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Revista Ceres

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PELLEGRINI, Luiz Giovani de et al. Behavior of lambs grazing in ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) at different phenological stages subjected to nitrogen fertilization. Rev. Ceres (Impr.) [online]. 2011, vol.58, n.3, pp.329-335. ISSN 0034-737X.

The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of nitrogen (N) levels on ryegrass pasture (Lolium multiflorum Lam), managed at the same pasture height under continuous grazing on the ingestive behavior of meat lambs. Four levels of nitrogen obtained from commercial urea (45 % of N) were applied in a single application: 0 kg/ha of N; 75 kg/ha of N; 150 kg/ha of N; and 225 kg/ha of N. Evaluations were performed during 63 days, divided into three periods of 21 days, corresponding to plant development stages from vegetative to reproductive stage. In each period, the days were divided into 3 evaluation shifts: morning (6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.), noon (10:31 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) and afternoon (2:31 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.). Lambs decreased idle time in 0.3 minutes each day of advancement in the pasture cycle, independent of the evaluation shift. However, for water consumption there was no difference (P>0.05) between the phenological phases (average of 1.8 minutes per day). Lambs decreased rumination time in 0.612; 0.660 and 0.060 minutes for each day of pasture utilization in the morning (6:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.), noon (10:31 a.m.-2:30 p.m.) and afternoon shifts (2:31 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.), respectively, while grazing activity increased 0.726; 1.104 and 0.354 minutes, respectively. Nitrogen levels had no influence (P>0.05) on time of rumination (126.6 minutes) and water consumption (10.5 minutes). Nitrogen levels showed linear increase (P<0.05) for idle time of 0.108 minutes and linear decrease for grazing of 0.198 minutes for each kg of N applied to pasture. Phenological stage influenced lamb behavior activities.

Keywords : Grazing; idle time; urea; rumination; sheep.

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