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Laterality of lying behaviour in dairy cattle

By C. B. Tucker, N. R. Cox, D. M. Weary, M. Spinka

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Abstract

Dairy cattle spend, on average, between 8 and 15 h/d lying down. Our objective was to describe the laterality of lying behaviour and assess several internal and external factors that may affect laterality. Internal factors included time spent and time since eating or lying before choosing to lie down again. External factors included the slope and the amount of bedding on the of the lying surface. The dependent variables were the proportion of time spent lying on left versus right sides (as affected by eating and by the slope of stalls) and the probability of switching sides between two consecutive lying bouts (as influenced by previous lying bouts and the amount of bedding). The proportion of time on the left and right sides matched the mixed pattern in the literature; some groups of cows (n=35, non-lactating, freestall housed) spent more time (56+or-3.0

Date 2009
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 120
Issue 3/4
Pages 125-131
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2009.05.010
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, 1 Shields Avenue, CA 95616, USA. cbtucker@ucdavis.edu
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal nutrition
  3. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  4. Cattle
  5. Dairy animals
  6. Diets
  7. Eating habits
  8. Feeding behavior
  9. Foraging
  10. Grasslands and rangelands
  11. Grazing
  12. Mammals
  13. pastures
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. Ruminants
  16. stalls
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  1. peer-reviewed