Scientists Sleuth Forage Secrets

How do certain forage plants coax cattle, sheep and goats into coming back for more? Scientists at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service are sleuthing the secrets of how to tempt the palates of these ruminants.

Knowing more about the

Share
Favorite
Please login

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

How do certain forage plants coax cattle, sheep and goats into coming back for more? Scientists at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service are sleuthing the secrets of how to tempt the palates of these ruminants.


Knowing more about the culinary cues should mean healthier animals that make better weight gains and bigger profits. Research studies should also help plant breeders develop new forages that appeal to animals, according to ARS soil scientist Henry F. Mayland. He leads the forage-preferences investigations at the agency’s Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory in Kimberly, Idaho.


Earlier, Mayland and ARS colleagues Dwight S. Fisher at Watkinsville, Ga., and Joseph C. Burns at Raleigh, N.C., showed that cattle, sheep and goats prefer tall fescue hays harvested in the afternoon to tall fescues cut in the morning. Their study was likely the first to show up to a 50-percent difference in forage preferences based on time of cutting.


Now, follow-up studies by ARS scientists and their university colleagues are showing the same trend with alfalfa hay

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Tim Brockhoff was Staff Writer of The Horse:Your Guide to Equine Health Care from 1995 to 1999. His degree is in Agricultural Communications from the University of Kentucky, and his equine experience is with American Saddlebreds.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What signs does your horse show when he has gastric ulcers? Please check all that apply.
45 votes · 102 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!