Comparision of short grass pasture with couple pasture Print E-mail

In this attempt the aptitude of intensive pastures should be investigated by holding ten young heifers on short lawn pasture and ten on couple pasture. These both systems should be compared concerning their yield possibility. Additional valueable useful practise can be gathered.





Project Manager: Johann Häusler 

Through the implementation of new resp. adapted pasture systems it is tried to make pasture keeping more attractive. Best suited for the intensive pasture keeping are short lawn- resp. couple pastures, whereby you might combine these systems with portion pasture (at inter-fruit-cultivation in autumn). Characteristically for short lawn pastures is always the constant "Aufwuchshöhe", that are in the spring about 6 to 7 cm and in the late summer as well as in autumn about 7 to 10 cm, always measured with the "Zollstab".  As the low "Aufwuchshöhe" limits the fodder intake it is not suitable for the attainment of high single performances of animals.

At the couple pasture the "Aufwuchshöhe" is at about 10 to 15 cm and is therewith twice the high than at the short-lawn pasture. Thus the cows can pick ub more feed per bite and also the fodder intakes are higher. Higher single animal performances than at short lawn pastures are the results.

As both pasture systems differ, especially through the type of pasture-keeping and the different "Aufwuchshöhe", and thereof presumably different fodder intakes are resulting, which might again lead to different profit performances, in the present attempt a system comparison should be made.

The following questions should be answered:

  • Comparison of profit performances (fodder intake) short-lawn pasture - couple pasture
  • Surface demand of young calves at short-lawn- resp. couple pasture
  • Nutritional value of the fodder in the year
  • Comparison of the pasture management of both systems
  • Observation of the suitability of intensive pastures for "Kalbinnenaufzucht"
  • Collection of experiences of both pasture systems
  • Evaluation of the composition of the "Bestand" resp. of changes of plant stock through intensive pasture keeping systems

SUMMARY:

In 2006, at LFZ Raumberg-Gumpenstein two different grazing systems were tested in a grazing experiment with 20 young heifers. In addition to the comparison of these two systems, stocking rate, size of grazing area as well as the suitability of intensive pastures for the intensive cattle raising were investigated. Further results to the pasture management could be obtained.

Except of mineral and salt supply, the animals were only fed with grazed forage. Feed intake was not limited, so the size of the grazing area has to be adjusted in time. At the beginning of the trial the animals on short grass pasture were allocated to an area of about 1,500 sq metres per LSU (Livestock unit = 500 kilograms live weight). The heifers on couple pasture were held on four couples with a grazing area of approximately 400 sq metres per LSU each. Due to the growth performance of the heifers the grazing area per couple decreased to 300 square meters per LSU during pasture season. So, in our case, the grazing area of the couples would have to be constantly expanded.

As no system mustn´t be disadvantaged, the grazing area was of the same size in both variants. In the trial period, the size of the grazing area in the two groups was between 1,515 (short grass pasture = KU) and 1,599 sq metres per LSU (couple pasture = KO) at the end of June and 3,003 (KU) and 2,917 sq metres per LSU (KO) in early October. During the same time dairy cows would need between 2,500 and about 6,000 sq metres (1 cow = approx 1.2 LSU). Resulting stocking rates of 6.6 (KU) and 6.3 (KO) as well as 3.3 (KU) and 3.4 hectares (KO) could be calculated.

The average height of the pasture plants was measured by using a Pasture meter (Filip's Folding Plate Pasture meter). On short grass pasture the optimal height was between 3 and 4 cm, values below 3 reduced the growth performance and the grazing area had to be enlarged. When couple grazing the best height was at about 8 - 10 cm, lower heights decreased the grazing time per couple up to two days.

The animals were weighed every 2 weeks and the growth performance was calculated. The performance was at a high level, it tended to be moderately higher in the couple pasture group with 1,013 g per grazing day than in the short grass pasture group with 923 g per day. This slightly higher daily increases were mainly determined since the end of August. Before that, the increases were slightly higher in the short pasture group. However, significant differences couldn´t be observed.

At weighing date also the body condition of the animals was determined. No differences between the two groups could be found, only the races differed. The Simmental heifers showed an average body condition of about 3.4, while the Holstein heifers only reached a value of about 2.9.

Parasites couldn´t be found in any of the two groups. The consistence of faeces was pulpy to thin-pulpy and there was no difference between both groups.

The trial shows the high performance from short grass pastures and couple pastures. Assuming an optimal grazing management there are no significant differences in performance between the two systems. While short grass pastures need higher requirements in pasture quality and grazing management, couple pastures need more material for fences. Nevertheless both of the two systems are very good in intensive cattle raising.

Systemvergleich Kurzrasenweide - Koppelweide

2006 - 2006

Johann Häusler
Alternative Rinderhaltung und Produktqualität

 

 Johann Häusler Johann Häusler
Alternative Rinderhaltung und Produktqualität
Univ.Doz. Dr. Erich M. Pötsch Univ.Doz. Dr. Erich M. Pötsch
Grünlandmanagement und Kulturlandschaft
Ing. Reinhard Resch Ing. Reinhard Resch
Futterkonservierung und Futterbewertung
Priv. Doz. Dr. DI Andreas Steinwidder Priv. Doz. Dr. DI Andreas Steinwidder
Biologische Landwirtschaft und Biodiversität der Nutztiere
 Daniel Eingang Daniel Eingang
Alternative Rinderhaltung und Produktqualität
Univ.-Doz. Dr. Leonhard Gruber Univ.-Doz. Dr. Leonhard Gruber
Nutztierforschung
 Johannes Wildling Johannes Wildling
Alternative Rinderhaltung und Produktqualität
Dipl. ECBHM Dr. Johann Gasteiner Dipl. ECBHM Dr. Johann Gasteiner
Artgemäße Tierhaltung und Tiergesundheit
DI Marcus Urdl DI Marcus Urdl
Tierernährung
Dr. Margit Velik Dr. Margit Velik
Alternative Rinderhaltung und Produktqualität
Günter Maierhofer
 

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