A study of the grazing preference of sheep on developed and undeveloped grassland at a high-country site
There are now some 57 million sheep and 9 million cattle in New Zealand (N.Z. Meat and Wool Bds Econom. Serv. 1974). For most of the year almost all of them graze pasture of mixed botanical composition. New Zealand has achieved fame for its enlightened advances in the science and practice of efficient grazing management of improved pasture. Surprisingly, in a land so concerned with the relationship between animals and plants, there has been almost no research into the dietary preference of domestic animals for particular plant species – information which would seem to be fundamental to any assessment of the value of mixed swards in animal nutrition. In fact the only published New Zealand work on this subject has been by three authors – L. Cockayne, J. M. Hercus, and Barbara H. Hercus (nee Croker) – all of whom did their major work in essentially unimproved montane tussock grassland. Of these authors, Cockayne (1919, 1920a, 1920b, 1926) recorded the plants which he observed sheep grazing and J. M. Hercus (1961, 1963) noted the degree of grazing of species in randomly-located ring quadrats. Only Croker (1959, Hercus 1960) attempted to estimate the diet of sheep from remnants of their ingesta and to translate it into quantitative terms. That these studies of preference should have been focussed on sheep grazing tussock grasslands is, however, appropriate. Coop (1952) pointed out that while on lowland topdressable country cattle and sheep eat practically everything that grows, it is possibly only by practising selection that they manage to produce and reproduce at the level they do on the very poor quality pasture of the South Island hill and high country.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordssheep; sheep grazing; high country; grazing preference; grassland; grazing pattern; grazing management
Fields of Research070202 Animal Growth and Development; 070204 Animal Nutrition; 070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness
Access RightsDigital thesis can be viewed by current staff and students of Lincoln University only. Print copy available for reading in Lincoln University Library. May be available through inter-library loan.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Collins, Hilary Alexandra (Lincoln College, University of Canterbury, 1989)The objectives of the research were to: achieve a method of grazing species comparison in which grazing behaviour would be unconfounded by stocking rate: to compare the grazing behaviour of cattle, sheep and goats under ...
Kitessa, Soressa Mererra (Lincoln University, 1997)Two consecutive experiments were conducted to test a hypothesis that mixed grazing outcome is influenced by the type of stocking system applied. The objective of both experiments was to investigate the influence of co-grazing ...
The botanical analysis of sheep diet: a comparison of three methods of sheep diet determination and the field application of faecal cuticle analysis Stevens, E. J. (Lincoln College, University of Canterbury, 1977)Three methods of sheep diet determination were compared at Brooksdale Station during one time of the year under conditions of declining herbage availability. Improved methods for establishing and maintaining oesophageal ...