Ingestive behavior of sheep on Massai grass under different pre-grazing heights under rotational stocking

Comportamento ingestivo de ovinos em capim Massai sob diferentes alturas pré-pastejo sob lotação rotativa

Rebeca Rocha CARDOSO Luciano Fernandes de SOUSA Ana Cristina Holanda FERREIRA José Neuman Miranda NEIVA Deborah Alves FERREIRA André Guimarães Maciel e SILVA About the authors

SUMMARY

This studyaimed to assess the influence of three pre-grazing heights of Massai grass on the ingestive behavior of sheep under rotational stocking. Eighteen Dorper x nondescript crossbred sheep were used under rotational stocking on Massai grass at pre-grazing heights. The animal stocking was estimated to ensure a reduction of approximately 50% of the initial height. Behavior assessments were performed from 6 to 18 h at the entrance and exit of animals from paddocks. The longest activity was grazing, followed by rumination and other activities, and the period from 6 to 10 h showed the longest grazing.In the other periods, the animals in the 35-cm treatment grazed less when compared to those ofthe other treatments. Rumination in all treatments was more significant in the period from 14 to 18 h, but the animals in the 45-cm treatment spent more time doing this activity, which gave them a higher time of rumination of the food bolus, as well as ruminating chews. The bite rate was higher for the 25-cm treatment, followed by the 45 and 35-cm treatments, respectively.

Megathyrsus maximus; Panicum maximum; ruminants

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