257-36 Behavior of Beef Steers Grazing Five Different Tall Fescue Cultivar-Endophyte Combinations.

Poster Number 737

See more from this Division: C06 Forage and Grazinglands
See more from this Session: Forage and Grazinglands
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Duke Energy Convention Center, Exhibit Hall AB, Level 1
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Holly T. Boland1, Jane A. Parish2, Jimmy Ray Parish3, T.F. Best1 and Carolyn Young4, (1)Prairie Research Unit, Mississippi State University, Prairie, MS
(2)Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS
(3)Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS
(4)Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK
Consumption of wild-type toxic endophyte-infected tall fescue (‘Kentucky 31’) has previously been shown to have a negative impact on the behavior and performance of cattle.  A 56 d study was conducted over two years during the Fall to evaluate behavior of beef cattle grazing the following tall fescue pasture treatments:  ‘Kentucky 31’ toxic endophyte-infected (KY31), Jesup AR542 endophyted infected (J542), ‘GA-186’ AR584 endophyte infected (GA584), ‘PDF’ AR584 endophyte infected (PDF584), and ‘KYFA 9301’ AR584 endophyte infected (KY584). Three-2 ha paddocks of each treatment were grazed by British-Continental crossbred steers (n=75 per year, initial body weight = 322 kg), stocked at 2.5 steers per ha. One steer in each paddock wore a behavior monitoring device (IceTag v 2.004) that recorded animal activity. Daily time spent grazing, standing still, lying down, and walking were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS (SAS Inst., Cary, NC) and a significance level of α ≤ 0.05 was used. Time spent grazing did not differ (P ≥ 0.3) between years (Yr 1 = 39.7, Yr 2 = 40.4%) or treatments. Time spent standing still did not differ (P = 0.2) between years (Yr 1 = 15.6, Yr 2 = 16.8%) however time spent lying differed between years (P ≤ 0.008; Yr 1 = 44.6, Yr 2 = 42.8%) and treatments with KY31 steers lying down less and standing more (P ≤ 0.03) than GA584 or PDF584. Steps taken per day did not differ (P ≥ 0.4) between years (Yr 1 = 3003, Yr 2 = 2960) or treatments.  All four novel endophtye tall fescue treatments experienced some level of contamination of ergot alkaloid producing endophyte (J542, 30.3%; GA584, 11.8%; PDF584, 5.5%; and KY584, 10.0%) presumably from buried seed, while KY31 had 78%. Cattle exposure to ergot alkaloids across treatments could explain some similarities in behavior between treatments.
See more from this Division: C06 Forage and Grazinglands
See more from this Session: Forage and Grazinglands