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Behavior Depends on Consequences. Behavior. Consequences. Consequences. Consequences. Behavior. Consequences. Mother Knows Best. Lambs Eat What Mom Eats and A voids W hat S he A voids. Number of bites/lamb. . . .even after weaning. % of bites by lambs. Days after weaning.

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Behavior Depends on Consequences


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slide3

Behavior

Consequences

Consequences

Consequences

slide4

Behavior

Consequences

even after weaning
. . .even after weaning

% of bites by lambs

Days after weaning

slide9

Experience Changes the Body

  • Neurology
  • Structure
  • Physiology
slide10

Experience changes the body

  • Brain structure and function
  • Liver function
  • Nitrogen recycling
  • Rumen size
  • Rumen papilla size and number
slide16

Plants with Toxins

Poisonous

Plants

slide17

Flavors apart from feedback are neither palatable or unpalatable

Feedback tells the body whether a particular food flavor is useful or harmful.

What is the purpose of flavor?

Flavor allows animals to discriminate between foods.

slide18

They can’t be that smart.

Changes in preferences for foods are automatic.

They don’t have to think about them.

At times, they are not rational.

slide21

Preference for Nutrients

Preference

Meal

Energy

Protein

High Energy

High Protein

toxins limit intake
Toxins Limit Intake

Intake of oats, g

slide24

Neophobia:

I never tried it I don’t like it

familiar novel dichotomy
Familiar-Novel Dichotomy

Barley

Oats

Alfalfa

Corn

LiCl

Rye – Novel Food

Day

slide34

How cattle learn about new foods

Mom and Peers Don’t Eat

New Food

New Food

if familiar foods are inadequate

Nutrients and Toxins

Mom and Peers Eat

Feedback

Seek variety

Same flavor

+ Toxins

negative

positive

+ Nutrients

Unpalatable Familiar Foods

Palatable Familiar Foods

slide35

How do cattle select their diets?

They prefer:

to forage with companions

familiar foods

foods high in nutrients and low in toxins

to eat a variety of foods

familiar foods that are rare in the environment

slide37

Biodiversity and

Boom-bust Grazing

slide38

Inexperienced

Experienced

alfalfa pellets

alfalfa pellets

Tannins

barley

ex. bitterbrush

barley

Oxalates

Terpenes

ex. lambsquarter

ex. sagebrush

slide40

Ray’s cattle learned to “mix the best with the rest”

Rather than “eat the best and leave the rest.”

t erpenes limit intake of sagebrush
Terpeneslimit intake of sagebrush

Daily Intake of Ration (g)

Daily Intake of Terpenes(g)

Terpene Concentration in Ration (%)

slide43

Supplemental nutrients - energy, protein - enhance intake of foods that contain toxins

n utrient toxin interactions
Nutrient-Toxin Interactions

Intake of Sagebrush (g)

weight changes lbs

Weight Changes of Cattle Eating Sagebrush During a Three Year Study

Weight Changes (lbs)

exp

inexp

exp

inexp

exp

inexp

inexp

18 to 19 days on sagebrush and supplement

slide46

Same straw

Different performance

experience influences performance
Experience Influences Performance

Year 1Year 2Year 3

Body weight* * *

Body condition * * *

Milk production * * -

Post-partum interval * * -

slide49

“You gotta check this out, Stuart. Vinnie’s over on the couch putting the moves on Zelda Schwartz - but he’s talkingto the wrong end”

slide51

Spring 2004

Fall 2005

by reducing novelty and

providing variety and positive feedback.

. . . by reducing novelty and

1 know your weed
1. Know your weed
  • Nutrients
  • Toxins
  • Nutrient/Toxin Interactions
2 work with the right animals
2. Work with the right animals
  • Young
  • Female
  • Healthy
  • Manageable

in Number and Temperament

3 build on how animals learn
3. Build on how animals learn
  • Reduce fear of new things
  • Make the unfamiliar seem familiar
4 test animals in trial pastures
4. Test animals in trial pastures
  • Small
  • Provide a variety of forages
slide59

Sometimes they may all look alike . . .

. . . but

each one is a unique individual

slide60

Mean

Number of Individuals

Ability to Cope with Toxin X

Requirement for Nutrient X

food preferences
Food Preferences

Intake (g/d)

Individual lamb

mixed ration vs choice
Mixed Ration vs Choice

Choice cost 19% less to feed than mixed.

Cattle were able to meet individual needs.

finishing your cattle
Finishing Your Cattle
  • Expose young animals with their mothers to foods they will eat in the feedlot or to a variety of foods.
  • Use across the fence weaning techniques.
  • Remove cows and leave calves.
  • Introduce animals to high concentrate foods slowly.
  • Let animals balance their own ration. Give animals choice of appropriate foods.
mixtures versus blocks

Pasture Design

x o x o x o x o x o x o

ox o x o x o x o x o x

x o x o x o x o x o x o

ox o x o x o x o x o x

x o x o x o x o x o x o

ox o x o x o x o x o x

x x x o o o x x x oo o

x x x o o o x x x oo o

x x x o o o x x x oo o

x x x oo o x x x oo o

x x x oo o x x x oo o

x x x oo o x x x oo o

Mixtures versus Blocks

increases in production on grass clover pastures
Increases in Production on Grass-Clover Pastures

Sheep

25% increase in daily dry matter intake (265 g/d)

Dairy Cattle

11% increase in milk production (2.4 kg/cow/d)

d iversity enables individuals to regulate intake of nutrients and toxins
Diversity enables individuals to regulate intake of nutrients and toxins

Planting Pastures

slide70

Moving to New Locations

Buy replacement animals from areas that are similar to where his cattle forage.

poisonous plants

Poisonous Plants

Gila versus Apache Counties

slide73

Ease the transition

with familiar foods

slide76

1994

2001

slide77

1995

1998

slide80

Low moisture blocks (LMB) contain 2 – 4 % moisture.

  • LMB are available in 125 - 250 lb containers.
  • LMB (250 lb) only need to be replaced about once every 2 weeks when fed 1 barrel per 25 cows.
slide81

Low moisture block (LMB) effectively increased and focused grazing in moderate terrain.

LMB attracted cows to graze difficult terrain that typically was not used.

slide83

Training is critical for supplement to be an effective tool to improve grazing distribution.

  • Animals must also know where supplement is located.
oxalate toxicosis

Illness

GrainAcidosis

Tannin

Toxicosis

OxalateToxicosis

Medicines

Bentonite

Dicalcium

Phosphate

Polyethylene

Glycol

slide87

Sheep learn to take their medicine

Control – Medicines not paired with illness

Treatment- Medicines paired with illness

correct

correct

correct

correct

slide88

Medicines

Sheep learn to prefer foods that alleviate bloat.

Sheep with internal parasites eat more foods that contain tannins than sheep without parasites.

Sheep infected with parasites avoid grazing tall patches of grass and prefer short grass.

slide89

The question isn’t:

Do animals learn?

They learn everyday.

The question is:

Do we as managers want to be

part of the process?

slide90

extension.usu.edu/behave

Department of Wildland Resources

email: beth.burritt@usu.edu