The Influence of Experienced Cattle on Grazing Behaviour of Calves in the Novel Pasture
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The objecting of this study was to examine and discuss how experienced cattle influence behaviour, especially grazing behaviour, of unexperienced calves. (1) In experiment 1, 10 castrated calves and 2 cows were grazed in an artificial pasture for one month to familiarize and interact with each other. Then they were separated into 2 groups: one had 4 calves (M1) with 2 cows and another had 6 calves only (C1). Two groups grazed separately on each native pasture with vegetation similar to each other. Grazing time, travelling speed and variety of grazed plants and drinking frequency of calves were compared. C1 behaved nervously only at the beginning of grazing: they moved more, grazed less and they drank more than M1. Later calves in both groups behaved in the same way. (2) In experiment 2, 6 grazing unexperienced calves and 2 grazing experienced heifers were grouped into 2: one consisted of 2 calves (M2) with 2 heifers and another consisted of 4 calves only (C2). The 2 groups were each grazed on artificial pasture. Grazing time and rate of eating were compared between groups. Grazing time of M2 was significantly longer (P<0.05) than C2. Rate of eating in M2 was significantly higher (P<0.01) than in C2. It is thought that the existence of experienced cattle influences behaviour of calves under grazing situations.
- Nihon Chikusan Gakkaiho
Nihon Chikusan Gakkaiho 70(2), 74-80, 1999-03-25
Japanese Society of Animal Science