Studies on the feeding strategy of grazing animals in the spatially heterogeneous vegetation
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C)
|Allocation Type||Single-year Grants |
Zootechnical science/Grassland science
|Research Institution||University of Miyazaki |
HIRATA Masahiko University of Miyazaki, Faculty of Agriculture, Professor (20156673)
|Project Period (FY)
2004 – 2007
Completed (Fiscal Year 2007)
|Budget Amount *help
¥3,610,000 (Direct Cost: ¥3,400,000、Indirect Cost: ¥210,000)
Fiscal Year 2007: ¥910,000 (Direct Cost: ¥700,000、Indirect Cost: ¥210,000)
Fiscal Year 2006: ¥500,000 (Direct Cost: ¥500,000)
Fiscal Year 2005: ¥700,000 (Direct Cost: ¥700,000)
Fiscal Year 2004: ¥1,500,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,500,000)
|Keywords||Grazing animal / Feeding behavior / Spatial heterogeneity / Selective grazing / Feeding strategy / Patch / Reward / Variation among individuals / 個体間差 / フィーディングサイト / フィーディングステーション|
A series of studies were conducted on the feeding strategy of grazing animals foraging in the spatially heterogeneous vegetation, focusing mainly on the patch-scale feeding by cattle on tropical grass swards.
1. Patch selection
Patch choice by grazing cattle was studied in plots comprising two to nine patches differing in regrowth period and fertilizer rate. The animals were shown to have an ability to identify preferred patches from many offered patches, through the two-stage selections at the visit and during the residence in patches.
2. Bite dimensions and short-term intake rate
Bite dimensions and short-term intake rate in cattle grazing tropical grass swards were quantified and modeled in relation to sward height and mass. This model can be used for estimating the quantitative reward of patch selection.
3. Modeling patch selection by animal and identifying the reward of selection
A model of patch selection by animal was developed using field data. The model was shown to have sufficient predictive ability. The qualitative reward of patch selection was identified as crude protein concentration.
4. Animal-to-animal variation in feeding strategy Selection of feeding location varied from animal to animal. Further studies are needed to evaluate the ecological meaning of such animal-to-animal variation and to incorporate this mechanism into a feeding model on a herd basis.
Report (5 results)
Research Products (20 results)