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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #383796

Research Project: Science and Technologies for the Sustainable Management of Western Rangeland Systems

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Dam-offspring pairing using proximity loggers fitted on Raramuri Criollo cows and calves grazing desert rangeland

item SIMPSON, C. - New Mexico State University
item NYAMURYEKUNG'E, S. - New Mexico State University
item CIBILS, A. - New Mexico State University
item Estell, Richard - Rick
item Gonzalez, Alfredo
item MCINTOSH, M - New Mexico State University
item Spiegal, Sheri

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2021
Publication Date: 2/15/2021
Citation: Simpson, C., Nyamuryekung'E, S., Cibils, A.F., Estell, R.E., Gonzalez, A.L., McIntosh, M.M., Spiegal, S.A. 2021. Dam-offspring pairing using proximity loggers fitted on Raramuri Criollo cows and calves grazing desert rangeland {abstract}. Society for Range Management Meeting, February 15-18, 2021, Virtual. 117.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Proximity loggers are sensors that transmit and receive UHF radio signals and have been used to investigate social behavior in livestock. Previous studies that used these devices found that cow-calf contact events occur throughout the day at intervals that likely reflect nursing events. We determined the feasibility of utilizing proximity data to correctly identify cow-calf pairs within a herd of Raramuri Criollo cattle grazing Chihuahuan Desert rangeland. The study was conducted at the Jornada Experimental Range on a 4300 ha pasture that was lightly stocked (216 ha/AUM). Ten proximity loggers were deployed on five cow-calf pairs during the summer/fall of 2015 and 2016 (21days/deployment). All calves were <2 weeks old at the onset of the study. The loggers recorded time of initiation and duration of contacts any time another logger was within a one-meter radius of the subject. We used one-way analysis of variance to analyze daily contact duration patterns between each collared cow and all collared calves in the herd. Except for one cow in the herd (Dam25), all dams spent significantly more time within 1 m of their offspring vs. other collared calves in the herd (P<0.05). Proximity logger data yielded cow-calf pairings that were 100% accurate. Newer less expensive technology such as Bluetooth-enabled wearable livestock sensors offers opportunities to track cow-calf contact patterns in real time and could help ranchers identify dam-offspring pairs using the analytical approach followed in this study. This approach could be particularly useful for rangeland cow-calf producers that run seedstock operations.