Influence of supplementation method on forage use and grazing behavior of beef cattle grazing bluestem range



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Kansas State University. Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service


Fifteen ruminally and 12 esophageally fistulated steers were used in two 28-d trials (late summer and early winter) to determine the influence of method of supplementation on forage use and grazing behavior. 1Ceatments were: 1) self-feeding supplement with salt to limit intake; 2) daily hand-feeding supplement and salt; 3) daily hand-feeding supplement without salt. Forage intake was not affected by season or supplementation method; however, total diet organic matter digestibility was higher in the late summer (P<.01) and lower when steers received supplement without salt (P<.05). Supplementation method did not affect the time that animals spent grazing or the distance travelled; however, both were greater (P<.01) during the summer period. Self-feeding supplement did not appear to adversely affect forage use in grazing beef steers.



Beef, Protein supplements, Rangelands, Grazing behavior, Stockers