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Spectral analysis of bovine grazing behavior on Neotyphodium coenophialum infested tall fescue

By D. H. Seman, J. A. Stuedemann, J. E. Anderson

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Bovines spend less time grazing and have reduced intake when grazing endophyte-infected (E+), N. coenophialum vs. endophyte-free (E-) tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea). Because bovine grazing behaviour follows a series of repeatable cycles, cyclic grazing behaviour was studied using spectral analysis to determine if grazing response differed due to endophyte presence. Two 0.81-ha paddocks, one containing E- Kentucky-31 (KY-31) tall fescue and one containing E+ KY-31 (100% tiller infection rate) were stocked with yearling Angus steers in the spring and summer for 2 years. Trained observers monitored steer behavior during two 48-h periods in each year. Spectral analysis, a technique used to detect sinusoidal components in a time series, revealed that steers grazing E- fescue repeated grazing behavior in 12- and 6-h intervals while E+ steers exhibited an additional 8-h cycle. Steers grazing E+ fescue spent less time (P<0.05) grazing and lying, and more time standing (P<0.05), than E- steers for both years. Cross-correlations between hourly grazing behavior and hourly solar radiation resulted in significant, negative correlations at lag = 0 for E+ steers and with correlations near zero for E- steers. It is concluded that steers grazing E+ fescue exhibit different grazing behavior from steers grazing E- fescue and that spectral analysis is valuable in describing grazing behavior.

Date 1997
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 54
Issue 2/3
Pages 73-87
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(97)00082-8
Language English
Author Address University of Minnesota, Division of Science and Mathematics, 217 Science, Morris, MN 56267-2128, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Analysis
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal nutrition
  4. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  5. Cattle
  6. Contamination
  7. Fungi
  8. Grasses
  9. Grazing
  10. Mammals
  11. Methodologies
  12. Methods
  13. pastures
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. Plants
  16. Ruminants
  17. spectral analysis
  18. Techniques
  1. peer-reviewed