For the University of Illinois, determining repeatable feeding behaviors is possible with GrowSafe Systems®. One way to evaluate feeding behavior at the University of Illinois is with GrowSafe bunks, said Josh McCann, University of Illinois animal science assistant professor. “We get a lot of high-quality data from them,” he said.
The study conducted by the University of Illinois, a GrowSafe research partner, consisted of 222 Angus cross-steers fed via GrowSafe Feed Intake nodes from weaning to slaughter. In regards to the study, McCann said “We know dry matter intake overall is pretty repeatable. Feeding behaviors can be learned but the question is: Are feeding behaviors repeatable, too?”
The university used the GrowSafe data decision platform consisting of data capture, analysis and support to answer this question. GrowSafe Feed Intake technology was used to measure individual animal feed intake and behavior.
“The bunk visit frequency, the bunk visit duration and the head down duration were more repeatable than the dry matter intake,” he said. “The head down duration in a day or the amount of time an animal puts his head in the bunk was extremely repeatable and more consistent over time than how much they consumed.”
As part of the Behavior Analytics Package the University of Illinois uses with GrowSafe, they receive individual animal performance such as intake trends, off-test dry matter intake (DMI), meal events, feeding order behavior and additional reports.