Protein supplementation and grazing behavior for cows on differing late-season rangeland grazing systems

James E. Sprinkle, Joseph K. Sagers, John B. Hall, Melinda J. Ellison, Joel V. Yelich, Jameson R. Brennan, Joshua B. Taylor, James B. Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The objective was to determine if low-or high-residual feed intake (LRFI or HRFI, n = 24 for each) Hereford × Angus cows on continuously or rotationally grazed rangeland altered their grazing behavior when provided a protein supplement in late autumn. Treatments included continuously grazed, control (CCON, n = 12); continuously grazed, supplemented (CTRT, n = 12); rotationally grazed, control (RCON, n = 12); and rotationally grazed, supplemented pastures (RTRT, n = 12). Cows in each treatment had grazing time (GT), resting time (RT), and walking time (WLK) measured for 2 years with accelerometers. Bite rate (BR) was also measured. Time distributions of GT and RT differed by year (p < 0.05), being influenced by colder temperatures in 2016. Cattle in 2016 spent more time grazing during early morning and late evening (p < 0.05) and rested more during the day (p < 0.05). In 2017, cattle in the CCON treatment walked more (p < 0.05) during early morning time periods than did the CTRT cattle, indicative of search grazing. All supplemented cattle had greater BR (p < 0.05) than control cattle in 2017. Cattle with increased nutritional demands alter grazing behavior in a compensatory fashion when grazing late-season rangelands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3219
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Accelerometer
  • Beef cattle
  • Grazing behavior
  • Grazing systems
  • Protein supplementation
  • Residual feed intake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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