institute also offers good information on lawn watering. Bob Vila offers this advice on lawn watering. The Turfgrass Resource Center has this guide to watering new turfgrass sod. All types of grasses benefit from high quality soil. Use an organic lawn fertilizer to improve the quality of your soil long term. Need a mower or other lawn and garden supplies? Visit Clean Air Gardening.

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Agriculture
Cattle Diets and Nutrition
Soil
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

How does making hay or silage affect the soil fertility and pasture regrowth in a paddock?

Any sort of anthropological activity that involves removal of vegetation so that no organic matter can go back into the soil is going to decrease soil fertility. This does not count with livestock grazing. Unless the field is fertilized regularly (like once or twice a year), plant growth will decrease to the point of desertification. Of course this will only occur over several years and not when the second or third cutting needs to be taken off.

Fertilization of hay or silage fields can be done in four different ways: spreading manure (solid or liquid) from corrals or lagoons, spreading boughten pelleted or liquid fertilizer that is in higher forms of concentration than manure, or grazing cattle on the fields (crop-residue grazing on silage fields and/or bale grazing in winter on hay fields). The latter has shown, scientifically, to be more sustainable and efficient than the first two methods which involve running machinery and using diesel fuel and, for the second method, buying the fertilizer.

Plant regrowth will always be slow for the first week before it begins to grow exponentially to the point where it may need cutting again. This would not be so with annuals that are being cut for silage, since once the plants are removed, little growth will occur to replace those plants. The plants that do come up after a field has been taken off for silage are slow to regrow in comparison to those perennials that are used for hay. Most annuals do not come back after the first cutting.

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Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

Can sheep live on pasture?

yes sheep can.
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Jersey Cattle
Grazing and Range/Pasture Management

How many calves could a jersey nurse cow raise on just pasture?

A jersey cow can easily raise two to four calves on grass, so long as the grass itself is of high nutrient value and she also has access to mineral and water.

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