ORIGINAL PAPER
The feeding behaviour of the water buffalo monitored by a semiautomatic feed intake recording system
J. P. Barrio 1,   S. Y. Zhang 2,   Z. K. Zhu 2,   F. L. Wu 2,   X. Z. Mao 2,   F. F. Bermúdez 3,   J. M. Forbes 4
 
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1
Department of Physiology, University of León, 24071 León, Spain
2
College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, 6 Tongwei Road, 210095 Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
3
CSIC Agricultural Experimental Station, Grulleros, León, Spain
4
Centre for Animal Sciences, Leeds Institute of Biotechnology and Agriculture, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2000-01-13
 
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2000;9(1):55–72
 
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ABSTRACT
Records were made on the feeding activity of eight water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) individually penned in the animal house at Nanjing Agricultural University during June-August 1996, fed ad libitum with Leymus chinensis hay. The weight of the feed container suspended from load cells was continuously monitored for 30 days through a portable computer reading data from a multiplexed serial analog-to-digital converter. Processed records provided a list of meals for each buffalo on each day. Meals taking place over many days for each animal at similar times of day were grouped into clusters by maximizing the distance between clusters and minimizing the distance within. Intake parameters analyzed in each cluster included number of meals, starting time, meal duration, meal weight, rate of eating, hunger ratio, and satiety ratio. All the individuals showed a strong stimulation of intake at the time when fresh hay was offered, taking a first meal which lasted an average of two hours at the highest intake rate of the day. Just before a night-time resting period a second big cluster was found. Satiety ratios were shown to increase as the day proceeded, reaching a maximum in the evening. It is concluded that cluster analysis is a useful tool for summarising feeding behaviour and that the feeding behaviour of buffaloes is similar to that of cattle kept under similar conditions.
 
CITATIONS (2):
1.
The use of Mixed Distribution Models to Determine Bout Criteria for Analysis of Animal Behaviour
M.P. YEATES, B.J. TOLKAMP, D.J. ALLCROFT, I. KYRIAZAKIS
Journal of Theoretical Biology
 
2.
The relationship between meal composition and long-term diet choice1
M. P. Yeates, B. J. Tolkamp, I. Kyriazakis
Journal of Animal Science
 
ISSN:1230-1388