The grazing behaviour of mixed age cashmere producing does was recorded on pasture dominated hill country at six physiological stages; post-weaning, pre-mating, early pregnancy, late pregnancy, early lactation and mid lactation. Observations were conducted from sunrise to sunset on three consecutive days at each physiological stage. Activity, land slope, time and position of focal animals were recorded. Flock position over the study site was also registered. At each physiological stage grazing was the predominant activity (34-63% of the time observed). The major grazing period occurred during the afternoon. Grazing occurred predominantly on steep and easy slopes (>70% of the time observed). Pasture height influenced the goats preference for the slope grazed. The does travelled in a regular pattern around the study site. This pattern was less distinct when the does had kids at foot. Activities observed during late pregnancy differed considerably from activities observed at other physiological stages. Some of these differences included more time spent standing and no distinct afternoon grazing period. Rain was the main event to interrupt grazing and initiate a change in the movement pattern of the does.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 51, , 133-138, 1991
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