Eating and rumination behaviour of Scottish Highland cattle on pasture and in loose housing during the winter

U Braun, E Storni, M Hässig, K Nuss
Schweizer Archiv Für Tierheilkunde 2014, 156 (9): 425-31
This study examined eating and rumination behaviour in 13 Scottish Highland cattle for 13 days on a winter pasture and then for 13 days in a loose housing barn during winter. The cows were fed hay ad libitum and each was fitted with a pressure-sensitive transducer integrated into the noseband of the halter. The endpoints for each cow at both locations were calculated per day and included eating and rumination times, number of chewing cycles related to eating and rumination, number of regurgitated cuds and number of chewing cycles per cud. Air temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, barometric pressure and precipitation were recorded. Pastured cows had significantly longer eating and rumination times, more chewing cycles related to eating and rumination, more regurgitated cuds and more chewing cycles per cud than housed cows. Meteorological conditions were very similar at both locations.

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