Forage searching mechanisms and spatial grazing pattern of cattle
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First, I tested if animals distinguished between 10 cm and 20 cm-tall bundles of grass (10/20 treatment). Second, I tested if animals discriminated between 10 cm and 30 cm-tall bundles of grass. A reward (feed pellets) was placed in the trays where the taller bundles were. In order to prevent steers from using spatial memory or mechanisms other than association of the visual cue to find the food, food locations were changed randomly every day. Each treatment was replicated three times. The learning curves of steers were observed for 10 consecutive days. No significant differences were detected between treatments. This suggested that visual cues were not a factor to associate reward with cue heights. The dryness of the grass used as cues could have been a reason for this lack of effects. It may have been blended with the surrounding dry plant communities.