The implementation of off-stream waterers (OSW) may reduce the amount of time cattle spend in riparian areas, thus minimizing impacts such as removal of vegetation, soil compaction, and deterioration in water quality. Furthermore, when used with natural barriers as a partial exclusion method, these management strategies may offer a cost-effective alternative to completely excluding cattle via streambank fencing. This study was conducted to determine the impact of OSW and barriers on animal performance and watering behavior. The presence of OSW had no significant effect on cow and calf weights averaged over the grazing season. Although the results were not consistent over the periods and locations, the data provided some indication of the efficacy of the natural barriers on deterring cattle from the riparian area. Cattle watered at the OSW when available, but they did not use the OSW exclusively. The observed inconsistency may, in part, be attributed to the environmental conditions present during this field trial.
PUBLICATION AVAILABLE AT: http://europepmc.org/articles/pmc4494426