Comparative growth characteristics of goats tethered on native pasture and free-ranged on cultivated pasture Academic Article uri icon


  • Tethering goats on marginal lands is a common practice in many countries but may result in BW loss during the dry season. To test an alternative system, groups of six young male Landim French Alpine goats (12 kg BW average) were tethered daily for 6 h on native pasture or free-ranged for 24 h on a cultivated pasture which incorporated herbaceous grasses and legumes as well as Leucaena leucocephala rows. The trial started late in the wet season and ended early in the wet season of the following year, and was repeated during a second year with the addition of a tethered treatment receiving supplementation of L. leucocephala leaves at 2% BW (dry matter basis). Average daily gains were higher (P < 0.05) on cultivated pasture, (70 g day-1 and 51 g day-1 in Years 1 and 2) compared with tethered animals (31 g day-1 and 24 g day-1 in Years 1 and 2). Gains in the second year for tethered/supplemented animals were intermediate (38 g day-1; P < 0.05). Carcass, as percent BW at slaughter, was highest (P < 0.05) for cultivated pastures, 47.4%, versus 40.2% for tethered animals and 40.7% for tethered/supplemented animals the second year. It was concluded that free-ranging, 24 h grazing on a cultivated pasture can be a sustainable, low-input alternative which can avoid animal BW loss during the dry season. 1995.

published proceedings

  • Small Ruminant Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Muir, J. P., Jordao, C., & Massaete, E. S.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Muir, JP||Jordao, C||Massaete, ES

publication date

  • July 1995