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The utilisation of maize-crop residues for overwintering livestock: 2. Strip and continuous grazing of maize-crop residues



The utilisation of maize-crop residues for overwintering livestock: 2. Strip and continuous grazing of maize-crop residues



South African Journal of Animal Science 28(1): 16-23



Over a three-year period (1989 to 1991), non-lactating, pregnant Sussex beef cows were subjected to either strip or continuous grazing of maize-crop residues over the winter feeding period. Stocking rate was based on providing each cow with 10 kg dry matter (DM) per day for 90 days, assuming 40% utilisation. Cows were blocked by age, live mass and body condition score (CS). Grazing was terminated by the need to start land preparation for the next season's maize planting. Grazing commenced on 26 July, 25 June and 25 June and ended on 2 October, 19 September and 17 September, providing 69, 87 and 85 grazing days in the respective seasons. After 57 grazing days, the mean live mass gain of cows in the strip-grazing treatment was 18.8 kg compared to 33.0 kg for the continuous grazing group. Body CS for both treatments was 2.9 after 57 grazing days. The similarity in animal performance between treatments indicates that the additional effort, labour and expense of having electric fencing required for strip grazing, is not warranted when grazing maize crop residues with pregnant beef cows.

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