Effects and mitigation of competition for feed access on the behaviour of lactating dairy cows

dc.contributor.advisorDeVries, Trevor
dc.contributor.authorCrossley, Robin Elizabeth
dc.date.accessioned2017-01-04T18:46:56Z
dc.date.available2017-01-04T18:46:56Z
dc.date.copyrightDec-16
dc.date.created2016-12-14
dc.date.issued2017-01-04
dc.degree.departmentDepartment of Animal Biosciencesen_US
dc.degree.departmentCampbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfareen_US
dc.degree.grantorUniversity of Guelphen_US
dc.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen_US
dc.degree.programmeAnimal and Poultry Scienceen_US
dc.description.abstractThrough two independent experiments, utilizing group-housed lactating Holstein cows, this thesis sought to determine, firstly, the effects of increased feed competition on variability in feeding behaviour between individuals, and secondly, whether increased feed delivery frequency improved access to feed, and reduced variability between cows. In the first study, cows were fed at each of 3 competition levels: low (3:3, cows:feed bins), moderate (3:2), and high (3:1). Under the highest competition: cows maintained dry matter intake through increased feeding rate and decreased feeding time; feed was consumed in fewer, larger and longer meals; and greater variability in feeding patterns was observed within groups. The second study delivered feed to competitively-fed cows (2 cows:1 feed bin), at either a lower frequency (2 ×/d) or a higher frequency (6 ×/d). At the higher frequency, first meals after feed delivery were shorter and smaller, while maintaining dry matter intake. Variability in feeding behaviour, in the second study, was more affected by parity than frequency of feed delivery. These studies suggest that reducing competitive pressure while feeding could reduce potentially deleterious behaviour and limit the variability between individuals. Additionally, more frequent feed delivery could improve access to feed during peak periods of feeding activity.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada - Discovery Grant
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10214/10158
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Guelphen_US
dc.rights.licenseAll items in the Atrium are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectdairy cowen_US
dc.subjectfeeding behaviouren_US
dc.subjectcompetitionen_US
dc.subjectfeed frequencyen_US
dc.subjectmeal patternsen_US
dc.titleEffects and mitigation of competition for feed access on the behaviour of lactating dairy cowsen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US

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