Comparing hair cortisol concentrations from various body sites and serum cortisol in Holstein lactating cows and heifers during thermal comfort zone

Measuring cortisol in hair has recently been established as a reliable physiological index to evaluate chronic stress conditions in humans and many animal species. The aim of this study was to determine serum cortisol and the concentrations of hair cortisol from various body sites of lactating Holstein cows and heifers during thermal comfort zone. Forty-seven […]

Behavioural predictors of the start of normal and dystocic calving in dairy cows and heifers

The individual monitoring of dairy cows around the time of calving is important to identify calving difficulties or health problems as early as possible. This study aims to identify whether there are differences in the behaviour before calving, between heifers and cows, and between those that are assisted at calving and those that are not. […]

Exploring heifers’ perception of ‘positive’ treatment through their motivation to pursue a retreated human

This pilot study investigates dairy heifers’ perception of ‘positive treatment’ by a human (stroking and brushing) through a test of appetitive motivation. The hypothesis was that positive treatment by a human results in heifers pursuing a human to seek further positive treatment. Thirty-seven dairy heifers were assigned to either minimal human contact or positive treatment […]

Does housing nulliparous dairy cows with multiparous animals prior to calving influence welfare- and production-related parameters after calving?

The aim of this experiment was to determine the effects of housing nulliparous cows with non-lactating multiparous cows during the pre-calving period, on welfare and production-related parameters during the post calving period. Twenty nulliparous Holstein Friesian dairy cattle were assigned to one of two treatments (‘Mixed and Unmixed’) pre-calving. The ‘Mixed’ treatment involved housing experimental […]

The effect of conspecific removal on behavioral and physiological responses of dairy cattle

Adverse social and welfare implications of mixing dairy cows or separating calves from their mothers have been documented previously. Here we investigated the behavioral and physiological responses of individuals remaining after conspecifics were removed. We conducted a series of 4 experiments incorporating a range of types of different dairy cattle groupings [experiment 1 (E1), 126 […]