Using digital pedometers to monitor travel of cows grazing arid rangelands

TitleUsing digital pedometers to monitor travel of cows grazing arid rangelands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1986
AuthorsAnderson D.M., Urquhart N.S.
JournalApplied Animal Behavior Science
Date Published1986
Keywordscows, digital pedometers, grazing, monitor, rangelands
AbstractCows grazing large (3000+ ha) arid rangeland paddocks were fitted with digital pedometers. Raw pedometer readings should be corrected for instrument and cow biases by calibrating the pedometers to individual cows because both cows and pedometers exhibited substantial variability. If routine procedures are followed for recording pedometer readings and adjusting them with the calibration information, digital pedometers appear to be a promising tool to monitor travel of grazing cows. In the context of this study, age of cow and pregnancy status had no apparent effect on the distance these mature cows traveled. However, genotype, external parasites and movement of the herd to a new paddock did have an influence. Because mean daily travel of grazing cows appears to be influenced by management decisions, the impact of various management alternatives de-serves further research. Bipedometered cows can contribute to such research, but this work shows that accurate comparisons of distances traveled require a substantial number of bipedometered cows.