Recovery and germination of gelatin-encapsulated seeds fed to cattle

TitleRecovery and germination of gelatin-encapsulated seeds fed to cattle
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsBarrow J.R., Havstad K
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Date Published1992

Artificial reseeding of marginal farmlands, wildlands or rangelands by mechanical mens is expensive and often unsuccessful. This study conducted to determinethe recovery and germinability of seeds of the southwestern USA rangeland forages fed to cattle. Seed of fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens), alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides), blue panicgrass (panicum antidotale), and sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) were administered in gelatin capsules to seers maintained on a moderate-qulaity alfalfa (medicago sative) diet. Approximately 95% of the recovered seed passed through the steers wihink 72 h after dosing, but recovery varied among species. Total recovery was 9.5, 46.4, 61.8, and 0% for fourwing saltbush, alkali sacaton, blue panicgrass adn sideoats grama, respectively. Fourwing saltbush, blue panicgrass, and alkali sacaton retained viability and germinated in the fecal material. Germination of seeds recovered 48 h post ingestion was 14.8, 50.1 and 41.4% for fourwing saltbush, alkali sacaton and blue panicgrass, use of gelatin capsules would be an effective method for easily feeding known quantities of seeds to livestock in small herds and could be incorporated with other common and necessary livestock handling practices.