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Physiological changes during feeding and rumination in cows

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In this study, we investigated the physiological changes in cattle during feeding and rumination. We collected blood samples every 5 min by using an automated blood sampling system and simultaneously recorded feeding, ruminating, and other behaviors using a video camera. Plasma non‐esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations continuously decreased during feeding and decreased temporarily during rumination. Plasma glucose concentration continuously decreased during feeding and remained stable during rumination. During feeding and rumination, there were no characteristic increases and subsequent decreases in plasma insulin and growth hormone (GH) concentrations, although insulin concentrations were positively correlated with glucose concentration. NEFA concentrations were not correlated with GH and insulin concentrations. In terms of chewing behavior, feeding and rumination are similar; therefore, the changes in metabolites such as NEFA might have been the same. Combination of behavioral observations and application of an automated blood sampling system could contribute to new findings on behavioral and physiological changes regarding the temporary decrease in plasma NEFA concentration during rumination in ruminants.
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Keywords: cows; feeding; growth hormone; non‐esterified fatty acids; rumination

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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