Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cows like leaves their tongues can wrap around easily

Date:
March 19, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Lots of leaves growing in easy reach of a cow's tongue means less time and less land needed to raise beef cattle.

Cattle grazing on rangeland with a taller canopy of plants with more and larger leaves take larger bites and meet their dietary needs with lower calorie expenditure, according to new research from ARS.
Credit: Peggy Greb, USDA

Lots of leaves growing in easy reach of a cow's tongue means less time and less land needed to raise beef cattle, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and DairyNZ (New Zealand) scientists.

Related Articles


Ranchers may be able to tell how long to leave cattle in a pasture, and how large to make the pasture, by the height and leafiness of plants growing there, according to Stacey Gunter, research leader at the ARS Southern Plains Range Research Station in Woodward, Okla. He worked with former Ph.D. student Pablo Gregorini and colleagues at Woodward to demonstrate this approach with beef steers grazing in fenced-off corridors in wheat pastures.

The pastures were chosen to represent a range of natural variations in plant heights and upper plant leafiness. The steers were allowed to graze the corridors freely and were removed when they reached the end of the corridor, regardless of how much time the steers took. While grazing the corridors, each steer was videotaped and had two trained observers who counted bites and walking steps.

The reason for this real-life pasture study is that most studies of grazing behavior are done on "artificial seedings," specially planted pastures, or small plots that are fairly uniform. To provide the best possible recommendations to ranchers, Gunter and Gregorini integrated studies of the standard type with "in field" pasture conditions which are much less uniform.

Besides the taste and nutrition of large leaves, cattle like their food to be accessible, with leaves high on the plant and a minimum of stem interference with the cattle's tongues, which they use to wrap around and pull off leaves. Cattle faced with a nice canopy of luscious leaves took larger bites and were able to get their daily rations with lower calorie expenditure.

This resulted in greater eating efficiency. Gunter and Gregorini measured eating efficiency by dividing the total amount of pasture plants eaten per steer by the total eating time. This is known as herbage intake rate, a key determinant of weight gain for cattle grazing pasture.

The research was published in the Journal of Animal Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Don Comis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Cows like leaves their tongues can wrap around easily." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303131532.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, March 19). Cows like leaves their tongues can wrap around easily. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303131532.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Cows like leaves their tongues can wrap around easily." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303131532.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Learn how to make a mixed green salad topped with a pan-seared camembert cheese in only a minute! Music: Courtesy of Audio Network. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) It looks like this 2-month-old Husky puppy and the family ferret are going to be the best of friends. Look at how much fun they&apos;re having together! Credit to &apos;Vira&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Buzz60 (Jan. 26, 2015) Swiss scientists build a new drone that can both fly and walk, modeling it after the movements of common vampire bats. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins