Intensive rotational grazing for dairy cattle feeding

J. W. Rust, C. C. Sheaffer, V. R. Eidman, R. D. Moon, R. D. Mathison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A 2-year study compared milk production and profitability for confinement feeding versus rotational grazing. Guernsey and Guernsey x Holstein cows grazed perennial grass pastures from mid-May to October or were fed in confinement. Averaged over both years, confined cows produced 7% more milk; their milk was similar in fat concentration to that of grazing cows. Body weight changes and health of the two groups were similar. Net return per cow averaged $64 higher for rotational grazing than for confinement because of lower costs for feeding, facilities, equipment, and labor. Intensive rotational grazing of pastures is a competitive alternative for dairy cow feeding. However, farmers in the northern U.S. will still require stored feeds from late fall through early spring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-151
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Alternative Agriculture
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995


  • Voisin grazing
  • confinement feeding
  • dairy
  • intensive grazing


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