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  1. Looking into the eyes of a cow: Can eye whites be used as a measure of emotional state?

    Contributor(s):: Lambert, Helen S., Carder, Gemma

    A number of studies have looked at whether the percentage of visible eye whites could be a reliable and dynamic tool for measuring emotional state in cattle. In this study we have built upon previous research to further test this measure with different stimuli and different types of emotional...

  2. Daytime summer access to pasture vs. free-stall barn in dairy cows with year-long outdoor experience: A case study

    Contributor(s):: Shepley, Elise, Bergeron, Reneé, Vasseur, Elsa

    With its documented health and behavioural benefits, one would expect dairy cows to have near unconditional preference for pasture. However, dairy cow preference is multifaceted with numerous factors contributing to the choices and or actions of the cow. Experience is one such factor that may...

  3. Behavioural adaptation to a short or no dry period with associated management in dairy cows

    Contributor(s):: Kok, Akke, van Hoeij, Renny J., Tolkamp, Bert J., Haskell, Marie J., van Knegsel, Ariëtte T. M., de Boer, Imke J. M., Bokkers, Eddie A. M.

    From calving, dairy cows are typically milked for about a year, and subsequently managed to have a non-lactating or ‘dry period’ (DP) before next calving. However, the use of a DP may reduce cow welfare because typical DP management involves the cow changing groups and ration. Also, the DP...

  4. Intake estimation in dairy cows fed roughage-based diets: An approach based on chewing behaviour measurements

    Contributor(s):: Leiber, Florian, Holinger, Mirjam, Zehner, Nils, Dorn, Katharina, Probst, Johanna K., Spengler Neff, Anet

    Chewing behaviour of 23 lactating Swiss Fleckvieh cows was analysed in order to evaluate the predictive potential for quantitative dry matter intake in a roughage-based indoor cattle feeding system. Cows were fed total mixed rations (TMR) based on silages and hay with different concentrate...

  5. Effect of social feeding environment on the feeding behaviour of dairy cows and their willingness to consume a novel feed

    Contributor(s):: Mainardes, G. A., DeVries, T. J.

    Dairy cows are often exposed to novel situations and may show a strong behavioural response to novel feeds. To test the impact of social contact while feeding and the reaction of mature cows towards a novel feed we compared: 1) animals fed individually and 2) cows fed socially (in pairs). It was...

  6. Identification and development of measures suitable as potential breeding traits regarding dairy cows’ reactivity towards humans

    Contributor(s):: Ebinghaus, Asja, Ivemeyer, Silvia, Rupp, Julia, Knierim, Ute

    Behavioural indicators of the human-animal relationship (HAR) are predominantly used in animal welfare science. However, the reactivity of dairy cows – as part of the HAR – is also of interest in the context of dairy breeding, due to its estimated moderate heritability. The avoidance distance...

  7. Can changes in nasal temperature be used as an indicator of emotional state in cows?

    Contributor(s):: Proctor, Helen, Carder, Gemma

    Good animal welfare considers not only the physical and environmental aspects of an animal’s well-being, but also their emotional state. Finding measures of animal emotions is an important area of research, as there is a need for objective, reliable and non-invasive measures to assess how an...

  8. Sprinkler flow rate affects dairy cattle preferences, heat load, and insect deterrence behavior

    Contributor(s):: Chen, Jennifer M., Schütz, Karin E., Tucker, Cassandra B.

    Sprinklers provide benefits for cattle, such as reducing heat load and possibly deterring insects. However, the use of this resource by cows varies across studies. Some of this variation may, in part, be explained by sprinkler flow rate. Higher flow rates provide greater heat abatement (desirable...

  9. Important role of dominance in allogrooming behaviour in beef cattle

    Contributor(s):: Šárová, Radka, Gutmann, Anke Kristina, Špinka, Marek, Stěhulová, Ilona, Winckler, Christoph

    In domestic cattle, the relationship between dominance and allogrooming behaviour has been investigated in several studies. However, the results do not show a consistent pattern. The aim of this study was to investigate this relationship in a stable female beef cattle herd using social network...

  10. The sickness response in steers with induced bovine respiratory disease before and after treatment with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug

    Contributor(s):: Toaff-Rosenstein, Rachel L., Gershwin, Laurel J., Zanella, Adroaldo J., Tucker, Cassandra B.

    Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is the most common disorder in North American beef cattle. This work aimed to describe the BRD sickness response, identify measures to improve detection, and assess effects of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). We hypothesized that BRD challenge would...

  11. Behaviour of bucking bulls prior to rodeo performances and relation to rodeo and human activities

    Contributor(s):: Goldhawk, Christy, Bond, Guilherme, Grandin, Temple, Pajor, Ed

    There is a paucity of scientific evaluation of to substantiate concerns regarding the welfare of bulls used in bucking performances at rodeos. The current study followed 14 bulls during loading and holding in bucking chutes prior to release into an arena for performance at a large outdoor...

  12. Behavioural response of dairy cows with and without calf-contact to hair of own and alien calves presented in the milking parlour

    Contributor(s):: Zipp, Katharina A., Barth, Kerstin, Knierim, Ute

    In systems where dairy cows are milked and additionally suckle their calves during the first months of lactation, problems with alveolar milk ejection during machine-milking occur. As olfaction is a key sense for kin recognition and acceptance at the udder, olfactory stimulation might alleviate...

  13. Measuring behaviour accurately with instantaneous sampling: A new tool for selecting appropriate sampling intervals

    Contributor(s):: Hämäläinen, Wilhelmiina, Ruuska, Salla, Kokkonen, Tuomo, Orkola, Saana, Mononen, Jaakko

    A central dilemma in instantaneous sampling (IS) is to select appropriate sampling intervals for different behaviours. Ideally, the interval should be as long as possible without risking the accuracy of obtained estimates. In this study, we developed a computational method for evaluating the...

  14. Use of a maze test to assess spatial learning and memory in cattle: Can cattle traverse a complex maze?

    Contributor(s):: Hirata, Masahiko, Tomita, Chihiro, Yamada, Karin

    Maze tests were conducted to assess spatial learning and memory in Japanese Black cows (Bos taurus). The test arena (14×14m) was designed so that it could contain no maze or one of four different mazes of increasing complexity (L1–L4 mazes), with a food reward at the opposite end of the release...

  15. Effects of separation time on behavioral and physiological characteristics of Brahman cows and their calves

    Contributor(s):: Pérez-Torres, Libia, Orihuela, Agustín, Corro, Manuel, Rubio, Ivette, Alonso, Miguel A., Galina, Carlos S.

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of separation time on behavioral and physiological characteristics of Brahman cows and their calves. Thirty Brahman cow-calf pairs raised under extensive conditions were randomly assigned to one of three temporary weaning duration:...

  16. Sprinkler flow rate affects dairy cattle avoidance of spray to the head, but not overall, in an aversion race

    Contributor(s):: Chen, Jennifer M., Schütz, Karin E., Tucker, Cassandra B.

    Spraying cattle with water elicits behavioral responses ranging from willing use to avoidance of wetting the head or entire body. This variation may be partly explained by sprinkler flow rate, as higher flow rates result in greater heat abatement and spray impact. An aversion race can be used to...

  17. Gentle interactions decrease the fear of humans in dairy heifers independently of early experience of stroking

    Contributor(s):: Lürzel, Stephanie, Windschnurer, Ines, Futschik, Andreas, Waiblinger, Susanne

    The relationship of farmed animals with humans has important implications for animal welfare and productivity. To investigate the short- and long-term effect of gentle interactions (stroking, talking in a gentle voice) during different life stages on the fear of humans, we tested heifers that had...

  18. Association patterns of visually-observed cattle on Montana, USA foothill rangelands

    Contributor(s):: Stephenson, Mitchell B., Bailey, Derek W., Jensen, Delyn

    Cattle on extensive rangelands typically graze in smaller groups rather than as one large herd. The objective of this study was to examine the strength of social associations among cattle in different sized herds. Associations among individual pairs of cows (i.e., dyads) on rangelands were...

  19. Behavioural response of pure Ankole and crossbred (Ankole×Holstein) cows to seasonal pasture variations in south-western Uganda

    Contributor(s):: Idibu, Joachine, Kabi, Fred, Mpairwe, Denis

    This study evaluated the effects of season and pasture species on variations in sward composition, pasture quantity (plant-height and biomass) and quality [crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD)]. Behavioural responses of a group of 10...

  20. The effect of free-stall versus strawyard housing and access to pasture on dairy cow locomotor activity and time budget

    Contributor(s):: Shepley, Elise, Lensink, Joop, Leruste, Hélène, Vasseur, Elsa

    Dairy housing systems can have major implications on how freely cows move within their environment and how fully they can express their behavioral repertoire, impacting overall welfare. To ensure housing systems are meeting the needs of the dairy cow, more information is needed on the best method...