Fri utfodring av halm som strategi för att förhindra stereotypier hos uppbundna kvigor

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management

Abstract: At present indoor tethering of dairy cows is still common but is not predicted to take part of modern dairy production. When conducting scientific studies of cattle it is generally necessary to tether the animals to maintain a controlled environment. Studies confirm that tethering and confinements of cattle severely affects the development of stereotypies in cattle. The feeding regime and feeding level have an immense affect on the stereotypi level in cattle. The aim of this experiment was to study dairy heifers that had never been tethered before the start of the experiment, to evaluate the affect of tethering on the development of stereotypies and the impact of the feeding regime on the behavior of the animals. Sixteen dairy heifers were tethered in a tie stall and divided in two groups with different treatments. Heifers in treatment E were fed restrictedly with silage and treatment EH was fed with the same amount of silage but also straw ad libitum. The behavior of the animals was studied in one-minute intervals, twice a week for eight hours a day, for five weeks. The variables used were "standing", "lying","ruminating", "stereotypies", "licking salt", "social", "eating", "drinking", "urinating","excremented faeces" and "abnormal behavioral". The results show that all the heifers were affected of the tethering. They all changed their standing and lying behavior as the study proceeded and there was a significant difference between the treatments. The heifers in treatment EH ate and ruminated more than the heifers in treatment E. The animals in treatment E were restless which could be shown by a disturbed behavior, a search for feed and an extreme interest of licking salt. The heifers in treatment EH showed some disturbed behavior but with a very low frequency. The conclusions that can be drawn from this study are that the developments of stereotypies in heifers are negatively affected by tethering and straw ad libitum can act preventable.

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