The University of Arizona

Cattle diets in tall forb communities on mountain rangelands.

M.H. Ralphs, J.A. Pfister


Thirteen grazing studies have recently documented diet botanical composition of cattle in tall forb plant communities on mountain rangelands. In forb-dominated plant communities, cattle selected forbs in proportion to their availability, (46 to 83% of their diets). In grass-dominated communities, forbs comprise only 11 to 32% of diets. On a landscape scale cattle preferred and spent proportionally more time grazing in forb-dominated communities. Taken together, these studies indicate that cattle have a wide acceptability for forage classes and can effectively utilize forb-dominated high mountain rangelands.


grazing trials;mountain grasslands;cattle feeding;plant communities;diets;botanical composition;Montana;rangelands;grazing;forage;feeding preferences

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