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SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP AND SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION IN A SMALL HERD OF JAPANESE BLACK CATTLE IN A DRY-LOT

  • Nakanishi, Y. ;
  • Mutoh, Y. ;
  • Umetsu, R.
  • Received : 1991.03.11
  • Accepted : 1992.01.09
  • Published : 1992.03.01

Abstract

Behaviour of 7 horned Japanese Black Cattle (3-9 years old) kept in a $450m^2$ dry-lot under loose housing condition was observed in the daytime (0930-1730 h) during 3 consecutive days. Eating and lying behaviour of cattle and the positions of all animals when lying together were recorded at 10-min intervals. Agonistic encounters and social licking interactions in the herd were also recorded. The cattle established a social hierarchy which was near linear. An irregularity in the diurnal rhythm of lying behaviour was found on the 3rd day, which appeared to be caused by oestrus behaviour of a herdmate. Eating frequency showed greater variation among individuals than lying frequency, and the most dominant animal ate most frequently in the herd. The spatial pattern of the herd when lying indicated a relatively loose dispersion in the lot. Higher ranking cattle tended to lie down more frequently near the hay rack in the lot, so that lower ranking animals had more difficult access to feed. Cattle with more social licking interactions had a tendency to lie down near each other irrespective of proximity of social order, therefore it was suggested that social preference among particular individuals occurred in the herd.

Keywords

Japanese Black Cattle;Lying Behaviour;Agonistic Behaviour;Social Licking Interaction;Spatial Distribution;Social Preference