Factors Affecting the Efficacy of Low-Stress Herding and Supplement Placement to Target Cattle Grazing Locations

Mitchell B. Stephenson, Derek W. Bailey, Retta A. Bruegger, Larry D Howery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Success of targeted grazing is strongly influenced by the ability of livestock managers to focus grazing livestock on a specific area. Targeted cattle grazing using low-stress herding (LSH) and strategic supplement placement was conducted at four study sites to evaluate management factors that affected our ability to focus cattle grazing on small areas of large pastures. Simple linear regression was used to evaluate relationships between the time Global Positioning System-tracked cattle spent near supplement placement sites and four factors: 1) intake of low-moisture block (LMB) protein supplement, 2) perennial grass standing crop, 3) horizontal and vertical distance of LMB from water, and 4) slope near LMB. Repeated measures were used to evaluate time cattle spent near LMB in different years at study sites in Arizona and New Mexico. Intake of LMB supplement was a moderately good predictor (r2 = 0.60; P < 0.01) of time cattle remained within 250 m of LMB supplement. When cattle consumed recommended amounts of LMB, they tended to stay near LMB longer if supplement was placed in areas with greater perennial grass standing crop (r2 = 0.34; P = 0.07). No relationships were detected (r2 < 0.15; P > 0.17) between time cattle were near supplement and the horizontal and vertical distance of LMB from water and slope near LMB. The combination of LSH and strategic LMB placement was an effective method to target cattle grazing when cattle consumed recommended amounts of LMB. However, efficacy of LSH and LMB to target cattle grazing may be influenced by environmental factors such as drought and yearly differences in forage standing crop and quality. Changes in cattle grazing behavior in years following initial LSH and LMB treatments also may influence cattle remaining near LMB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-209
Number of pages8
JournalRangeland Ecology and Management
Volume70
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017

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Keywords

  • Grazing behavior
  • livestock distribution
  • low-moisture block
  • targeted grazing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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