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  1. Winter housing conditions of cows of the Hérens breed do not influence fighting but modulate spacing behaviour on alpine pastures

    Contributor(s):: Castro, Isabelle M. L., Gygax, Lorenz, Wechsler, Beat, Hauser, Rudolf

    Cows of the Hérens breed are typically kept in small herds and three types of winter housing conditions feature in practical application: tie-barns with minimal winter outdoor exercise, this being taken singly or in pairs (“minimal exercise”), tie-barns with daily exercise as a complete herd...

  2. Training methods for introducing cows to a pasture-based automatic milking system

    Contributor(s):: Jago, J., Kerrisk, K.

    Training cows to use an automatic milking system (AMS) is an important process as this method of milking depends on cows voluntarily using the AMS. This study examined two levels of training before calving on the behaviour of cows and heifers in an extensive pasture-based AMS. Animals received...

  3. Training dogs on a scent platform for oestrus detection in cows

    Contributor(s):: Fischer-Tenhagen, Carola, Wetterholm, Lennart, Tenhagen, Bernd-Alois, Heuwieser, Wolfgang

    Dogs can be trained for various odour detection tasks, and have been used to search for explosives, drugs or cancer biomarkers. However, there are only a few studies that have attempted to train dogs for oestrus detection using vaginal fluid, milk or urine of cows. In this study, seven dogs were...

  4. Social licking in dairy cattle—Effects on heart rate in performers and receivers

    Contributor(s):: Laister, Simone, Stockinger, Barbara, Regner, Anna-Maria, Zenger, Karin, Knierim, Ute, Winckler, Christoph

    Using heart rate (HR) measurements we investigated whether potential calming effects of social licking were evident for both active (performers) and passive (receivers) licking partners. A HR decline was assumed to indicate relaxation and thus the experience of positive emotions. Effects of the...

  5. Sleep in dairy cows recorded with a non-invasive EEG technique

    Contributor(s):: Ternman, Emma, Hänninen, Laura, Pastell, Matti, Agenäs, Sigrid, Nielsen, Per Peetz

    Sufficient sleep time is important for both an adequate metabolic system and the immune function. Sleep in animals is often estimated by behavioural observations, or recorded on restrained animals with invasive electroencephalogram (EEG) techniques, which might affect sleep patterns. Earlier...

  6. A review of pain assessment techniques and pharmacological approaches to pain relief after bovine castration: Practical implications for cattle production within the United States

    Contributor(s):: Coetzee, Johann F.

    Castration of male calves destined for beef production is a common livestock management practice in the United States amounting to approximately 7 million procedures per year. Recently there has been renewed interest in identifying methods to reduce pain associated with dehorning and castration....

  7. Relationships between lameness and feeding behaviour in cubicle-housed Holstein–Friesian dairy cows

    Contributor(s):: Palmer, Maeve A., Law, Ryan, O’Connell, Niamh E.

    The relationship between lameness and feeding behaviour in dairy cows is not yet fully understood. This study examined the effect of lameness on feeding behaviour at two points during lactation. Forty-five Holstein–Friesian dairy cows (average parity 3.3) were housed in cubicle accommodation...

  8. Qualitative Behavioural Assessment of Angus steers during pre-slaughter handling and relationship with temperament and physiological responses

    Contributor(s):: Stockman, Catherine A., McGilchrist, Peter, Collins, Teresa, Barnes, Anne L., Miller, David, Wickham, Sarah L., Greenwood, Paul L., Cafe, Linda M., Blache, Dominique, Wemelsfelder, Francoise, Fleming, Patricia A.

    This study examined the behavioural expression of cattle immediately prior to slaughter through the process of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA), and compared these results to measurements of physiology and temperament. Twenty-eight Angus steers were filmed while in a funnel chute as they...

  9. Preferences for overhead sprinklers by naïve beef steers: Test of two nozzle types

    Contributor(s):: Parola, Fabia, Hillmann, Edna, Schütz, Karin E., Tucker, Cassandra B.

    Sprinklers effectively reduce heat load in cattle. In some studies, however, cattle readily use sprinklers, while others find that they either avoid or show no preference for it. These studies differ in many ways including previous experience of the animals and the amount of water delivered. Our...

  10. Preference of dairy cows: Indoor cubicle housing with access to a total mixed ration vs. access to pasture

    Contributor(s):: Charlton, Gemma L., Rutter, Steven Mark, East, Martyn, Sinclair, Liam A.

    Cattle are grazing animals so it is generally assumed that pasture is a welfare friendly system as it is natural and allows the expression of normal behaviour, which may be restricted indoors. However, high yielding dairy cows may not be able to fulfil their nutritional demands from grass alone...

  11. Parturition progress and behaviours in dairy cows with calving difficulty

    Contributor(s):: Barrier, Alice C., Haskell, Marie J., Macrae, Alastair I., Dwyer, Cathy M.

    The welfare of dairy cows and their calves is compromised following a difficult calving. A better understanding of what happens during a difficult calving is needed to help prevent and alleviate adverse consequences through early diagnosis and/or pain mitigation. The objectives of this study were...

  12. Pain and discomfort caused by parturition in cows and sows

    Contributor(s):: Mainau, Eva, Manteca, Xavier

    This review focuses on parturition as a painful process in cows and sows. Firstly, the different stages of parturition associated to the origin and transmission of pain stimuli are described. Hypoalgesia during the late pregnancy and parturition has been shown, perhaps as an endogenous defence...

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

    Contributor(s):: Steensels, Machteld, Bahr, Claudia, Berckmans, Daniel, Halachmi, Ilan, Antler, Aharon, Maltz, Ephraim

    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,...

  14. Lying laterality and the effect of IceTag data loggers on lying behaviour of dairy cows

    Contributor(s):: Gibbons, Jenny, Medrano-Galarza, Catalina, Marie de Passillé, Anne, Rushen, Jeffrey

    Lying behaviour is a useful indicator of cow comfort, but can be time consuming to measure. Data loggers are commonly used to automatically record behavioural activity but may influence the animal's behaviour. We investigated the effect of a new model of the IceTag data logger (IceTag Sensor,...

  15. The lying and standing activity indices of dairy cows in free-stall housing

    Contributor(s):: Mattachini, Gabriele, Riva, Elisabetta, Provolo, Giorgio

    Behavioural activity is used as an indication of animal comfort, and lying and standing behaviours are often used as a sign of well-being in cattle and to evaluate the quality of stalls. The aim of this study was to compare the values of different behavioural indices at different scan-sampling...

  16. Long-term stability of Avoidance Distance tests for on-farm assessment of dairy cow relationship to humans in alpine traditional husbandry systems

    Contributor(s):: Battini, Monica, Andreoli, Elena, Barbieri, Sara, Mattiello, Silvana

    The present study investigates the long-term stability of two behaviour tests used to evaluate the human–animal relationship as well as gather information to refine on-farm welfare assessment protocols in alpine husbandry systems. Two tests, Avoidance Distance (AD) and Avoidance Distance at the...

  17. The long and short of it: A review of tail docking in farm animals

    Contributor(s):: Sutherland, Mhairi A., Tucker, Cassandra B.

    Tail docking involves amputating a portion of the tail for a variety of reasons. We review the scientific evidence for the rationale for tail docking, a description of the different methods used, the pain response to the procedure and the effectiveness of pain alleviation, and, finally, the...

  18. Is the avoidance distance test for the assessment of animals’ responsiveness to humans influenced by either the dominant or flightiest animal in the group?

    Contributor(s):: Mazurek, Mickael, McGee, Mark, Minchin, William, Crowe, Mark A., Earley, Bernadette

    A previously described (Windschnurer et al., 2009) avoidance distance test was used to assess animals’ fear of humans in order to quantify the human–animal relationship (HAR). This study investigated the influence of the dominant and flightiest animals within a group on the responsiveness of...

  19. Integration into the dairy cow herd: Long-term effects of mother contact during the first twelve weeks of life

    Contributor(s):: Wagner, Kathrin, Barth, Kerstin, Palme, Rupert, Futschik, Andreas, Waiblinger, Susanne

    The objective of this study is to investigate the long-term effects of mother rearing on the ability to cope with the challenge of integration into the cow herd shortly before first parturition. Four groups of heifers with different levels of contact with their mothers during the first twelve...

  20. Individual differences in calf defence patterns in Red Angus beef cows

    Contributor(s):: Flörcke, Cornelia, Engle, Terry E., Grandin, Temple, Deesing, Mark J.

    The objective of this study was to evaluate differences in individual calf defence behaviour patterns and maternal protective behaviour of beef cows 24h after calving. A single herd was observed on an extensive ranch in Colorado, USA. A total of 341 cow–calf pairs (95% Red Angus and 5%...