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Grazing large dairy herds on small wetlands: risks and opportunties

Paru en 2017 dans Fourrages n°230 (page 147 à 153)

Auteurs : Le Cozler Y.

Co-auteurs : Cornet E.

Mots-clefs : bovin d'élevage, gestion du pâturage, prairie permanente, pâturage, hétérogénéité spatiale, prairie temporaire, comportement animal, enquête, pratiques des agriculteurs, chargement animal, gestion du troupeau, prairie humide, zone humide

Résumé :

Livestock grazing helps preserve wetlands because animals control vegetation by foraging upon it. However, in dairy systems, growing herd sizes are threatening this system's equilibrium. We carried out a series of experiments using 2 herds of dairy heifers, composed of 20 and 49 animals (herds M and XL, respectively). We looked at the effects of grazing animals at different densities on the same surface area and the effects of grazing animals at the same densities on different surface areas. When per-animal surface area was 6.4 ha, growth was greater in herd M (continous grazing) than in herd XL (rotational grazing) (+8 kg over 20 days). Vegetation regrowth, overall animal activity, and animal social behaviour were not affected. In conclusion, grazing large herds on small wetlands may be possible, as long as certain precautions are taken.

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16/10/2018