Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Research Article Open Access

Feed sorting of beef cattle in a feedlot fed different forages and housed in individual or collective pens

Sergio Antonio Schwartz Custodio, Flavio Lopes Claudio, Estenio Moreira Alves, Guido Calgaro Júnior, Tiago do Prado Paim, Eduardo Rodrigues de Carvalho

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Feed sorting is a natural behavior of cattle that can result in inconsistencies in the nutritive value of the diet. Twenty-four non-castrated F1 Red Norte × Nelore males with an average initial body weight of 439.8 ± 59.6 kg and 21.7± 2.7 months of age were distributed in three experimental groups, and housed either in individual (12 animals) or collective pens (12 animals in three collective pens) at the Cattle Research and Education Center of the Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia Goiano (Campus Iporá). The experiment lasted 84 days (14 days of adaptation and 70 days for data collection). Animals were fed diets containing sugar cane in natura (CI), sugar cane silage (SC) or corn silage (CS) as sources of forage. Feed sorting was determined every 14 days at 4, 10, and 24 hours post-feeding using a three-screen and a bottom pan (Penn State Particle Separator) to yield long (>19 mm), medium (<19, >8 mm), short (<8, >1.18 mm) and fine (<1.18 mm) particles. There was no effect (P>0.05) of source of forage on feed sorting for long, medium, and short particles. CS increased (P<0.05) sorting against fine particles compared with CI and SC. There was no response (P>0.05) of type of housing on feed sorting. The sources of forage evaluated in this study resulted in preferential consumption for long and medium particles, which may be beneficial for rumen health.


corn silage, feeding behavior, feeding preference, particle size, Red Norte, sugar cane


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