Flooring and driving conditions during road transport influence the behavioural expression of cattle

C.A. Stockman, T. Collins, A.L. Barnes, D.W. Miller, S.L. Wickham, D.T. Beatty, Dominique Blache, F. Wemelsfelder, P.A. Fleming

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study examined whether observers could distinguish between cattle that were exposed to various road transport conditions: Experiment 1 compared a manipulated flooring treatment (non-grip flooring, NG) with a control transport event (grip flooring, G) and Experiment 2 compared a manipulated driving style (stop-start driving, SS) with a control transport event of smooth, continuous (C) driving. The behavioural expression of cattle was assessed through the process of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA), and these assessments were tested for correlation with various physiological parameters. Fourteen Angus steers were assessed. Blood samples were collected immediately before and after transport, and heart rate and core body temperature were measured continuously throughout each transport event. Continuous video footage recorded during each transport event was edited to isolate short clips of individual animals which were randomly ordered and shown to observers for QBA and analysis by Generalised Procrustes Analysis (GPA) which identifies common dimensions of behavioural expression. There was significant consensus amongst 39 observers in their assessment of behavioural expression of the cattle (P
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18-30
    JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
    Volume143
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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