Cattle feeding and resting patterns in a foothills riparian zone
Journal of Range Management , 39 , 1986

Marlow, C.B., Pogacnik, T.M.

Cattle impact on riparhn areas is dependent upon both their behavior and utilization of streamside vegetation. Development of grazing strategies for riparian environments would be enhanced by an understanding of cattle behavior in rip&an and adjacent uplands. Results of a 2-year behavior study indicate that a seasonal trend in cattle use of riparian and upland areas exists. Unless low precipitation limited upland forage quality/production, cattle spent a significant (X0.05) amount of their feeding time in upland areas during late June and early July. Significant levels of feeding activity (IYO.05) occurred in the riparian zone from late August through September. Resting patterns differed only during the early part of the grazing season when cattle spent significantly more (X0.05) of their time resting in upland areas. During late July, August, and September, there was no signifkant difference (PX.50) in the amount of time spent resting in either zone. Significant differences (PCO.05) occurred only when adverse weather conditions caused cattle to seek shelter in the riparian zone. Because cattle spend a disproportionate amount of their feeding time in the riparian zone during late summer and early fall, impacts could be limited by basing stocking rates for this period only on forage available in the riparian zone.