Effects of strategically placed mineral mix supplement (MMS) and traditional salt placement (TS) on cattle distribution were compared within Val Troncea Natural Park (Italy). Loose salt (TS) was placed on the rocks traditionally used by the farmers within flat and herbaceous areas. MMS blocks were strategically placed along 50-m transects in steep and shrub-encroached sites. Each TS and MMS treatment area was paired with a control site without supplements. Grazing period within each pasture was divided into two equal sub-periods during which TS and MMS were available. Eleven cows were tracked at 15 minute intervals with GPS collars. Both TS and MMS placement areas were used more (P<0. 001) than associated control areas. No differences were detected (P>0.05) in the time spent near TS and MMS. During both periods, cattle preferred areas with gentler terrain, closer to streams, closer to TS or MMS points, and with higher forage pastoral value. During TS periods, cattle preferred (P<0.01) areas with higher percentage of large leaf grasses, whereas during MMS periods cattle avoided (P<0.01) areas with higher bare ground and rock cover. Since we did not detect differences in the time spent in MMS and TS placement sites, strategically placed MMS appears to be a very promising tool to increase the use of steep and shrub-encroached areas and to enhance cattle distribution within large pastures.

Cattle distribution under rotational grazing as affected by mineral mix supplements and traditional salt placement in Alpine environments

PITTARELLO, MARCO;PROBO, MASSIMILIANO;IUSSIG, GABRIELE;LONATI, MICHELE;LOMBARDI, Giampiero;
2014

Abstract

Effects of strategically placed mineral mix supplement (MMS) and traditional salt placement (TS) on cattle distribution were compared within Val Troncea Natural Park (Italy). Loose salt (TS) was placed on the rocks traditionally used by the farmers within flat and herbaceous areas. MMS blocks were strategically placed along 50-m transects in steep and shrub-encroached sites. Each TS and MMS treatment area was paired with a control site without supplements. Grazing period within each pasture was divided into two equal sub-periods during which TS and MMS were available. Eleven cows were tracked at 15 minute intervals with GPS collars. Both TS and MMS placement areas were used more (P<0. 001) than associated control areas. No differences were detected (P>0.05) in the time spent near TS and MMS. During both periods, cattle preferred areas with gentler terrain, closer to streams, closer to TS or MMS points, and with higher forage pastoral value. During TS periods, cattle preferred (P<0.01) areas with higher percentage of large leaf grasses, whereas during MMS periods cattle avoided (P<0.01) areas with higher bare ground and rock cover. Since we did not detect differences in the time spent in MMS and TS placement sites, strategically placed MMS appears to be a very promising tool to increase the use of steep and shrub-encroached areas and to enhance cattle distribution within large pastures.
Joint Meeting of the "Mountain Pastures, Mediterranean Forage Resources (FAO/ESCORENA-CIHEAM) and Mountain Cheese" Network
Clermont-Ferrand
24-26 June 2014
Options Méditerranéennes - Forage resources and ecosystem services provided by Mountain and Mediterranean grasslands and rangelands
Baumont R. (ed.), Carrère P. (ed.), Jouven M. (ed.), Lombardi G. (ed.), López-Francos A. (ed.), Martin B. (ed.), Peeters A. (ed.), Porqueddu C. (ed.)
A 109
379
383
2853525317
http://om.ciheam.org/option.php?IDOM=1016
Marco Pittarello; Massimiliano Probo; Gabriele Iussig; Michele Lonati; Giampiero Lombardi; Derek W. Bailey
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/149707
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