The investigation and evaluation of riparian management practices within the Manitoba landscape: off-stream watering systems
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This study was conducted to determine the impact of off-stream waterers (OSW) and barriers on animal productivity, behaviour, and riparian health, while comparing data collected with visual observations and GPS collars. Treatment had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on cow and calf weights averaged over the grazing season, with the exception of calf weights at one site (P < 0.0001). Although cattle utilized the OSW, they continued to drink from the stream. Further, the barriers did not discourage watering at the stream. Riparian health assessments did not indicate greater improvement with OSW or barriers. Cattle location, obtained via visual observations and GPS collars, differed with respect to the number of observations at the trough or in the riparian polygon. Long term studies are required to assess the impact of pasture size and site topography on OSW usage and riparian health, as many of the criteria take over two years to regenerate.