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Do cattle need to be hungry to graze high and steep slope grasslands?

Cows utilise different places on a farm quite differently when given access to high country. This is thought to be due to different grazing personalities.

Cristian Moreno Garcia, PhD candidate Lincoln University

Cristian is exploring whether different grazing personalities can be linked to animal performance; and then looking to see if this can be linked to genetic markers and then ultimately, to identify and select grazing personalities to improve NZ rangelands’ health.

GPS collars have been fitted at several commercial farms as part of the study and then utilisation of the land by the cattle has been monitored, as well as animal performance (body weight).

Cristian has found that some cows are spending more time on the lower area of farms, while other cows take more time exploring the higher parts of farms. Some cows are walking a lot more during the day than others due to this difference in grazing personality.

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