Effect of Grazing Method, Nitrogen Level, Supplementary Feeding and Stocking Rate on the Performance of Young Grazing Bulls

  • J. M. Bienfait
  • M. Gielen
  • P. Limbourg
  • C. van Eenaeme
Part of the Current Topics in Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science book series (CTVM, volume 28)


In 1981 and 1982 an experiment on beef production on pasture with growing fattening young bulls was started on permanent pastures situated on the plateau of the Belgian Ardennes. Rotational grazing and set-stocking were compared in association with the following factors: stocking rate, energetic concentrate supplement level and N-fertilizer intensity.

As a result of the high stocking rate (3209 kgLW/ha on average) and the excellent individual performances, weight gains from 1300 to over 1700 kg per hectare were observed. Performances were similar for the two grazing systems but rotational grazing required about 40% less fertilizer N per ha. Increasing the stocking rate by 32% (7.1 to 9.35 bulls/ha) resulted in higher weight gains per hectare with a concentrate supplement (+ 32%) than with an increase in N-manuring (+ 18%). Indeed in the former system weight gain per animal was maintained while it dropped by 11% in the latter. In the course of the grazing season it was more difficult to obtain good growth performances in mid-summer and in October shortly before the animals were removed from the pastures.


Beef Cattle Daily Growth Beef Production Grazing Management Grazing Season 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alder, F.E. Cowlishaw, S.J., Newton, J.E. and Chambers, D.T. 1967 The effect of level of nitrogen fertilizer on beef production from grazed perennial ryegrass/white clover pastures. J. Br. Grassld Soc. 22 230–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andries,A.P., Carlier,L.A., Boucqué,Ch.V., Cottyn,B.G. and Buysse,F.X. 1973. Production de viande bovine sur des prairies exploitées d’une manière intensive. Rev. Agric. 26 1049–1061.Google Scholar
  3. Béranger, C. 1975. La Complémentation au pâturage des bovins de boucherie. Fourrages, 62 57–72Google Scholar
  4. Bienfait, J.M., Gielen, M. and Limbourg, P. 1981. Exploitation des pâturages par la vache laitière dans les Ardennes Belges. Comptes rendus “Les. Entretiens de Bourgelat”, Lyon, Oct. 1981, Edts Point Vétérinaire, tome 1 pp. 207–213Google Scholar
  5. Boucqué, Ch.V., Cottyn, B.G., de Brabander, D.L., Fiems, L.O. and Buysse, F.X. 1978 Effect of ad libitum energy supplementation to finishing steers on pasture. Proceedings of the 7th General Meeting of the EGF, Gent, Belgium, 5–9 June 1978 pp. 5.55–5.63Google Scholar
  6. Conway, A. 1968. Grazing management in relation to beef production. Effect of feeding supplements to beef cattle on pasture at two intensities of stocking. Ir. J. Agric.Res., 7 105–120.Google Scholar
  7. Elliott, J.G., Dale, R.J. and Barnes, F. 1978. The performance of beef animals on a permanent pasture. J. Br. Grassld Soc. 33 41–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Elliott, J.G. and Dale, R.J, 1980. Further experiences of beef production on permanent pasture in 1976–1978. Grass and Forage Science, 35 319–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Escuder, J.C., Andrews, R.P. and Holmes, W. 1971. The effect of nitrogen, stocking rate and frequency of grazing by beef cattle on the output of pasture. J. Br. Grassld Soc. 26 79–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gielen, M., Limbourg, P., Bienfait, J.M. and Van Eenaeme, C. 1982. Continuous and rotational grazing management with dairy cows: comparison at two stocking rates. 9th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation:Reading, 5–9 September, 1982.Google Scholar
  11. Gregory, K.E. and Ford, J.J. 1983. Effects of late castration, zeranol and breed group on growth, feed efficiency and carcass characteristics of late maturing bovine males. J. Anim. Sci. 56 771–780.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Groot de Th. and Keuning, J.A. 1968. Intensive beef production from grassland. Two grazing experiments. World Review of Animal Production, 4 (18) 75–76.Google Scholar
  13. Holmes, J.C. and Lang, R.W. 1974. The effect of nitrogen application to pasture on beef production. J. Br. Grassld Soc. 29 121–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Horton, G.M.J. and Holmes, W. 1974. The effect of nitrogen, stocking rate and grazing method on the output of pasture grazed by beef cattle. J. Br. Grassld Soc. 29 93–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Le Stang, J.P. and Mourier, C. 1981. Utilisation des prairies permanentes normandes pour la production des boeufs de races laitières. Fourrages n° 86, 49–80.Google Scholar
  16. Limbourg, P., Noirfalise, A., Bienfait, J.M. and Gielen, M. 1980. Nitrogen manure and concentrate feeding: two methods to increase the pasture stocking rate for grazing dairy cows. Ann. Med. Vet. 124 497–513.Google Scholar
  17. Marsh, R. and Murdoch, J.C. 1974. Effect of high fertilizer nitrogen and stocking rates on liveweight gain per animal and per hectare. J. Br. Grassld Soc. 29 305–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Meadowcroft, S.C. and Altman, Jill F.B. 1982. Nitrogen and stocking rates for grazing beef cattle. Expl. Husb. 38 163–183.Google Scholar
  19. Muller, A. and Beranger, C. 1978. Production de jeunes boeufs à partir d’herbe verte ou ensilée complémentée avec des pulpes séchées. Bull. Techn. CRZV, Theix, INRA, 31 5–9.Google Scholar
  20. Reyneke, J. 1976. Comparative beef production from bulls, steers and heifers under intensive feeding conditions. S. Agr. J. Anim. Sci. 6 53–58.Google Scholar
  21. Roche, J.F., Harte, F.J., Joseph, R.L. and Davis, W.D. 1981. The use of growth promoters in beef production. Proceedings of a Workshop held at Brussels, 24–27, March 5–6th, 1981, CEC.Google Scholar
  22. Tayler, J.C. and Wilkinson, J.M. 1972. The influence of level of concentrate feeding on the voluntary intake of grass and on liveweight gain by cattle. Anim. Prod. 14 85–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Umoh, J.E. and Holmes, W. 1974. A further investigation of the effect of nitrogen and stocking rate on the productivity of pasture for beef cattle. J. Br. Grassld Soc. 29 203–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Vadiveloo, J. and Holmes, W. 1979. Supplementary feeding of grazing beef cattle. Grass and Forage Science 34 173–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Yiakoumettis, I.M. and Holmes, W. 1972. The effect of nitrogen and stocking rate on the output of pasture grazed by beef cattle. J. Br. Grassld Soc. 27 183–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ECSC, EEC, EAEC, Brussels-Luxembourg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Bienfait
    • 1
  • M. Gielen
    • 1
  • P. Limbourg
    • 2
  • C. van Eenaeme
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculté de Médicine VétérinaireBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Faculté des Sciences AgronomiquesGemblouxBelgium

Personalised recommendations