The Custom Grazing of Replacement Dairy Heifers on Fuego Fescue and Barenburg Ryegrass under a Managment-intensive Grazing System
Developing replacemetn dairy heifers in a Managment-intensive Grazing (MIG) sytem may provie beneficial to custom graziers and dairy operators.
Objectives: To explore the feasibility of custom grazing dairy heifers and examine the productivity of certain forage varieties deveoped for grazing. Twenty-six acres were seeded in the spring of 1997 to a mix of Van der Haven Fuego Tall Fescue, Barenburg Perennial Ryegrass and Menna White Clover. The pasture was clipped several times, fenced and grazed lightly in the fall of 1997. In 1998, 11 bred Holstein heifers and 10 Angus yearling steers were grazed and weighed periodically to check performance.
Results: In a 153-day grazing season, the Holstein heifers registered gains of 1.91 pounds per day, and the Angus yearling steers gained an average of 2.24 pounds. Total grazing costs were $0.78 per day versus estimated dry lot costs of $1.25 per day. in additon, 67.08 tons of hay were harvested from the 26-acre pasture.