Chemical composition of the diet of cows grazing on arid range

TitleChemical composition of the diet of cows grazing on arid range
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1969
AuthorsNelson A.B., Herbel C.H., Jackson H.M.
Conference NameProceedings of the Western Section, American Society of Animal Science
Date Published1969
Keywordsarid range, cattle, chemical composition, diet, forage species
AbstractChemical composition of range plants offers an indication of their nutritive value. The protein content of forages usually decreases as plants mature. The levels of fiber and lignin are generally reflections of the availability of energy from the plant because, as plants grow and mature, the level of fiber and degree of lignification increase and the digestibility of these fibrous portions decreases. Several New Mexico studies (Watkins, 1943; Watkins and Repp, 1964; and others) have reported the chemical composition of range plants collected throughout the state. These reports concern forage species found in a pasture without emphasis on proportions or quantities of each species grazed by livestock. Also, sampling has not included many forbs, which may constitute a major portion of the diet of grazing cows. The objective of this study was to determine the chemical composition of the plant species grazed by cattle on an arid range in southern New Mexico.