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Permalink Silvopasture Benefits Animal Welfare and Productivity

A study in Virginia, reported in Temperate Agroforester, showed that silvopasture delivered equivalent weight gains in sheep while improving animal welfare. Although the black walnut and honeylocust silvopasture system had 30% less forage availability compared to treeless systems, lambs had equivalent weight gains. Researchers believe that greater animal comfort provided by shade contributed to the productivity of the silvopasture system. Lambs in silvopasture actively followed and utilized shade, and spent more time lying down, using less energy. The researchers are beginning a related study that will compare heifer performance and development in thinned loblolly pine and hardwood stands to heifer performance in open pastures and newly planted loblolly pine silvopastures.

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