In each of two experiments, 72 intact male lambs were randomly assigned to treatments (number per pen 3, 7, il or 15). For each animal's feeding event, length of feeding (s) and feed consumption (g) were recorded. Pens were treated as experimental units with observations repeated daily for 21 days. Response variables were pen feed consumption (g), average time (s) and rate of feed consumed (g/s) per visit and feed consumed (g), average time (s) and number of visits per animal. Animal density was significant for most feeding behavior characteristics. As number of animals within a pen increased, feed consumption per visit increased linearly. For experiment 1, rate of feed consumption per visit increased at a decreasing rate while in experiment 2 the linear effect of animal density on this trait was positive. Daily feed consumption per animal was greatest at the intermediate animal densities and the number of visits and time spent feeding per animal decreased linearly. Results of the studies suggest the feeding behavior of ram lambs can be modified by the number of animals housed in a pen.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XI. Genetics of reproduction, lactation, growth, adaptation, disease, and parasite resistance., , 324-329, 1986
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