Voluntary intake in ruminants

Elzânia Sales Pereira, Alex Martins Varela de Arruda, Ivone Yurika Mizubuti, Leandro das Dores Ferreira da Silva


The voluntary intake can be defined as being the food amount ingested spontaneously by an animal or group of animals during a determined period with free access to food. The nutrient intake is one of the main limiting factors of the ruminant production. The animal food intake capacity depends on several interactive factors in different feeding situations, animal behavior and environment. The ruminant feed intake prediction is extremely important and difficult, due the interactions that happen between the animal and the diet, existing few available information to subsidized the use of equations. When the animals are fed with forage of low quality, the food intake can be predicted with more precision by factors that describe the physical limit of the ingestion and live weight. In diets of better quality, the ingestion can be predicted by factors that describe physiologic demand of the animal. Maximize food intake by the animal is a key component in diets development and feeding strategies for optimizing the animal production.


Ingestion; Ruminal repletion; Ruminants.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2003v24n1p191

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
E-mail: semina.agrarias@uel.br
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional