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Lying patterns of high producing healthy dairy cows after calving in commercial herds as affected by age, environmental conditions and production

By Machteld Steensels, Claudia Bahr, Daniel Berckmans, Ilan Halachmi, Aharon Antler, Ephraim Maltz

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Abstract

An animal expresses its physiological and well-being status by its behaviour. Changes in behaviour can be associated with health, production or well-being problems and therefore with the profitability of the farm. The objectives of the present study were to analyse lying patterns of healthy cows, collected with a commercial behaviour sensor, in early lactation in relation to environmental conditions, age of the cow and production performance. In future, these results may be used as a ‘baseline’ for detection of alterations in behaviour that indicate health problems. The study involved 210 healthy multiparous Israeli Holstein cows in three commercial dairy farms. Only healthy cows during the first 28 days after calving were included in this study. Data were analysed in relation to calving season, age of cows and correlation between milk production and lying time. The results show that lying time increased significantly with age and is significantly (P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 136
Issue 2
Pages 88-95
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.12.008
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  1. Cattle
  2. sensors