Group feeding versus individual feeding


  • Feed records are desirable features  of all feeding trials.
  • It is essential for the interpretation of the results based on the feed consumed, leftover if any etc.
  •  In many feeding experiments to avoid labour and equipment cost, the animals are fed as a group,
  • It is more common when there is wide variability in the individual behaviour of the animal within the lot, as to both production and feed consumption.
  • The performance of the individual can be eliminated from consideration, but the food it ate cannot be exactly found out.
  • It is here where individual feeding plays an important role.
  • In certain species which are fed together in practice may consume somewhat less when fed individually. Thus certain workers stress this " Competition in the feedlot" as being of practical importance in feeding trials with beef cattle, sheep and hogs.
  • Here several small groups will yield a more sensitive test than a few large ones.

Group feeding
  • This is cheaper in terms of equipment and labour cost.
  • Group feeding introduces complications in the interpretation of results if there is a wide variation in the individual behaviour within the group like in production, feed consumption etc.,
  • In case of the death of an animal in a group, the feed consumed by the dead animal till death could not be accounted.
  • In group feeding, when fed together, the animals consume somewhat less than when fed individually. This may be due to competition in the feedlot.
Group feeding of dairy cows
Individual feeding


  • The data on feed consumption can be maintained and the individual performance of the animal can be ascertained.
  • Individual records are much more useful from stand point of statistical treatment.
  • High cost of equipment and labour  required.
Individually feeding the cow

Last modified: Saturday, 31 March 2012, 4:56 AM