Tongue-playing in tethered Japanese Black cattle: diurnal patterns, analysis of variance and behaviour sequences

Shusuke Sato, Reiko Nagamine, Tetsuya Kubo

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Japanese Blacks (a beef breed) exhibit much tongue-playing under intensive husbandry systems. The purpose of this study is to investigate the possible causes of tongue-playing. In Experiment 1, differences in the time budgets among animals and in Experiment 2, diurnal variations and the behavioural sequences were investigated concerning tongue-playing. In Experiments 1 and 2, 510 animals and 13 potential tongue-players, respectively, were observed by a scan-sampling technique. Tongue-playing and para-tongue-playing were performed by 31% and 61% of the animals, respectively, in Experiment 1. Eight per cent of the animals displayed bar-biting, weaving and slowly opening and closing mouths while looking upward. Seventy-six per cent of animals performed some kind of abnormal behaviour. Inclusive tongue-playing, which contained both categories of tongue-playing, was performed less by animals in the last stage of fattening (P<0.05) and by naturally reared animals (P<0.01). All 13 animals in Experiment 2 performed tongue-playing. The time budgets of the inclusive tongue-playing (mainly tongue-playing) in each animal ranged from 1.3 to 17.1% (averaging 6.4 ± 5.1%) of the 8 h of observations. Inclusive tongue-playing followed feeding (P<0.01) and was followed by the other tongue movement behaviours (P<0.01). Inclusive tongue-playing was less likely to follow ruminating (P<0.01) and to be followed by feeding (P<0.01) and the other behaviours (P<0.05). It is suggested that feeding frustration, such as artificial suckling and qualitatively and quantitatively suppressed feeding, stimulates the onset of stereotypies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Cattle
  • Feeding frustration
  • Stereotypies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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