Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9290
BRANCIO, Patrícia Amarante et al. Evaluation of three varieties of Panicum maximum Jacq. under grazing: cattle ingestive behaviour. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2003, vol.32, n.5, pp. 1045-1053. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982003000500003.
Three varieties of Panicum maximum Jacq. were evaluated by measuring ingestive behavior components (bite size, grazing time, and rate of eating) for one year under rotational grazing. The treatments were: 1) v. Tanzânia + 50 kg N/ha, 2) v. Tanzânia + 100 kg N/ha, 3) v. Mombaça + 50 kg N/ha, and 4) v. Massai + 50 kg N/ha. The values for bite size were probably overestimated, even so, values lower than 300 g DM/bite size were observed, a critical consideration, in the dry period. There was a tendency for smaller size bites with v. Massai during the dry period, probably due to distribution of leaves and dead material present in the pasture. There were no differences in time of pasturing among treatments and between seasons of evaluation, but the standard of distribution for time spent grazing along with the day was modified by the different seasons. Few differences in rate of eating were observed among the varieties. The rate of eating tended to increase with the length of time in the plots. Among the components of ingestive behavior the only significant correlation observed was between time of pasturing and bite size (r = -0.45).
Keywords : bite size; bite rate; grazing time.