Data on the eating, ruminating and idling activity of grazing dairy cows recorded to a resolution of 1 min were used to study the choice of activity bout criteria and the implications of this choice. An inter-bout length of 5 min was found to be suitable for all 3 activity categories across a range of treatments, at different times of the day and for all cows. After smoothing using this criterion bouts contained proportionally up to 0.069 of other activities for eating, 0.076 for ruminating and 0.054 for idling. The proportion of intra-meal intervals decreased slightly during the main evening meal and increased during meals taken at night. It is concluded that the intensity of bouts should be reported as well as their number and duration and that total activity times should be calculated from unsmoothed data.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Institute of Grassland and Environment Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon EX20 2SB, UK.|
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