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Making livestock behavior work for you   Arrow divider image - marks separation between nested pages that are listed as breadcrumbs.

Save money, time, and benefit the land using livestock behavior to your advantage

Cows grazing in sagebrush in Colorado's western slope.

Photo by M & R Glasgow available on Flickr with a CC BY 2.0 license. Photo was cropped to fit page.

The BEHAVE project (Behavioral Education for Human Animal Vegetation and Ecosystem management) from Utah State University synthesizes years of research into livestock behavior principles. By understanding and manipulating why livestock behave as they do, managers can use livestock’s natural inclinations to accomplish land management goals such as controlling weeds, increasing biodiversity, lessening the use of river bank areas, reducing the need for expensive feed, and much more.

BEHAVE’s Principles of Behavior

Developed by collaborators Fred Provenza, Juan Villalba, Beth Burritt, Roger Banner, Mark Brunson, Andrea Clemensen, Ashley Hansen, Rae Ann Hart, Tiffanny Lyman, Brody Maughan, and Chuck Petersen, BEHAVE’s Principles of Behavior are:

Behavior Depends On Consequences

Mother Knows Best

Early Experiences Matter Most

Animals Must Learn How to Forage

Animals Avoid Unfamiliar Foods

Palatability Depends on Feedback from Nutrients and Toxins in Food

  • Nutrients Increase Palatability
  • Toxins Decrease Palatability
  • Changes in Food Preferences are Automatic
  • Toxins Set a Limit on Intake

Changes in Food Preferences are Automatic

Everybody is an individual

Learn More

The BEHAVE website includes detailed information on: