Quantifying energy dissipation by grazing animals in harsh environments. uri icon

abstract

  • Grazing systems in harsh environments are common throughout the world, and animal production is the mainstay of the livelihoods of many resource-poor farmers. The energy cost of the various activities involved in the process of harvesting the pasture to transform it into animal product can be estimated through an energy balance. This cost would be the difference between the metabolizable energy intake (MEI) and the energy expenditures for maintenance (MEm), temperature regulation (MEtr), and the energy for production (MEp). Each of the ME has its own net energy (NE) and its associated efficiency (K). When MEI > MEm + MEtr + MEp, the difference is attributable to the energy dissipated during grazing. The efficiency of converting the energy consumed into animal products depends on the magnitude of the dissipation. The inefficiency is associated with the energy spent in locomotion and the stress produced when there is low availability of energy in the pasture. This paper presents a method to quantify the dissipation of energy by grazing animals by considering it as a function of available energy. Such an understanding is required in order to develop management strategies to increase conversion efficiency. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003