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vol.33 issue5In situ dry matter, crude protein, and neutral detergent fiber degradability of some grasses in continuous grazingSheep production at the pregnancy and at the lactation under grazing on annual ryegrass pastures at different phenological stages author indexsubject indexarticles search
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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

Print version ISSN 1516-3598On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


PEDROSO, Carlos Eduardo da Silva et al. Sheep behavior at the pregnancy and at the lactation grazing on different phenological stages of annual ryegrass. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2004, vol.33, n.5, pp.1340-1344. ISSN 1516-3598.

This work was carried out at the field to evaluate the grazing sheep behavior conducted in annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) on vegetative, pre-flowering and flowering stages. Ewes at the end of pregnancy and at the beginning of lactation maintained in a 1.3 ha paddock were evaluated in terms of grazing time, bite rate, bite size, leaf:stem ratio of ingested pasture estimated by hand-plucking method. Daily grazing time/h of 9.65, 10.97 and 10.68, bite rates/min of 52.65, 51.93 and 40.63 and the bite weight g/bite of 0.064, 0.055 and 0.048 were observed for vegetative (VS), pre-flowering (PS) and flowering stages (FE), respectively. This behavior resulted in forage intake rates of 4.48%, 3.91% and 2.72% of body weight on VS, PS an FS, respectively These evolutions were accompanied by reduction of the leaf:stem ratio of available forage (4.36:1, 1.11:1 and 0.17:1) which were in accordance to the qualitative limitation that occurs in the flowering stage. These data showed that until pre-flowering stage, the strategies desenvolved by the animals allowed an adequate intake forage, while that in the flowering stage the low quality pasture determinated a decrease intake, being this considerate insufficient to attend nutritional necessities of lactating ewes and respective lambs.

Keywords : animal behavior; annual ryegrass; hand plucking; intake; phenological stages; sheep.

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