twelve purebred and crossbred holstein cows were assigned to three latin squares 4 x 4, balanced according to the lactating period, to evaluate the ingestive behavior parameters. the experimental diets were based on corn silage with 60:40 forage:concentrate ratio, in dry matter (dm) basis, or based on sugar cane with 60:40 or 50:50 forage:concentrate. the cows were submitted to visual observation for ingestive behavior evaluation. the animals were observed every 10 minutes, during 24 hours, to determine the time expended eating, ruminating and resting. there was no difference for the mean time expended eating and ruminating among the experimental diets. however, in the corn silage based diets, the animals expended less time idle, compared to those fed sugar cane based diets. feeding efficiency, expressed in gndf/h, showed no difference among the experimental diets. rumination efficiency, expressed in gdm/h, was similar for the different diets. rumination efficiency, expressed in gndf/h (ruendf) was higher for the corn silage based diet. there was no difference in ruendf among the sugar cane based diets. cows fed sugar cane based diets showed higher time expended in idle and smaller dm intake, when compared those fed corn silage based diets.