Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 18, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Ruminants have been shown to selectively graze to obtain a diet of high nutritive value. When grazing physical aspects of the pasture such as morophology and herbage mass may alter the preference exhibited. Eight tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) cutivars (Mozark, Mo96, C-1, Kenhy, Ky 31, FFR1, Barcel, and HiMag) were harvested, air dried, baled and dprocessed through a hydraulic bale press (knives spaced at 10 cm) prior to feeding. Preference experiments using sheep and goats in confinement were conducted. This removed most physical difference among cultivars tested. After an adjustment period, animals were offered every pair (eight hays = 28 paired comparisons) of hays. Relative preference, with excess hay on offer, was expressed as the ratio of the quantities of hays consumed. Preference for tall fescue appeared to be two dimensional for both sheep and goats. Both species strongly preferred Kenhy and strongly selected against Barcel in dimension one. In dimension two, both species selected against Barcel, but varied in their top preferences.