Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Animal and Nutritional Sciences

Committee Chair

Eugene E. D. Felton.


The objective of the study was to determine if relationships exist with feeding behaviors of bucks, rams, and bulls and efficiency or residual feed intake (RFI). Animals utilized in this investigation were either producer consigned by species or West Virginia University animals. All animals were group-housed in pens (14.6 m x 51.2 m) with 156.2 m2 under roof at the Reymann Memorial Farm in Wardensville, WV over two years. Animals were fed complete nutritionally adequate rations ad libitum to meet daily growth requirements for each species. GrowSafe radio frequency technology (GrowSafe Systems Ltd.) was used to monitor animal identification, visit time and location, duration, and feed displacement. AllflexRTM transponders were placed in each animal's left ear. Eight pens had three feed nodes, while two pens had four. Rams and bucks were housed in the pens with four feed nodes. Modifications were made to the feed nodes for the ram and buck research to prevent more than one animal from feeding at one time. Statistical analyses were completed using Proc FREQ, TTEST, and GLM of SAS. More efficient animals consumed less feed (P < 0.01) and visited the feed nodes less frequently (P < 0.01). Negative RFI goats and the rams in the first year had fewer feeding and nonfeeding bouts (P < 0.05). Most visits occurred during the day (P < 0.01) for all species. Daily feed intake varied in all species (P < 0.01). Individual differences were seen in each species with other behaviors and performance measurements. Although behavioral differences were seen with RFI in all species, a more complete behavioral analysis is required to understand how dominance behavior and behavior allocation affect energy expenditure and intake.