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Cattle grazing on semi-natural pastures

animal behaviour and nutrition, vegetation characteristics and environmental aspects

Pelve, Maja (2010). Cattle grazing on semi-natural pastures. Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv. , Rapport / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens utfodring och vård, 0347-9838 ; 276
ISBN 978-91-576-9017-3
[Licentiate thesis]

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The knowledge of the grazing behaviour of cattle on Swedish semi-natural pastures and how this relates to the nutritional quality and quantity of the vegetation is low. In a situation where farming is being intensified both nationally and globally, it is important to gain more information about semi-natural pastures and how to utilise this resource properly. The aims of this thesis was to: (1) examine the grazing, resting and fouling behaviour of cattle on grazing areas mainly dominated by semi-natural vegetation which also includes portions of grassland affected by fertilisation; (2) determine the nutrient content and seasonal herbage production of different vegetation types within semi-natural pastures; (3) determine the in vivo digestibility of forages from different vegetation types in heterogeneous semi-natural grasslands; (4) study the division of nitrogen between faeces and urine and the enteric methane production from cattle fed these same forages. One field and one indoor study were carried out. The field study covered three grazing seasons and included measurements of both cattle behaviour and of the nutritional properties of semi-natural pasture vegetation. Cattle preferred to graze, rest, urinate and defecate on previously fertilised areas. The vegetation in these areas was characterised by a high energy and crude protein content and a high seasonal herbage production. The indoor study measured in vivo digestibility, methane production and the division of nitrogen between urine and faeces of different forages from semi-natural grasslands fed to non-lactating cows and heifers. Forage digestibilities were lower than what is commonly reported for cultivated forages. Digestibilities did not differ between treatments, with the exception of a lower digestibility in the heifer group when fed of vegetation harvested on shore meadows compared with vegetation from naturalised cultivated grasslands. Methane production did not differ among forages. In conclusion, cattle prefer to graze in previously fertilised areas, but other vegetation types were also utilised by the animals. Furthermore, in vivo digestibility of semi-natural pasture vegetation was similar to in vitro values obtained with the standard Swedish method for estimating the energy value of forages.

Authors/Creators:Pelve, Maja
Title:Cattle grazing on semi-natural pastures
Subtitle:animal behaviour and nutrition, vegetation characteristics and environmental aspects
Series Name/Journal:Rapport / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens utfodring och vård
Year of publishing :2010
Number of Pages:48
ALLI. Pelve, M.E., Glimskär, A., Olsson, I. & Spörndly, E. 2010. The relationship between the grazing behaviour of cattle and vegetation quality and quantity on heterogeneous semi-natural pastures. (manuscript) II. Pelve, M.E., Olsson, I., Spörndly, E & Eriksson, T. 2010. Heterogeneous semi-natural pastures: forage digestibility, methane production and nitrogen balance among non-lactating cows and heifers. (manuscript)
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-9017-3
Publication Type:Licentiate thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agrovoc terms:cattle, grazing, behaviour, grasslands, pastures, plant cover, feed crops, digestibility, methane, nitrogen balance, nutrient transport, sweden
Keywords:Semi-natural pasture, cattle, behaviour, digestibility, methane production, nitrogen balance, nutrient transport
Permanent URL:
ID Code:2425
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management
Deposited By: Maja Pelve
Deposited On:04 Jan 2011 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:18

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