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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Influence of Feeder Design on Behavior and Supplement Intake of Beef Cattle

Authors
item Eicher, Susan
item Scott, Karen
item Arthington, J - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
item Kunkle, W - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
item Davis, P - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Submitted to: International Society of Applied Ethology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 4, 2001
Publication Date: August 4, 2001
Citation: EICHER, S.D., SCOTT, K.A., ARTHINGTON, J.D., KUNKLE, W.E., DAVIS, P.H. INFLUENCE OF FEEDER DESIGN ON BEHAVIOR AND SUPPLEMENT INTAKE OF BEEF CATTLE. INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF APPLIED ETHOLOGY. 2001. P. 153.

Technical Abstract: Molasses-based liquid supplements are commonly used for pastured cattle. However, provided ad libitum, over-consumption often occurs. The purpose of this study was to determine if altering lick-wheels of molasses tanks affected supplement intake and behavior of cattle. Twenty heifers were randomly assigned to one of 4 groups, which were randomly assigned to one of 4 treatments for 21-day periods using a Latin square design. Treatments consisted of Wide (W), Narrow (N), Wide-Restricted (WR), and Narrow-Restricted (NR) wheels. Wheel widths were 1.91 cm wide (N and NR) and 6.35 cm wide (W and WR). Restricted wheels were limited to 330 degrees rotation. Molasses intake was measured by weighing tanks twice per week. Video cameras recorded activity near each tank. Aggression, licking, and presence near tanks were recorded using The Observer on days 1, 7 and 14. Data were analyzed using a mixed model Latin square analysis (SAS). Treatment affected average molasses intake (F=7.04; DF=3,4.9; p=0.03). Treatment W consumed more molasses than the NR treatment (p<0.05), and there was a trend for N and WR treatments to consume more than the NR treatment (p=0.06). Period 1 had a trend toward less molasses consumption than Periods 2 (p=0.06) and 3 (p=0.06), and a slight trend towards less than Period 4 (p=0.11) (F=4.77; DF=3, 5.53; p=0.06). Period also affected presence near the molasses tank (F=9.57; DF=3,5.89; p=0.01), with more cattle near the tank during Period 2 than Periods 1 (p=0.01) or 4 (p<0.05). Aggression was not affected by treatment. No differences in time spent using the lick-wheel were seen, which is consistent with intake data, because wide, unrestricted wheels allowed greater consumption in equal time.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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