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Behavioral characteristics of Hanwoo (Bos taurus coreanae) steers at different growth stages and seasons

  • Kim, Na Yeon (Division of Food Bio Science, Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Kim, Seong Jin (Asia Pacific Ruminant Institute) ;
  • Jang, Se Young (Division of Food Bio Science, Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Oh, Mi Rae (Division of Food Bio Science, Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Tang, Yu Jiao (Division of Food Bio Science, Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Seong, Hye Jin (Division of Food Bio Science, Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Yun, Yeong Sik (Division of Food Bio Science, Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Moon, Sang Ho (Division of Food Bio Science, Korea Nokyong Research Center, Konkuk University)
  • Received : 2016.12.28
  • Accepted : 2017.04.07
  • Published : 2017.10.01

Abstract

Objective: This research analyzed behavioral characteristics of Hanwoo (Bos taurus coreanae) steers during each season and growth stage to enable measurement of the animals' welfare level for precision livestock farming. Methods: A hundred-eight beef steers were divided into three equal groups at a Hanwoo farm according to their growth stage: growing stage (GS), 8 months; early-fattening stage (EFS), 19 months; and late-fattening stage (LFS), 30 months. Twelve behavioral categories were continuously recorded for 13 day-time hours in each four seasons with three replications. Results: Time spent standing was found to be significantly longer in summer at all growth stages (p<0.05). Hanwoos at the GS spent significantly longer standing time in spring and summer than those at the EFS and LFS (p<0.05). Lying time in summer was the shortest for all growth stages (p<0.05). Steers at the LFS spent significantly longer lying time than that at the GS (p<0.05) in summer. For GS and EFS, time spent eating in spring and autumn were longer than in summer and winter (p<0.05). Eating time was the longest for the GS in spring, autumn, and winter, excluding for the LFS in winter (p<0.05). Regarding ruminating, steers at the LFS spent significantly shorter time than those at other stages in all seasons (p<0.05). GS and EFS steers showed the longest walking time in summer compared with other seasons (p<0.05). At GS and LFS, drinking time in summer was the longest of all seasons (p<0.05). Sleeping time was significantly shorter in summer compared with the other seasons (p<0.05). Self-grooming time was the longest in winter for all growth stages (p<0.05). Conclusion: Steers were found to have more variable behavioral patterns during summer and the GS and less active behaviors during the LFS, thus extra care seems necessary during the GS, LFS, and summer period.

Keywords

Animal Welfare;Beef Cattle;Cattle Behavior;Growth Stage;Hanwoo Steer;Heat Condition

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Konkuk University

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