Monitoring the Nutritional Status of Grazing Animals Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

Jerry W. Stuth, Douglas R. Tolleson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The use of near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS), a new, noninvasive assessment tool, enables veterinarians to augment their experience and visual appraisal in situations in which handling animals is neither practical nor desirable. Fecal NIRS, used in conjunction with a computer-aided, nutrition decision support system called NUTBAL (Nutritional Balance Analyzer), is a method of monitoring the nutritional status of free-grazing animals. In 1992, NIRS fecal profiling equations were successfully developed to predict dietary crude protein and digestible organic matter of cattle under free-ranging conditions. Cow/calf producers who have used the NIRS/NUTBAL system for at least 1 year and received advisory input from their technical advisors have reported positive benefits from nutritional monitoring of their herds. Future applications of fecal NIRS may include determining parasite load and reproductive status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S108-S115
JournalCompendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • veterinary(all)


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