Livestock behavior--The neglected link in understanding the plant-animal interface

TitleLivestock behavior--The neglected link in understanding the plant-animal interface
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1985
AuthorsAnderson D.M., Smith J.N., Hulet CV
Conference NameProceedings of the Conference on Multispecies Grazing, Winrock Internatational Institute for Agriculture
Date Published1985
Conference LocationMorrilton, AK
Keywordsgrazing study, Jornada Experimental Range, livestock behavior, plant-animal system
AbstractMixed species grazing of cattle and sheep on rangeland has been advocated for over 40 years as ecologically and economically sound. Past research has concentrated mainly on the nutrition of the grazing animal. To improve the efficiency of animal production into the 21st century, understanding the behavior of grazing animals will be essential. Behavior of free-ranging animals is dynamic with respect to time and space, in addition to being influenced by both abiotic and biotic factors. The complexity in investigating this plant-animal system has led to the adaptation and/or development of many mechanical and electronic devices. With integration of several disciplines, an interdisciplinary team approach should provide major advances in understanding and developing sound grazing management practices. Initial results from a mixed-species grazing study involving nutrition and behavior began on the Jornada Experimental Range in 1984. Preliminary data suggest that cattle and sheep diets are complementary and that both animal species have unique temporal and spatial behavior patterns.