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VALIDITY OF USE A Y-MAZE TO DETERMINE A FORAGING STRATEGY OF CATTLE

  • Hosoi, E. (Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Yamaguchi University) ;
  • Rittenhouse, L.R. (Range Science Department, Colorado State University) ;
  • Swift, D.M. (Range Science Department, Colorado State University) ;
  • Richards, R.W. (Psychology Department, Colorado State University) ;
  • Yano, H. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyoto University)
  • Received : 1994.02.24
  • Accepted : 1994.11.18
  • Published : 1995.04.01

Abstract

Validity of use of a Y-maze for determining a foraging strategy of cattle was investigated with the object of establishing a procedure of testing foraging strategies of large herbivores. Cattle were placed in a start box of a Y-maze, forced into either goal arm and allowed to consume half of the feed at the end of the arm. Then, cattle were returned to the start box and allowed to choose either arm in the second half of a trial. This time animals were allowed to deplete the feed in the goal arm they chose. A return to the previous arm was recorded a "stay" Choice of the other arm was recorded as a "shift". Shift strategy was not observed. Rather, their behavior appeared either random or stay. However, it might have been caused by inappropriateness of the application of the apparatus and/or the procedure used in the study of foraging behavior of rats. Although the existence of lateral preference was suggested, further study with an elaborated procedure will be necessary to investigate foraging strategies of cattle.

Keywords

Cattle;Foraging Strategy;Y-maze;Win-shift;Win-stay

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station