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Ciência Animal Brasileira

On-line version ISSN 1809-6891

Abstract

PACHECO, Rangel Fernandes et al. Behavioral parameters of cull cows grazing millet or sudan grass . Ciênc. anim. bras. [online]. 2013, vol.14, n.3, pp.323-331. ISSN 1809-6891.  http://dx.doi.org/10.5216/cab.v14i3.23613.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the behavioral parameters and strategies of displacement and feeding of cull cows grazing millet or sudan grass. The treatments consisted of: pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke) or sudan grass (Sorghum bicolor cv. Sudanense). Both treatments were submitted to continuous grazing of cull cows over 63 experimental days subdivided into three periods. Using 20 Charolais x Nellore cull cows, at the average age of 8 years and average weight of 445 kg. The animals were divided into 10 paddocks, five paddocks used for each treatment comprising two cows. The behavioral assessments were carried out for 24 hours straight. The experimental design was completely randomized with two treatments and three periods. The grazing time of cows showed interaction (P = 0.0035) between treatment and period, and the shortest time for the activity in the first period on pearl millet (504 minutes) compared to the second period of that same treatment (587 minutes) and the third period on sudan grass pastures (535 minutes). The times of rumination and idling were similar between treatments; however, the idling time decreased and rumination increased with time periods. The forage species did not affect the variables related to the strategies of displacement and feeding. With the advancement of cycle pastures the number of steps per minute, stations per minute and per day decreased while the bite rate and the number of bites per day increased. The behavioral parameters of cull cows grazing sudan grass or millet are similar; however, the advancement of the vegetative cycle of these species provides changes in the behavioral pattern of the animals.

Keywords : bit rate; displacement strategies; grasses; grazing time; Pennisetum; Sorghum.

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