Interpretive Summary: Variations in the 24 h temporal patterns and time budgets of grazing, rumination, and idling behaviors in grazing dairy cows in a New Zealand system
By: Muhammad Wasim Iqbal, Ina Draganova, Patrick Charles Henry Morel, Stephen Todd Morris
This study explored how grazing dairy cows pattern their essential such as including grazing, rumination, and idling, and how they distribute their time for those behaviors over 24 h. We used a group of spring-calved grazing dairy cows affiliated with different breeds, milking ages, and genetic merits and recorded their grazing and rumination behaviors for the whole milking period. An automated device, AfiCollar was used to continuously record minutes within an hour (min/h) utilized for grazing, rumination, and idling. The cows were mainly offered grass with some additional supplementary feeds on various days in summer and autumn and milked once a day at 0500 hours. Regardless of the breed, milking age, season, and supplementary feeds, grazing cows spent most of the daytime (from dawn to dusk) grazing and most of the nighttime ruminating, with a short grazing period around midnight. Cows adopted their grazing patterns according to varying day lengths during different seasons and finished grazing earlier when received supplementary feeds. Grazing cows allocated most of their time over 24 h for grazing followed by ruminating and idling. These findings could have implications to improve the measures for pasture management efficiency and additional feed demand, and animal welfare in varying environmental and/or managemental conditions.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.