Drylot shrink of cattle grazing semidesert rangeland during February, May, July and October

TitleDrylot shrink of cattle grazing semidesert rangeland during February, May, July and October
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1982
AuthorsAnderson D.M., Tietjen G.
Conference NameProceedings of the Western Section Meeting, American Society of Animal Science
Date PublishedJuly 7-9, 1982
Keywordscattle, drylot shrink, liveweight profile, semidesert rangeland
AbstractSelling cattle by liveweight is the preferred method for economic remuneration (Ares, 1942; Hall, 1977). As a research tool, liveweight is used extensively by scientists to describe treatment effects (Morris, 1967). Bone, tissue, pelage, various fluids and digestive tract contents (fill) combine to give liveweight. Even though bone, tissue and pelage vary between animals (Andersson et al., 1979; Murray, 1980), fill and fluids are the most variable components. Fill and fluids can change diurnally in response to forage quantity (Currie, 1975), forage quality (Ward, 1975), physiological status (Allen, 1946), handling method (Brownson, 1973), animal behavior (Arnold and Dudzinski, 1978) and weather (Fuquay, 1981), besides the interaction of one or more of these factors operating simultaneously (Hughes, 1976). There is not unanimous agreement on the best method to reduce variability in liveweight between animals due to differences in fill and fluids. Matches (1981) advocates a dry lot shrink when liveweights are used to evaluate short-term grazing experiments. Harris et al. (1967) on the other hand, indicate that gathering animals prior to morning grazing followed immediately by weighing will give precise liveweights. Time of day when weighing is done is important if variability in fill and fluids is to be kept to a minimum. Water intake for example can occur any time during a 24-hour period as documented by Low et al. (1981). This study was conducted to evaluate the liveweight profile resulting from a drylot shrink of cattle grazing semiarid rangeland during February, May, July and October.