Pasture vs. Meadow

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Pasture and Meadow is that the Pasture is a land used for grazing and Meadow is a field vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants (grassland)

  • Pasture

    Pasture (from the Latin pastus, past participle of pascere, “to feed”) is a concrete spatial area where farmers keep livestock for grazing.Pasture lands in the narrow sense are enclosed tracts of farmland, grazed by domesticated livestock, such as horses, cattle, sheep, or swine. The vegetation of tended pasture, forage, consists mainly of grasses, with an interspersion of legumes and other forbs (non-grass herbaceous plants). Pasture is typically grazed throughout the summer, in contrast to meadow which is ungrazed or used for grazing only after being mown to make hay for animal fodder. Pasture in a wider sense additionally includes rangelands, other unenclosed pastoral systems, and land types used by wild animals for grazing or browsing.

    Pasture lands in the narrow sense are distinguished from rangelands by being managed through more intensive agricultural practices of seeding, irrigation, and the use of fertilizers, while rangelands grow primarily native vegetation, managed with extensive practices like controlled burning and regulated intensity of grazing.

    Soil type, minimum annual temperature, and rainfall are important factors in pasture management.

    Sheepwalk is an area of grassland where sheep can roam freely. The productivity of sheepwalk is measured by the number of sheep per area. This is dependent, among other things, on the underlying rock. Sheepwalk is also the name of townlands in County Roscommon, Ireland and County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

    Unless factory farming, which entails in its most intensive form entirely trough-feeding, managed or unmanaged pasture is the main food source for ruminants. Pasture feeding dominates livestock farming where the land makes crop sowing and/or harvesting difficult, such as in arid or mountainous regions, where types of camel, goat, antelope, yak and other ruminants live which are well suited to the more hostile terrain and very rarely factory farmed. In more humid regions, pasture grazing is managed across a large global area for free range and organic farming. Certain types of pasture suit the diet, evolution and metabolism of particular animals, and their fertilising and tending of the land may over generations result in the pasture combined with the ruminants in question being integral to a particular ecosystem.

  • Meadow

    A meadow is an open habitat, or field, vegetated by grass and other non-woody plants. They attract a multitude of wildlife and support flora and fauna that could not thrive in other conditions. They provide areas for courtship displays, nesting, food gathering, pollinating insects, and sometimes sheltering, if the vegetation is high enough, making them ecologically important. There are multiple types of meadows, such as agricultural, transitional, and perpetual, each important to the ecosystem. Meadows may be naturally occurring or artificially created from cleared shrub or woodland.

  • Pasture (noun)

    Land, specifically, an open field, on which livestock is kept for feeding.

  • Pasture (noun)

    Ground covered with grass or herbage, used or suitable for the grazing of livestock.

  • Pasture (noun)

    Food, nourishment.

  • Pasture (verb)

    To move animals into a pasture.

  • Pasture (verb)

    To graze.

  • Pasture (verb)

    To feed, especially on growing grass; to supply grass as food for.

    “The farmer pastures fifty oxen; the land will pasture forty cows.”

  • Meadow (noun)

    A field or pasture; a piece of land covered or cultivated with grass, usually intended to be mown for hay.

  • Meadow (noun)

    Low land covered with coarse grass or rank herbage near rivers and in marshy places by the sea.

    “the salt meadows near Newark Bay”

  • Pasture (noun)

    land covered with grass and other low plants suitable for grazing animals, especially cattle or sheep

    “areas of rich meadow pasture”

    “grassy pastures”

    “many a horse was put out to pasture there”

    “a range of pasture grasses”

  • Pasture (noun)

    used to refer to a person’s situation in life

    “she left the office for pastures new”

  • Pasture (verb)

    put (animals) to graze in a pasture

    “they pastured their cows in the water meadow”

  • Pasture (verb)

    (of animals) graze

    “the livestock pastured and the crops grew”

  • Meadow (noun)

    a piece of grassland, especially one used for hay

    “a meadow ready for cutting”

    “143 acres of meadow and pasture”

  • Meadow (noun)

    a piece of low ground near a river

    “a pleasant campsite in a meadow, complete with sparkling stream”

Oxford Dictionary

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