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Grazing Animal Behavior K. Launchbaugh USDA - ARS.

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Presentation on theme: "Grazing Animal Behavior K. Launchbaugh USDA - ARS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Grazing Animal Behavior K. Launchbaugh USDA - ARS

2 Basis for Animal Behavior What affects how animals behave:  Born with certain abilities: Inherited abilities Physical, Sensory & Physiological Abilities  Born knowing what to do: Called “Instincts”  Learn how behave

3  Physical abilities affect what animals eat Ability to eat cellulose Capture and Consume Prey Inherited Abilities Carnivore Omnivore Herbivore

4 Roughage Feeder (grass) Intermediate Feeder (forbs) Concentrate Feeder (browse) Select Correct Species

5 Inherited Abilities Percent Slope Percent of Observations Cattle Horses Deer Bighorn Figure 10.2 Relationship of slope gradient to the percentage of observations of cattle, feral horses, deer, and bighorn sheep. (From Ganskopp and Vavra 1987)  Physical abilities affect where animals eat

6 (Bailey et al. 2001; J. Anim. Sci.) Select Correct Breed

7 (Winder et al. 1996, J. Range Manage.) Brangus …..traveled further from water than …..Hereford or Angus Brangus consumed different diets than Hereford or Angus

8 Inherited Behaviors - Instincts  Mammals know how to find milk and stay close to mother.  Basic ideas of what is cover & how to hide  Preference for salty foods  Preference for sweet… not sure Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

9  Behavioral characteristics can be inherited Example = Guard Dogs vs Herding Dogs Inherited Behavior - Instincts

10 Consequences + - Behavior Behave  Behavior results from consequences Basics of Animal Behavior Behavior

11 4 Basic Learning Paradigms “Good” Consequence“Bad Consequence” Add or Apply Behavior Increases (Positive Reinforcement) Behavior Decreases (Positive Punishment) RemoveBehavior Decreases (Negative Punishment) Behavior Increases (Negative Reinforcement)

12 Early life experiences are influential Young animals clearly learn what to eat avoid from their mother

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14 Intake of wheat, g/d Exposure to Wheat (1 h/d for 5 d at 6 wk age) Learning from Mother

15 Early Life Experience is Influential  Preferences are formed

16 Early dietary experience  Goats - 6 weeks old Experienced: raised on blackbrush range Inexperienced: drylot fed alfalfa pellets  Weaned at 26 weeks  Week 28 - offered all goats blackbrush in pens Distel & Provenza 1991

17 Early dietary experience

18 Animals must learn how to eat  Build Foraging Skills

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20  Skin Defense System: TouchPain Avoid Animals learn based on consequences

21  Gut Defense System : Eat Plant (taste) Digestive Feedback + - Preference Aversion Animals learn based on consequences

22 Digestive Feedback Aversion Aversion Aversion Aversion Aversion Preference Preference Preference Preference Eat Plant (taste) Animals learn based on consequences

23 Nausea (LiCl) No Feedback (empty capsule) Mountain- Mahogany Conditioned Aversions

24 Lambs quit eating mountain mahogany when consumption was followed by nausea. Control Averted (LiCl 3g/day)

25 Terpenes in sagebrush limit intake of sagebrush Intake of Ration (g/day/kg BW) Sagebrush Levels in Ration (%)

26  Gut Defense System : Eat Plant (taste) Digestive Feedback + - Preference Aversion Animals learn based on consequences

27 Digestive Feedback Aversion Aversion Aversion Aversion Aversion Preference Preference Preference Preference Eat Plant (taste) Animals learn based on consequences

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29 Conditioned Preference e Feedback starch Control water Straw

30 Intake of straw, g DayDay Energy Increases Palatability

31 Nutrient – Toxin Interactions How to get sheep to eat more sagebrush ?

32 Intake of Sagebrush, g Nutrient - Toxin Interactions

33 Day Sagebrush, % Scans Supplemented Unsupplemented Use of Sagebrush by Sheep

34  Select animals that naturally possess the desired ingestive characteristics  Breed animals with these abilities  Prepare animals with prescribed dietary experiences  Offer animals nutritional or pharmaceutical resources to aid in digestion or detoxification Creating “Designer” livestock

35 For More information: For More information:


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