Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 20-28

Feeding behavior of beef cattle fed different forages and housed in individual or collective pens

Custodio, Sergio Antonio SchwartzTomaz, Marcus Paulo PereiraSilva, Diego Azevedo Leite daGoulart, Rodrigo de OliveiraDias, Kaique MoreiraCarvalho, Eduardo Rodrigues de

The understanding of feeding behavior may be useful to evaluate the performance of animals fed different diets. Twenty-four non-castrated Red Norte × Nelore males with an average initial body weight of 439.8 ± 59.6 kg and 21.7 ± 2.7 months of age were distributed in three experimental groups, and housed in individual (twelve animals) or collective pens (twelve animals in three collective pens) at the Dairy and Beef Research and Education Center of the Instituto Federal Goiano (Iporá Campus). The experiment lasted 84 days (14 of adaptation and 70 days for data collection). Animals were fed diets containing sugar cane in natura (CI), sugar cane silage (SCS) or corn silage (CS) as sources of forage. Feeding behavior was determined every 14 days for one-hour intervals beginning at 0, 1, 5, and 9 hours post-feeding. Eating, resting and rumination activities were monitored for three-minute intervals through visual observations from individual animals. Time spent with eating was greater (P<0.05) for CS (21.8 ± 1.2 minutes/hour) and time spent with resting was greater (P<0.05) for CI and SCS (38.8 and 36.5 ± 1.5 minutes/hour, respectively). Animals housed individually increased (P<0.05) time spent with both eating (19.7 ± 1.0 minutes/hour) and rumination (8.2 ± 0.6 minutes/hour), while time spent with resting was greater (P<0.05) for the collective pen-housing (38.9±1.2 minutes/hour). Corn silage can be recommended for beef cattle feeding in feedlot system due to an increased time spent with eating. (AU)

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