Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://dspace.hebron.edu:80/xmlui/handle/123456789/65
Title: Season and sex influences on botanical composition of cattle diets in southern New Mexico
Authors: Ayed Mohammad, C. A. F’ERRANTlO, LEIGH W. MURRAY, REX D. PIEPER, AND JOE D. WALLACE
Keywords: Diet composition, Semidesert rangeland
Issue Date: 25-May-1995
Publisher: J. Range Manage.
Abstract: We conducted a study in southern New Mexico to determine seasonal variation in botanical diet composition of cattle and to compare cow and steer diets. The climate and vegetation is typical of semidesert grassland Fecal samples were obtained from a group of cows and steers during spring, summer, fall, 1989; winter and summer, 1990. Results showed that cattle diets were highest in grass content during spring (57%), summer (78%), and winter @I%), while forbs comprised the bigbest proportion of cattle diets during the fall (47%). Shrubs were moderately important during winter (18%). Dropseeds (Sporobolus spp.), black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda ~OIT.] Ton=), tbreeawn species (Aristidu spp.), and leatherweed croton (Croton poftsii [Iuotxcb] Muell. Arg.) were key forage species for cattle. The importance of these species varied with season, availability, physiological stage, and presence of other species. Differences between cow and steer diets varied with season. The relative similarity ranged from 70% (fall) to 90 46 (summer). The lower fall similarity compared to that in the summer might be related to physiological variation or past ditferences in grazing experience between cows and steers. For practical purposes, steer diets might generally be used to represent cow diets, but caution should be exercised during periods of low forage quality.
URI: http://dspace.hebron.edu:80/xmlui/handle/123456789/65
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