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Eating and rumination behaviour in Brahman grade cattle and crossbred water buffalo fed on high roughage diet

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The purpose of this study is to compare feeding and other behavior and nutrient digestibility of tropical grade Brahman (body weight (BW) = 231 kg ± 12.4; n = 3) and crossbred water buffalo (BW = 300 kg ± 13.9; n = 3). This experiment on digestibility and measures of muscles of mastication utilized one-way, and animal behavior two-way, analysis of variance, respectively. Two video camcorders were installed in each pair of buffalo and Brahman for 24 h period programmed on the 107th, 109th and 111th days of the digestion trials. Frequency and duration of feeding, meal intake, rumination, bolus, chews, drinking, defecating, standing and lying were recorded daily. Muscle diameter of Digastricus, Masseter and Pterygoid and different regions of the tongue were sampled and measured under light microscope using a standard micrometer. Buffalo obtained significantly higher intake of dry matter, roughage, crude protein, total digestible nutrient and metabolized energy than Brahman. This was supported by longer meal duration (P ≤ 0.05), and shorter meal breaks (P ≤ 0.05) of buffalo than Brahman. The diameter of the muscles for mastication was bigger (P ≤ 0.05) in buffalo than in Brahman, which is indicative of stronger chewing ability. Briefly, lesser and slower chewing action; higher intake of roughage and crude protein; and longer resting behavior of crossbred water buffalo than Brahman are all indicative of better digestive and metabolic performance of the buffalo under high roughage feeding conditions.
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Keywords: buffalo; cattle; eating and rumination behaviour; high roughage diet

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Philippine Carabao Center, UPLB Station, 4031 College, Laguna 2: Department of Biology, School of Science and Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City 3: Shimane University, Matsue 4: SRC, Central Luzon State University, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines 5: Tsukuba University, Tsukuba, Japan

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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