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Conference Poster Year : 2022

Rethinking grasslands in 3D: feeding preferences of dairy cows between temperate fodder trees

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Abstract

Planting fodder trees in grasslands increases vegetation diversity, reduces grassland vulnerability to climate change and provides additional fodder resource during periods of drought. However, the palatability of temperate fodder trees remains poorly studied. During 10 mornings in July 2021, we allowed 12 dairy cows to feed freely in a 4-year-old chicory-based pasture planted with 168 pollarded trees from 4 species (common ash, white mulberry, Lutèce elm, Italian alder). Every 4 minutes, the number of cows browsing each individual tree was recorded (i.e. 550 scans per tree). A generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) was used to analyse the cows’ feeding preferences among the four tree species. Results indicate a strong preference for Lutèce elm (280 of 470 feeding observations, i.e. 60% of browsing behaviour), and low preferences for common ash and Italian alder (respectively 7 and 6%). This study shows that fodder trees may represent a feeding resource complementary to herbage in summer. Further investigations are needed to confirm and understand this preference pattern, as well as to quantify the part of the diet fodder tree would represent.
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Dates and versions

hal-03744539 , version 1 (16-09-2022)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-03744539 , version 1

Cite

Geoffrey Mesbahi, A. Jawahir, M. Berthet, Cécile Ginane, Remy Delagarde, et al.. Rethinking grasslands in 3D: feeding preferences of dairy cows between temperate fodder trees. 29. General meeting of the European Grassland Federation (EGF2022), Jun 2022, Caen, France. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Grassland Science in Eruope, 27, pp.436-438, 2022, Grassland at the heart of circular and sustainable food systems. ⟨hal-03744539⟩
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