CBH01 Konza Prairie bison herd information


The purpose of this study is to monitor long-term changes in individual animal mass. The datasets include an annual summary of the bison herd structure, end-of-season weights of individual animals, and maternal parentage of individual bison.

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Location of Sampling Stations: Bison corral in HQB.

Frequency of Sampling: Weights are recorded and inventory taken each fall during the annual roundup.

Variable Measured: Weight of each individual is recorded in pounds.

Bison Management: The bison herd resides year-around in a 2433 acre fenced enclosure. Except during a few weeks preceding the annual roundup, the bison are allowed free access to all portions of the pasture. No regular supplemental feed is provided to the herd. Prairie hay is provided only when animals are corralled or during rare periods of deep snow cover. Roundup occurs annually in autumn. All animals are lured to the corral to be weighed and sorted. At this time the herd is culled to maintain a targeted herd size of 213AU. Cull animals are kept in the corral until sold. The remaining herd is released back to pasture.

Methods: Upon arrival in the squeeze chute, each individual is restrained long enough to be identified, weighed, and worked. Each bison is equipped with an Allflex EID eartag. An EID reader sends the unique 15-digit EID number of each bison to the scale indicator. When the scale has stabilized and a valid weight is available, the scale operator pushes the "record" button on the indicator which sends the EID and weight to a laptop equipped with FileMaker Pro 13 software. Upon receiving input from the indicator, FileMaker records the weight of each bison.

Form of Data Output:

RECORD TYPE 1: Bison post-cull herd structure summary: raw data contain total number of male and female bison for each age class.

RECORD TYPE 2: Bison full herd weight information: raw data contain the ear tag number, sex, and weight of each individual.

RECORD TYPE 3: Bison maternal parentage: raw data contains the ear tag number of each calf and that of its mother.

Summary of All Changes: Prior to 2013 bison were weighed on a Central City Scale Inc. livestock scale and weights were recorded in 2lb. increments, except for 2010 where 5lb. increments were used. In 2013 a Berlinic Mfg. Inc. hydraulic bison chute equipped with a TruTest XHS2 load cell system was installed, and weights were red on a TruText EziWeigh5 scale indicator. Weights recorded on the TruTest system are in 5lb, increments. Beginning in 2015, a TruTest EziWeigh7 scale indicator connected to a laptop equipped with FileMaker Pro 13 software has been used to electronically record bison weights. Prior to this weights were called out by the scale operator and handwritten by an assistant. 2013 CBH012 data is available by request only.

Quality Assurance: Scale is calibrated and certified by WH Scale Co. annually before roundup.

Instrumentation: Berlinic Manufacturing Inc. Hydraulic Squeeze Chute equipped with TruTest XHD2 load cell system and TruText EziWeigh7 Scale Indicator, TruTest XRP2 EID reader and TruTest large EID antenna, FileMaker Pro 13 software.

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For additional methods information see:

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