Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/11/2009
Publication Date: 5/15/2009
Citation: Turner, K.E. 2009. Goats, sheep, and cattle: some basics. In: Peischel, A., editor. Proceedings of the Tennessee Small Ruminant College, May 15-16, 2009, Tennessee State University Research and Education Center, Ashland City, Tennessee. p. 136-144.
Technical Abstract: Pasture-based finishing systems for meat goats, sheep and cattle are growing rapidly in the eastern USA. Increasing demand for pasture-raised meat and dairy products requires renewed efforts to communicate the best practical information in order to initiate mixed grazing with goats, sheep, and beef cattle on these farms. There are a variety of forages used in grazing systems for ruminants. Goats, sheep and cattle graze differently by selecting plants and plant parts to satisfy nutrient demands. Because diet preferences differ by ruminant species, producers can take advantage of this selectivity through grazing management practices to help improve the nutritive value and overall forage utilization from pastures. The mixed grazing option uses more than one animal species to manage pastures. Traditional assessment of forages and feedstuffs for nutritive value include both quality and anti-quality components for livestock. Plant anti-quality components are being re-evaluated to better understand the opportunities to positively influence health and performance of ruminants by improving feed intake, digestion, and nutrient-use efficiency. Condensed tannins in plants and feedstuffs can be used to reduce problems with bloat, improve protein-use efficiency, and help control gastrointestinal parasites. With the high cost of corn grain, many producers are using more industrial, grain-based by-products as feeds and supplements for livestock. Producers should obtain a nutritive value analyses to insure the overall diets are balanced for calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, copper, and molybdenum in order to minimize risk of development of metabolically-based diseases. An understanding of some basic considerations of livestock, grazing, and ruminant nutrition can be used to integrate small ruminants into large ruminant enterprises.