Herbage Intake Determination Methods of Grazing Animals

Ahmet Akdağ

Abstract


Rangelands or grasslands are the main nutrition sources of grazing ruminants. They are mainly consisted of legumes, grasses and other species. Although feeding and grazing behaviours of grazing animals in grasslands are complicated, estimating herbage intake (HI) of grazing animals is significant for both producers and range management. For this purpose, there are some physical, chemical, empirical and technological methods are used for estimating HI of grazing animals.  Direct, clipping or herbage disappearance method based on herbage differences before and after grazing, marker techniques, some empirical equations based on organic matter digestibility or requirements of animals, faecal near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (FNIRS) and remote sensing-global positioning system technologies are the methods used for estimation of individual or herd HI. All methods have different features, deficiencies and conveniences. In this paper it was aimed to discuss about advantages, disadvantages, patterns of usage and potentials of these methods. In conclusion, technological methods such as remote sensing and FNIRS have the potential for displacing other methods in near future.


Keywords


Estimation, feed intake, grassland, herbage, method, rangeland

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