Master of Science (MS)
Animal Science (Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Sciences)
Considerable research has been conducted comparing the effect of continuous and some form of rotational stocking method on animal and forage performance, but most research utilizes put-and-take stocking rates. The purpose of this research was to determine the effect of 12-paddock rotational stocking method (ROT) or continuous stocking method (CONT) of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) and annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) pastures on beef heifer and forage performance while maintaining a continuous stocking rate of 3.7 heifers/ha. Two experiments were conducted and analyzed separately due to confounding year and location. Heifer ADG and WG/ha tended to be increased by ROT compared to CONT in Exp 1 (P = 0.10). Differing from Exp 1, heifer ADG and WG/ha was not affected by stocking method in experiment 2 (P = 0.36). Forage mass (Exp 1) was increased by ROT compared to CONT in a time by treatment manner (P < 0.005). Forage mass (Exp 1) was increased by ROT compared to CONT in the final four sampling periods. Forage mass below 500 kg DM/ha in CONT pastures (Exp 1) may have limited heifer DMI in the final two sampling periods. Similar to Exp 1, forage mass (Exp 2) was increased by ROT when compared to CONT in the final two sampling periods (P < 0.05). However, CONT forage mass was not limited in Exp 2. Forage CP (Exp 1) was increased in ROT compared to CONT in a time x treatment manner (P < 0.05). Forage IVTD, NDF, and ADF (Exp 1) were not affected by stocking method, but were influenced by time. Forage nutritive value in Exp 2 was increased by CONT compared to ROT on d 113 in a time x treatment manner (P < 0.05). The results of this research indicate that ROT does increase forage mass on winter wheat and annual ryegrass pastures and may sustain higher stocking rates compared to CONT. However, greater heifer ADG under ROT only occurred when CONT forage mass was limited. The use of ROT compared to CONT under continuous stocking rates of 3.7 heifers/ha does not consistently increase heifer ADG or WG/ha.
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Skeans, David G., "Effect of rotational or continuous stocking method of winter pasture on beef heifer performance" (2009). LSU Master's Theses. 3297.
Jason E. Rowntree