Original Articles

Herbaceous species preference by cattle in the false thornveld of the Eastern Cape

DOI: 10.1080/00725560.1983.9648991
Author(s): J.E. DanckwertsDepartment of Agriculture (Eastern Cape Region),, A.J. AucampDepartment of Agriculture (Eastern Cape Region),, H.J. BarnardDepartment of Agriculture (Eastern Cape Region),


Herbaceous species preference by cattle was studied at two sites of different botanical composition in the False Thornveld of the Eastern Cape. Of the grasses under observation, Themeda triandra was the most preferred species. Animals continued to graze selectively even when swards were subjected to severe defoliation. The preference shown by animals changed with time of year, the relative abundance of different species and the mean heights of the species in the sward. Within a species, animals avoided partially grazed tufts in favour of ungrazed tufts. However, tufts of preferred species were returned to before animals attempted even partial grazing of all the less preferred species. Grazed tillers, as opposed to tufts, were very rarely regrazed within periods of occupation.

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