Rumination and activity in Angus and Angus-cross beef calves: influence of sex, breed, backgrounding diet and oropharyngeal intubation
Rumination and activity behavior are important indices for monitoring the welfare and health status of beef cattle. Stress, excitement, diseases and management procedures can alter rumination and activity pattern of beef cattle. Beef cattle backgrounding phase allows producers to feed a variety of forage to improve growth performance before calves enter the feedlot. The objectives of this study were to evaluate (1) the influence of sex, breed, oropharyngeal intubation and backgrounding diet on rumination and activity pattern in Angus and Angus-cross beef calves; and (2) the daily variation of rumination and activity in Angus and Angus-cross beef calves under different backgrounding systems. We hypothesized that rumination and activity pattern would differ according to time of day, calf sex, breed, oropharyngeal intubation and backgrounding diet.