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Grazing Behavior and Locomotion of Young Bulls Receiving Different Nutritional Plans in a Tropical Pasture
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Grazing Behavior and Locomotion of Young Bulls Receiving Different Nutritional Plans in a Tropical Pasture
Valente, E.E.L.; Paulino, M.F.; Detmann, E.; Filho, S.C. Valadares; Chizzotti, M.L.; Silva, A.G.; Maciel, I.F.S.;
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The objectives of this study were to compare visual observation and an electronic grazing time method and to evaluate the effects of nutritional plans on intake, grazing behavior and horizontal and vertical locomotion of young bulls in a tropical pasture. Thirty-nine Nellore young bulls with an average body weight of kg kept in pasture were used. The experimental treatments consisted of: restricted: animals kept in a plot with a low mass of forage receiving mineral mixture only; control: animals receiving mineral mixture only; HPHC: a high protein and high carbohydrate supplement; HPLC: a high protein and low carbohydrate supplement; LPHC: a low protein and high carbohydrate supplement; LPLC: a low protein and low carbohydrate supplement. GPS collars equipped with activity sensors were used. Information about head position, latitude, longitude and altitude were recorded. Daytime grazing behavioral patterns monitored by a continuous focal animal recording method was compared to behavior estimated by the activity sensor. Feed intake was estimated by a marker method. The Restricted group presented lower (p<0.05) intake of dry matter and TDN. However, difference in dry matter intake was not found (p>0.05) between non-supplemented and supplemented animals. Difference was not found (p>0.05) in daytime grazing time obtained by visual observation or the activity sensor method. The restricted group showed longer (p<0.05) grazing time (9.58 h/d) than other groups, but difference was not found (p>0.05) in the grazing time between Control (8.35 h/d) and supplemented animals (8.03 h/d). The Restricted group presented lower (p<0.05) horizontal locomotion distance (2,168 m/d) in comparison to other groups (2,580.6 m/d). It can be concluded that the use of activity sensor methods can be recommended due to their being similar to visual observation and able to record 24-h/d. While supplements with high carbohydrates reduce pasture intake, they do not change grazing behavior. Moderate supplementation (until 50% of protein requirement and 30% of energy requirement) of beef cattle on tropical pasture has no effect on daily locomotion.
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