BCE320 Seasonal energetic parameters of free-grazing bison (Bison bison)

BCE320 Seasonal energetic parameters of free-grazing bison (Bison bison)

B. D. Rutley and R. J. Hudson
Canadian Journal of Animal Science 80: 663 - 671


Plains bison (Bison bison L.) have been farmed since the late 1800s when the species was rescued from extinction (Hornaday 1890; Roe 1970; Dary 1974). Although now managed similar to domestic livestock, they still retain many of the characteristics attributed to wild ruminants. Christopherson et al. (1978) reported seasonal variation in energy expenditures for penned bison (higher spring than winter values) - variation similar to other northern wild ruminants. No studies have determined the extent of seasonal cycles of free-grazing bison.

Most work on energetic cycles of wild ruminants has measured energy expenditure rather than requirements. A more direct measure of maintenance requirements is obtained by determining the amount of feed needed to maintain body weight throughout the year (Blaxter 1989). Regression of metabolizable energy intake (ME W-0.75) on liveweight gain (g W-0.75) provides a simultaneous estimate of seasonal energy requirement for maintenance and liveweight gain (Jiang and Hudson 1992).

A complete copy of this article is available from:

Centre for Agricultural Diversification
11401 - 8th Street
Dawson Creek, BC V1G 4G2 Canada

Department of Renewable Resources
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H1 Canada

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