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An automatic system to record foraging behaviour in free-ranging ruminants

By S. M. Rutter, R. A. Champion, P. D. Penning

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Abstract

Precise measurements of grazing behaviour are required to develop an understanding of the factors affecting the foraging behaviour of free-ranging domestic ruminants. An automatic, microcomputer-based system for the digital recording of the jaw movements of free-ranging cattle and sheep is described. Data recorded by the system can be processed to determine periods of eating and ruminating, and count the number of mastications and prehensions during eating and the number of mastications and boli processed during ruminating. The grazing behaviour of 8 sheep (each in a different group) was recorded simultaneously by both the automatic system and one of several manual observers on 4 separate occasions. The overall index of concordance between the manual observers and the automatic system was 91.0

Date 1997
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 54
Issue 2/3
Pages 185-195
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(96)01191-4
Language English
Author Address Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, EX20 2SB, UK.
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal nutrition
  3. Automation
  4. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  5. Cattle
  6. Chewing
  7. Computers
  8. Eating habits
  9. Equipment
  10. Feeding behavior
  11. Foraging
  12. Grazing
  13. Mammals
  14. pastures
  15. peer-reviewed
  16. Ruminants
  17. rumination
  18. Sheep
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  1. peer-reviewed