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Acta Scientiarum. Animal Sciences

On-line version ISSN 1807-8672

Abstract

RIBEIRO, Aline Mendes et al. Canopy characteristics, animal behavior and forage intake by goats grazing on Tanzania-grass pasture with different heights. Acta Sci., Anim. Sci. [online]. 2012, vol.34, n.4, pp.371-378. ISSN 1807-8672.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4025/actascianimsci.v34i4.14544.

This study evaluated the influence of Tanzania-grass sward height (30, 50, 70 and 90 cm) on the morphological characteristics of the canopy, grazing behavior and forage intake by adult Anglo Nubian female goats. A completely randomized experimental design was employed, with two replicates in space and two replicates in time. Six animals were used to assess the grazing behavior, and four, the ingestion process. The rise in sward height increased the forage and leaf mass, the percentages of stem and dead material, and reduced the leaf stem-1 ratio. Above 50 cm there was an increase in grazing time and a decrease in leisure time. A positive linear correlation was detected between sward height and bite depth. The consumed forage mass, ingestion rate and daily intake were higher at 50 cm, indicating that the other heights reduced the intake process. The sward height was negatively correlated to the bite rate and positively to the bite time. The sward height of 50 cm presents the best combination of features, favoring the grazing and ingestive behavior of female adult goats.

Keywords : consumption; forage production; bite rate; ingestion rate; grazing time.

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