Effects of holistic grazing management on milk production, weight gain, and visitation to grazing areas by livestock and wildlife in Laikipia County, Kenya

Priscilla K. Lalampaa, Oliver V. Wasonga, Daniel Ian Rubenstein, Jesse T. Njoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Grazing is an important management tool for maintaining healthy ecosystems and improving rangelands productivity. However, its effectiveness for this purpose is dependent on timing and frequency of grazing, as well as the type of animal. Understanding the effects of grazing management on rangeland ecosystems is critical in ensuring sustainable use of grazing resources and enhanced livestock production. This study assessed the effects of holistic grazing on animal productivity and range use pattern in Laikipia County of Kenya. Results: The results revealed that the average milk yields (106 ± 20.1) of animals in holistic grazing areas (HGA) were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than those in traditional grazing areas (TGA) (101 ± 20.1).Weight gain of animals in HGA was significantly (0.13 ± 0.01) higher as compared to those in TGA (0.07 ± 0.01). The number of livestock grazing was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in HGA (74 ± 10 %) than those in TGA (57 ± 10 %). In addition, the number of wildlife grazing was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in HGA (74 ± 18 %) than in TGA (32 ± 18 %). Conclusions: The results indicate that holistic grazing management has the potential to improve animal performance, as well as condition of range areas as evident in the preference shown by frequent visits to HGA by both livestock and wildlife.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17
JournalEcological Processes
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modeling

Keywords

  • Animal performance
  • Camera traps
  • Continuous grazing
  • Rest periods
  • Wildlife visits

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