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Oral behaviors of beef steers in pen and pasture environments

By T. Ishiwata, K. Uetake, R. J. Kilgour, Y. Eguchi, T. Tanaka

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Abstract

This study observed the behavioral characteristics of 122 steers in eight pens and 1,136 steers at six pastures. Nonhuman animals kept in pens performed less nutritive oral behaviors and more nonnutritive oral behaviors than animals kept at pasture. Although these could not be described as stereotypies, they did represent a replacement of nutritive oral behaviors by nonnutritive oral behaviors, rather than simply an increase in resting time. This could be indicative of a level of oral frustration. At pasture, there was a greater proportion of oral behaviors in animals with low pasture availability as compared to high availability, but this was an increase in nutritive oral behaviors rather than nonnutritive oral behaviors. Factors other than oral frustration - for example, rumen fill - probably drove this increase.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 10
Issue 2
Pages 185-192
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888700701313629
Language English
Author Address School of Veterinary Medicine Azabu University, Sagamihara, 229-8501, Japan.uetake@azabu-u.ac.jp
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal nutrition
  3. Animals
  4. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  5. Bovidae
  6. Bullocks
  7. Cattle
  8. Feeding behavior
  9. Feed intake
  10. Grazing
  11. Mammals
  12. pastures
  13. peer-reviewed
  14. pens
  15. rumen
  16. Ruminants
  17. ungulates
  18. vertebrates
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  1. peer-reviewed