Consistency of flight speed and response to restraint in a crush in dairy cattle

Jenny M. Gibbons*, Alistair B. Lawrence, Marie J. Haskell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Flight speed (FS) is an objective measure of the behavioural response to handling procedures in beef cattle but to date there is no published work on dairy cattle. It is useful to determine whether there is consistency in FS in dairy cattle, and assess the relationship between FS and other subjective measures of responsiveness in dairy cattle. The aims of this study were to: (a) evaluate the repeatability of the FS and crush score (CS) test in dairy cattle by repeated measurements and (b) examine the correlation of FS and CS with reactivity responses in a human approach test (HAT). FS and CS measurements for 55 Holstein-Friesian heifers were conducted three times at 4-week intervals. Flight response to a HAT was assessed in the passageway of the home-pen on a subset of 33 animals. On completion of the HAT, an assessment of six qualitative terms (at ease, friendly, bold, docile, shy, fearful and nervous) were assessed on a visual analogue scale according to a subjective judgement of whether a cow scored low or high for each term. Correlations between the three monthly repetitions of FS measurements were all significant and positive (FS(1,2): r(s)=0.36, P=0.007: FS(2,3): r(s)=0.31, P=0.002: FS(1,3): r(s)=0.47, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume131
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Keywords

  • Dairy cattle
  • Temperament
  • Flight speed
  • BEEF-CATTLE
  • MEAT QUALITY
  • TEMPERAMENT
  • BEHAVIOR
  • COWS
  • PRODUCTIVITY
  • FEEDLOT
  • TRAITS
  • PERSONALITY
  • SITUATIONS

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