Emotional State Of Dairy Cows In Loose And Tied Housing System - Is There A Difference?
AuthorsOstojić Andrić, Dušica
Lecture (Published version)
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Modern society, over time, has accepted animals as sentient beings. From the welfare point of view, the emotions are a reflection of the whole permeation of the animal and its environment, which make them important and reliable indicators. In fact, they are cross-linked with other welfare indicators such as physiological and behavioural. Freedom of movement is crucial for the animals’ naturalness, especially in terms of their normal behaviour expression. Regarding that, this study was conducted in order to investigate and compare the emotional state of cows in a loose (LHS) and tied housing systems (THS). The assessment was done according to Welfare Quality Protocol for Cattle (2009) on a total of 16 dairy farms (N=4,833 cows), seven with LHS and nine with THS. The emotional state was assessed by a qualitative behavioural assessment (QBA), a method based on the translation of “body language” into the numbers that can be statistically analysed and interpreted. Twenty reliabl...e descriptors were used, among which, some were related to positive emotional state (e.g., active, relax, happy) and some to negative state (e.g., agitated, nervous, distressed). Result showed that tendencies toward positive descriptors were significantly higher (p ≤ 0.05) in LHS, followed by lower expression of distress, frustration and apathy in animals.This resulted in better estimation of overall emotional state in LHS indicating its advantage and necessity of providing exercise in cows’ daily routine.
Keywords:dairy cows, emotional state, QBA, descriptors, welfare
Source:Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium „Modern Trends in Livestock Production”, 2019
- Institute for Animal Husbandry, Belgrade-Zemun