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Preferences of Housed Finishing Beef Cattle for Different Floor Types

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Abstract:

Six pairs of steers were allowed to choose between two types of floors in a paired choice test. The four floors tested were a fully slatted floor, a fully slatted floor covered with rubber mats, a solid floor with sawdust bedding, and a solid floor with straw bedding. All combinations of floor types were tested and the choices were repeated eight times, using na├»ve animals. The animals were allowed 17 days to habituate, and on days 18–21 their behaviour was recorded by video for 72 hours. Straw was the most preferred floor type, followed by sawdust, then mats, and finally slats. During a second test period, rubber mats were compared with rubber strips, and no significant preferences were found.

Keywords: ANIMAL WELFARE; BEEF CATTLE; FLOOR TYPE; HOUSING; PREFERENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2001

ufaw/aw/2001/00000010/00000004/art00005
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