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Social order measured in pasture and pen conditions and its relationship to sexual behavior in Brahman ( Bos indicus ) cows

By A. Orihuela, C. S. Galina

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The social order of 20 non-lactating, non-pregnant Brahman cows (2-6 years old) was determined by recording content and outcome of all agonistic interactions. The herd was observed at pasture for 1.5 h and in a yard for 2 h per day. This routine was undertaken every other day from 06.00 to 18.00 h between February and June, giving a total observation time of 375 h, after which all cows were given an ear implant of Synchro-Mate B (SMB), an oestrus synchronization treatment. The implant was withdrawn 9 days later and a 5-year-old bull with proven service capacity was placed with the cows. Continuous observation for oestrous detection was carried out for 96 h after implant removal. The top-ranked cow supplanted other animals in 65% of interactions and the lowest-ranked cow never supplanted another animal. Correlations between social order in the yard, in the field, and their sum, were low but linearity values were over 80% for the 3 variables. Only individuals at the extreme ends of the ranking scale maintained their social status in the field and the yard. Social index values (number of encounters initiated / number of encounters) were low and showed little variation throughout the ranking, ranging from 0.0 to 0.128. Sixty percent of cows treated with SMB showed oestrus. Animals with high social rank did not receive more mounts than those of lower rank and only those cows that had received more than 6 homosexual mounts were mounted by the male, irrespective of their social rank.

Date 1997
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 52
Issue 1/2
Pages 3-11
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(96)01064-7
Language English
Author Address Direccion General de Educacion Tecnologica Agropecuaria, Coordinacion Morelos, Apartado Postal 5-78, Cuernavaca Mor. 62051, Mexico.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal reproduction
  3. Cattle
  4. Developed countries
  5. Estrous cycle
  6. Females
  7. Latin America
  8. Mammals
  9. Mexico
  10. North America
  11. OECD countries
  12. peer-reviewed
  13. Ruminants
  14. Sexual behavior
  15. sexuality
  16. Sexual practices
  17. Social Dominance
  18. social order
  19. social structure
  20. synchronization
  21. Threshold Countries
  22. Tropics
  23. United States of America
  1. peer-reviewed