Understanding Herbivore Responses to Anti-Quality Factors in Forages

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Contribution to Book

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Anti-Qaulity Factors in Rangeland and Pastureland Forages

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Successful livestock management on rangelands is quite challenging� The nutritional needs of animals change constantly with age, physiological state, and environmental conditions� Animals try to meet these needs by harvesting nutritious forage� This is a difficult task because the quantities of energy, protein, and minerals in plants vary from place to place and throughout the year� Forages also contain �anti-quality� compounds that limit intake or adversely affect animals� The kind and amount of toxins in different plants and plant parts vary as do plant structures such as dead stems or thorns that inhibit foraging� Given these dynamics, livestock managers must constantly track forage value and understand the abilities of herbivores to meet these foraging challenges� In this paper, we will examine how anti-quality plant attributes affect diet selection and intake� We will also examine the behavioral and digestive strategies that animals employ to overcome these anti-quality attributes and gain access to the nutrient and energy resources in plants� Finally, we will suggest management approaches to help animals contend with anti-quality attributes in forages

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