A four-year systems experiment is quantifying the economic and environmental impacts of (a) mixed grazing of sheep with cattle, (b) removal of cattle from mixed systems on improved pasture to graze semi-natural rough grazing (SNRG) during the summer months, and (c) grazing with an 'at risk' rather than a mainstream breed of cattle. This paper reports initial findings with regards to cattle performance. From early June to mid August spring-calving suckler cows were managed according to three treatments: (1) Limousin-cross cows and their Limousin calves mixed with sheep grazing Lolium perenneTrifolium repens/-dominant improved permanent pasture (Lim PP); (2) Limousin-cross cows with Limousin calves grazing Molinia-dominant SNRG (Lim SNRG); (3) Belted Galloway cows with Belted Galloway calves grazing Molinia-dominant SNRG (BG SNRG). Replicate plots were grazed by 4 cows and their calves plus 24 ewes and 36 lambs (Lim PP) or 4 cows and their calves (Lim SNRG; BG SNRG). All cattle were weighed every three weeks, and herbage samples were taken at regular intervals to determine sward chemical composition. When expressed on a metabolic liveweight basis, calf liveweight gain (g/kg liveweight0.75) was higher for Lim PP than for Lim SNRG, and higher for BG SNRG than for Lim SNRG.
|Name||Grassland Science in Europe|
|Conference||22nd General meeting of the European Grassland Federation, 'Biodiversity and animal feed - future challenges for grassland production'|
|Period||09 Jun 2008 → 12 Jun 2008|