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Feeding behaviour in dairy cows

motivational aspects

Lindström, Tina (2000). Feeding behaviour in dairy cows. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria, 1401-6249 ; 250
ISBN 91-576-5761-0
[Doctoral thesis]

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In this thesis I summarise and discuss the results of studies regarding motivational aspects on feeding behaviour in dairy cows. Questions addressed concern how feeding duration and rumen fill in cattle influence some behavioural variables reflecting frustrated feeding motivation, such as stereotypies and behaviours related to feed-searching, and also how rumen fill and feeding duration relate to oxytocin and cortisol. We have also investigated if operant conditioning is a useful method to measure and quantify the motivational strength to obtain roughages with different characteristics and sensory qualities. The aim was to test the hypothesis that oral manipulation of feed is a behavioural need in cattle, irrespective of rumen load. Low rumen content and long eating time had the effect that the cows spent a rather short time with behaviours related to feed-searching and showed low levels of stereotypies. The cows with long eating time had a larger oxytocin release during the afternoons compared with the cows with short eating time. The cows with high rumen content and short eating time spent relatively more time with behaviours related to feed-searching and with stereotypies. The cortisol concentration in the morning sampling period was higher in the treatment with short eating time compared with the cows with long eating time. The studies with operant conditioning showed large individual differences between cows in their motivation to work for feed in general. The results also showed that cows have individual preference for one specific side. It can be concluded that oral manipulation of feed is a behavioural need in cattle irrespective of rumen load. A short duration of feeding behaviours combined with a low rumen load seriously impairs the welfare of cattle. The results imply that there are physiological mechanisms, possibly in the form of oxytocin, involved in the motivation of feeding. I also conclude that operant conditioning could be a fruitful method to measure and quantify feed preference of dairy cows. However, the results only reflect the preference of the individual animal, and a complete mapping according to side preference must be done of each individual included in the experiment. The practical implication of these studies is to provide all cows with sufficiently long eating time, preferably by constant access to roughage.

Authors/Creators:Lindström, Tina
Title:Feeding behaviour in dairy cows
Subtitle:motivational aspects
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria
Year of publishing :January 2000
Number of Pages:34
ALLI. Lindström, T., & Redbo, I. 2000. Effect of feeding duration and rumen fill on behaviour in dairy cows. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 70 II. Lindström, T., Redbo, I. & Uvnäs-Moberg, K. 2000. Plasma oxytocin and cortisol concentrations in dairy cows in relation to feeding duration and rumen fill. Physiology and Behavior. In press. III. Lindström, T., Redbo, I. & Dockens III, W. S. 2000. Individual differences in cows’ motivation to obtain a specific feed resource. Submitted to Journal of Animal Science. IV. Lindström, T., Redbo, I. & Dockens III, W. S. 2000. Measuring feed preferences in cows by operant conditioning. Submitted to Applied Animal Behaviour Science. (2), 83-97.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:91-576-5761-0
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L01 Animal husbandry
L Animal production > L02 Animal feeding
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:dairy cows, animal feeding, animal welfare, feeding preferences, motivation, oxytocin, glucocorticoids
Keywords:Feeding, behaviour, stereotypies, motivation, dairy cows, oxytocin, cortisol, operant conditioning
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ID Code:19
Department:(VH) > Institutionen för husdjurens utfodring och vård
Deposited By: Staff Epsilon
Deposited On:26 Apr 2002 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:01

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