Effects of feeding time on behaviour, thermoregulation and growth of steers in winter.
Bergen, R.D., Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K.S.G., McAllister, T.A., and Kennedy, A.D. (2008). "Effects of feeding time on behaviour, thermoregulation and growth of steers in winter.", Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 88(3), pp. 369-379. doi : 10.4141/CJAS07094
Two trials were conducted to determine whether the effects of morning (1000) vs. evening (2000) feed delivery on the frequency and duration of feedbunk visits, thermoregulatory physiology and growth performance of feedlot steers were modified by ambient winter temperatures. Night-time feeding behaviours were more pronounced for evening-fed than for morning-fed cattle during both the forage-based backgrounding and concentrate-based finishing periods. Evening feeding also led to increased core body temperatures during the coldest part of the day during the backgrounding period but had little effect during the finishing period. Although ambient temperatures were similar in both trials, evening feeding improved growth rate and efficiency during the coldest part of the backgrounding period in Trial 1 but not in Trial 2. Feeding time did not affect feedlot performance during the finishing period of either trial. Evening feeding successfully altered feeding behaviours and appeared to improve thermoregulatory status during the coldest part of the backgrounding period, but did not improve growth performance or efficiency.