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(also grazing), the placing of livestock on natural or cultivated pastures or on any area of grass to graze on standing or field-dried vegetation. All domestic animals can be grazed, but pasturing is most commonly practiced with such ruminants as cattle, sheep, reindeer, camels, and yaks.
A distinction is made between unconfined and confined pasturing. In the former, the animals graze over the entire pasture throughout the grazing season. The confined, or enclosed, system of grazing is more efficient. It involves dividing the pasture into enclosure plots, which are used in a definite order; the animals are grazed in each section for one to six days. During the course of the summer each plot is grazed several times. On high-yielding pastures the plots are broken into parts for rationed grazing. Animals grazing in the same field usually are of the same sex and approximately the same age. On enclosed pastures the animals graze without a herdsman. However, herdsmen, often assisted by dogs, are needed for unconfined pasturing. Animals may be stabled for the winter and then pastured from spring (beginning of stem growth for cereals and the formation of lateral sprouts in legumes and mixed grasses) until autumn. In some regions the animals graze all year on year-round or seasonal pastures.
REFERENCESSpravochnik po senokosam i pastbishcham, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1966.
Movsisiants, A. P. Ispol’zovanie pastbishch. Moscow, 1969.
A. P. MOVSISIANTS