Assessing cattle motivation for access to pasture or feedlot environments
The project Assessing cattle motivation for access to pasture or feedlot environments investigated cattle perception of the feedlot environment by assessing motivation to access either a feedlot or a pasture environment.
Three MLA projects have been funded to examine the preference of beef cattle for feedlot or pasture environments.
This study (B.FLT.0149) utilised the Y-maze methodology, which enabled the imposition of a “cost” on the animal’s decision, and assessed motivation to enter either the feedlot or pasture environment. This work demonstrated that cattle showed a preference for the feedlot when there was a cue associated with feeding and that they were willing to pay the cost of their choice by then being unable to access the pasture. However, further work was needed to assess cattle choice under ad libitum feeding conditions.
The other two studies were:
- Feed choices: Cattle preferences for feedlot and pasture environments (B.FLT.0349)
- Effect of mud on cattle motivation for feedlot or pasture environments (B.FLT.0158)
When: 10 May 2012 to 31 December 2013
Contact: Caroline Lee, Jim Lea, Ian Colditz, Andrew Fisher and Drewe Ferguson
For more information please read the final report summary and download the final report (B.FLT.0149) (PDF, 1.01 MB) from the Meat & Livestock Australia website.