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Communication dans un congrès

Farm grazing management with horses in two French grassland regions: Normandy and Auvergne

Abstract : Horse grazing practices are seldom analysed in European farms. We extensively surveyed farms in two regions in France where horse husbandry is important, Normandy and Auvergne. Both regions differ in terms of climate (oceanic vs continental) and type of horse productions (riding vs draught). The survey has been performed on 66 farms whose herds were greater than 5 broodmares, as the sole livestock or associated with cattle. The farmers have been questioned about the grasslands management and the animal steering during the grazing period. Farms with equine and bovine productions have larger agricultural areas than the regional average. The permanent grasslands cover more than 80% of the agricultural area in most of the surveyed farms. The analysis suggests splitting the farms set into several groups, depending on the altitude of their pastures (grazing season is 30 days longer in lowlands) and on their agricultural systems: horse rearing specialisation or horse productions mixed with cattle rearing. The main characteristics of the grazing management practices are the following: the share of only grazed area is similar in Normandy and Auvergne uplands, despite the difference in climate. It is 20 % bigger than in the Auvergne lowlands. The number of grass cuts is higher in Normandy. In the two regions, the main driver for management of grassland areas is the need to have the animals close to the farm building at some specific times (mating season for mares, training of young horses, milking of dairy cows). The mixed farms favour the both species grazing the same pasture together or successively, according to suckling or dairy productions. Last, it is worthwhile noting that grazed grass is the main feed resource for mares and young horses whatever the production type is.
Type de document :
Communication dans un congrès
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Déposant : Migration Irstea Publications <>
Soumis le : vendredi 15 mai 2020 - 22:13:06
Dernière modification le : mardi 16 février 2021 - 15:44:02


  • HAL Id : hal-02597141, version 1
  • IRSTEA : PUB00035624


Geneviève Bigot, Geneviève Bretiere, L. Viel, A. Célié, Eric Perret, et al.. Farm grazing management with horses in two French grassland regions: Normandy and Auvergne. 6th EWEN European Workshop on Equine Nutrition, Jun 2012, Lisbonne, Portugal. pp.209-212. ⟨hal-02597141⟩



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