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The energy costs of walking, carrying and pulling loads on flat surfaces by Brahman cattle and swamp buffalo

  • P. R. Lawrence (a1) and R. J. Stibbards (a1)

The extra energy for walking compared with standing still (EW) (J/m per kg live weight) was measured in three Brahman cattle and two water buffalo. Ew was not affected by species or speed within the most comfortable range of speeds (V = 0·6 to 1·0 m/s) but over the whole range tested, Ew = 0·947F + 1·99 (r = 0·66, no. = 61) with average Ew = 2·1 (s.e. 0·06).

The extra energy cost of carrying loads while walking (Ec) (J/m per kg carried) was measured using two Brahman cattle, two water buffalo and a pony. Ec was independent of load (up to 70 kg) and speed but was generally lower when loads were placed over the animals' shoulders instead of on their backs. Average values for the cattle, buffaloes and the pony were 2·6, 4·2 and 3·3, respectively.

The efficiency of doing work defined as: work done/energy expended was measured in two Brahman cattle and two water buffalo and gave average values of 0·30 and 0·37 respectively for the two species. Efficiency was proportionately about 0·03 higher for animals wearing a collar than when wearing a single yoke but was unaffected by whether the animals wore single or double yokes, by the speed of travel, the size of the load or whether the load was steady or variable.

Along with appropriate values for the energetic efficiency of raising body weight when walking uphill, these data are used to derive a factorial equation for estimating the energy expenditure of animals working in the field.

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Animal Science
  • ISSN: 1357-7298
  • EISSN: 1748-748X
  • URL: /core/journals/animal-science
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