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Ingestive Behavior of Lambs Confined in Individual and Group Stalls

  • Filho, A. Eustaquio (Southwest State University of Bahia) ;
  • Carvalho, G.G.P. (Federal University of Bahia) ;
  • Pires, A.J.V. (Southwest State University of Bahia) ;
  • Silva, R.R. (Southwest State University of Bahia) ;
  • Santos, P.E.F. (Southwest State University of Bahia) ;
  • Murta, R.M. (Instituto Federal do Norte de Minas Gerais) ;
  • Pereira, F.M. (Southwest State University of Bahia)
  • Received : 2013.04.14
  • Accepted : 2013.08.18
  • Published : 2014.02.01

Abstract

The experiment was conducted to evaluate the ingestive behavior of lambs confined in individual and group stalls. We used thirty-four lambs in their growing phase, aged an average of three months, with mean initial live weight of $17.8{\pm}5.2$ kg. They were allotted in a completely randomized design with 24 animals kept in individual stalls and 10 animals confined as a group. The experiment lasted for a total of 74 days, and the first 14 days were dedicated to the animals' adaption to the management, facilities and diets. The data collection period lasted 60 days, divided into three 20-d periods for the behavior evaluation. The animals were subjected to five days of visual observation during the experiment period, by the quantification of 24 h a day, with evaluations on the 15th day of each period and an interim evaluation consisting of two consecutive days on the 30th and 31st day of the experiment. The animals confined as a group consumed less (p<0.05) fiber. However, the animals confined individually spent less (p<0.05) time on feeding, rumination and chewing activities and longer in idleness. Therefore, the lower capacity of lambs confined in groups to select their food negatively affects their feeding behavior.

Keywords

Ethology;Methodology;Socialization;Sheep

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