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Relations sociales et comportement alimentaire au pâturage

Abstract : In domestic ungulates social grouping strongly influences grazing behaviour. Our paper focus on how social relationships within a group influence individual strategies for dietary choices, exploitation of feeding sites and spatial distribution in habitat. This topic is discussed on the basis of social processes in sheep, cattle, horses and deer. Group living gives the young animals social models, first his dam then his peers and the other members of the group, that help to learn adequate food preferences and aversions. This social facilitation is more efficient than individual learning. Group living is also thought to be advantageous for individual animals because they can use the feeding sites discovered by the other members of the group. On the other hand, increased feeding competition will occur in a group due to the faster decrease in food availability, the low-ranking animals being the more affected. Foraging in group can also force individuals to abandon a feeding site they estimate to be of good quality simply because all other group members leave this site.
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Bertrand Dumont, Alain Boissy. Relations sociales et comportement alimentaire au pâturage. Productions animales, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 1999, 12 (1), pp.3-10. ⟨hal-02699055⟩

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