Identifying the social dominance order in a mixed breed herd: A practical methodology

A.J. Landaeta-Hernández, Peter J. Chenoweth, R. Randles, R. Littell, O. Rae, C.C. Chase

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    6 Citations (Scopus)
    16 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    The major objective of this study was to identify a simple and accurate method of assessing differences in female social status. Three methods of estimating dominance value (DV) were compared in beef cows of three breed-types; Angus (A; n=10), Brahman (B; n=10), and Senepol (S; n=10). Cows were equitably assigned to two groups of fifteen each, allocated into separate pastures and containing equal number of animals by breed. Agonistic interactions were recorded for 45 d of study, in two 1 h periods during concentrate feeding using the method of competitive orders winner/loser. Methods of estimating DV included: I) Ratio between individuals dominated and total encountered, II) Ratio between encounters won to total encounters, III) Proportion of individuals dominated to total herdmates. Due to the different level of interactivity evidenced among animals as well as between and within social orders, method III with subsequent arc-sin transformation was considered as the most practical and accurate method for estimating DV and subsequent allocation of cows into a social dominance order. In addition, a breed effect was found on social dominance. Senepol cows obtained greater DV's (1.24 ± 0.08) than Angus (0.97 ± 0.08; P<0.03) and Brahman cows (0.76 ± 0.08; P<0.005).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)148-154
    Number of pages7
    JournalRevista Cientifica de la Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias de la Universidad del Zulia
    Volume15
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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