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Title:Feeding Behavior of Self-Fed Lambs
Author(s):Stoerger, Mary Fran
Department / Program:Animal Science
Discipline:Animal Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Agriculture, Animal Culture and Nutrition
Abstract:A relatively simple and inexpensive system of monitoring feeding activity using photoconductive-cells, a light source and an event recorder was designed and constructed to study feeding behavior of self-fed lambs. This system monitored feeding activity effectively.
Initial research on feeding behavior with individually penned lambs revealed a serious disadvantage related to behavior. Subsequent trials used pens of five lambs, because the literature reports that normal social behavior requires at least four sheep per group.
The effects of location and pen type upon feeder usage were examined using groups of five lambs fed a ground 20% roughage diet in hopper-type feeders. Lambs used 50.8 cm of self-feeder space an average of 10.3 hours in a 24-hour day, when as many as three lambs could consume feed at one time. When group size and diet were constant, mean feeder usage by lambs in a 24-hour day, during the third week of the trial, was found to be independent of location (shed) and pen type (slotted floor vs bedded pens on the ground).
The effects of varying diets and slotted floor space allowances upon feeder usage among groups of five self-fed lambs were examined during a 44-day trial. Pen size (.595 or .334 sq m per lamb) did not influence animal gain, feed intake, waste feed associated with the feeder, side(s) (right and/or left) of the feeder trough used by the lambs and mean feeder usage. Feeder usage averaged 5.8, 9.1 and 10.2 hours in a 24-hour day for lambs fed a pelleted 20% roughage diet, a ground 20% roughage diet and a ground 40% roughage diet, respectively. Feeder usage was significantly less for lambs fed the pelleted diet, and the greatest animal performance and waste feed occurred with this diet.
Individual animal activity at the feeder was observed during the second and sixth weeks of the trial. Frequencies of one, two and three lambs using the feeder were significantly different depending upon diet and observation period (week). These results agree well with observations of the side(s) of the feeder trough used by lambs. It was concluded that diet strongly influences social activity related to feeding (frequency of one, two and three lambs at the feeder), as well as, feeder usage. Further, social activity related to feeding may change with time depending upon diet.
Incandescent light and infrared light sources used with the photoconductive-cell units were compared. Light source had no effect on animal gain, feed intake, efficiency, waste feed, side(s) of the feeder trough used and feeder usage among the lambs.
Feeder usage during hours of daylight (sunrise to sunset) changed in relation to the hours of possible daylight from trial to trial. It was concluded that groups of lambs used the feeder at a constant rate regardless of daylight or darkness.
Issue Date:1980
Description:167 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8017994
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-13
Date Deposited:1980

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