The effect of closing date on the performance of beef weaners grazing foggaged Digitaria eriantha and Acroceras macrum

  • A.P. Van Schalkwyk
  • W.D. Gertenbach


Digitaria eriantha spp. eriantha and Acroceras macrum foggage, closed off at three different dates (end of December, end of January and end of February), was evaluated for use as winter grazing for the overwintering of weaner steers in the Sour Sandveld of KwaZulu-Natal. Delaying the closing date led to an improvement in the quality of the herbage, where a higher crude protein content and a reduced crude fibre content were taken as indicators of nutritive value. Closing date had a major effect on dry matter yield, which was directly related to the length of time the pasture was closed off. Closing date significantly affected animal performance. With both pastures, steer growth rate was negative when the pastures were closed off in December, whereas the steers grazing pastures closed off in February achieved the highest live mass gains over the grazing period.

(South African Journal of Animal Science: 2000, 30(1): 82-86)

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2221-4062
print ISSN: 0375-1589