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Sleep in dairy cows

Ternman, Emma (2014). Sleep in dairy cows. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2014:105
ISBN 978-91-576-8158-4
eISBN 978-91-576-8159-1
[Doctoral thesis]

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Little is known about rest and sleep in dairy cows, but it has been shown in other species that the total amount of sleep, duration of sleep bouts and distribution of sleep over 24 hours differ depending on health status, age, pregnancy and lactation. Sleep recordings conducted on cows with surgically implanted electrodes have shown that they sleep four hours per 24-hour period.

In this thesis, a non-invasive electrophysiological technique for recording sleep in dairy cows was developed and used to investigate variations in sleep pattern
during the lactation cycle. Non-invasive sleep recordings and behaviour observations were conducted during five hours in eight cows to validate the recording method. The data was scored for sleep and awake states according to standardised methods for human sleep scoring and earlier findings on cow sleep. The behaviours ‘lying with head resting’ and ‘lying with head lifted and still’ were compared with sleep recordings in 13 cows to evaluate the accuracy of sleep time estimates based on behavioural indicators. To investigate whether the research equipment caused a first-night effect in sleep time in dairy cows, nine cows were studied over three consecutive 24-hour periods. Sleep was also recorded in 19 dairy cows on seven occasions to investigate variations in sleep time during a lactation cycle.

It was possible to distinguish sleep and awake states in data recorded with the non-invasive electrophysiological technique in unrestricted dairy cows. Using behaviour estimates only, sleep was greatly overestimated because
drowsing and sleeping can be performed in the same position. The electrophysiological recordings conducted during the first out of three consecutive 24-hour periods provide adequate data on total sleep time in dairy

In conclusion, the results show that cows sleep less and ruminate more in early and peak lactation compared with late lactation and dry period. Cows lie down to rest and it is therefore important to ensure that they have enough time to do so.

Authors/Creators:Ternman, Emma
Title:Sleep in dairy cows
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :December 2014
Depositing date:26 November 2014
Number of Pages:51
I.Ternman E., Hänninen L., Pastell M., Agenäs S., Nielsen P.P (2012). Sleep in dairy cows recorded with a non-invasive EEG technique. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 140(1-2), 25-32.
II.Ternman E., Pastell M., Agenäs S., Strasser C., Winckler C., Nielsen P.P., Hänninen L. (2014). Agreement between different sleep states and behaviour indicators in dairy cows. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 160, 12-18.
III.Ternman E., Hänninen L., Agenäs S., Nielsen P.P. First-night effect in dairy cow sleep studies (manuscript).
IV.Ternman E., Nilsson E., Nielsen P.P., Hänninen L., Agenäs S. Sleep in dairy cows varies with stage of lactation (manuscript).
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Institutionen för husdjurens utfodring och vård, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SLU - Research Areas for the Future > Future Agriculture (until Jan 2017)
SLU - Research Areas for the Future > Future Animal Health and Welfare (until Jan 2017)
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8158-4
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8159-1
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L01 Animal husbandry
L Animal production > L70 Veterinary science and hygiene - General aspects
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Agrovoc terms:dairy cows, sleep, rest, behaviour, time, lactation, dry period, electroencephalography
Keywords:Behaviour, Dairy cow, Drowsing, EEG, Lactation, NREM, REM , Sleep
Permanent URL:
ID Code:11673
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management
External funders:FORMAS
Deposited By: Emma Ternman
Deposited On:27 Nov 2014 07:11
Metadata Last Modified:14 Dec 2014 13:29

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