Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
https://jabbnet.com/article/doi/10.14269/2318-1265/jabb.v3n4p107-115
Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Research Article Open Access

Frequency of free-stall occupancy by dairy cows

Daiane Cecchin, Alessandro Torres Campos, Tadayuki Yanagi Junior, Maria de Fátima Ávila Pires, Dian Lourençoni, Francine Aparecida Sousa, Diego Cecchin

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Abstract

The objective of the present study was to evaluate the behavior of dairy cows confined in free-stall systems. Eighteen Holstein cows were evaluated in this research. The following frequencies were evaluated at 10-min intervals: stall occupancy, corridor occupancy, feeding, moving and being milked. The free-stalls were covered with rubber mattresses. Thermal variables such as dry bulb temperature, humid bulb temperature, black globe temperature and air velocity were recorded hourly. The data collections were made for 13 days in May, during autumn. Dynamics of social hierarchy was observed for 18 animals. The animals preferred to occupy the stalls located in quadrant 1, between the north and east axis, where there was less movement of people, tractors and vehicles. The cows occupied the free-stalls during the early morning and feeding occupancy was higher during the morning. Higher temperatures in the afternoon caused the longer occupation of the corridors by the cows during this period. Some dairy cows housed in a free-stall barn expressed dominant and/or hierarchical behaviors.

Keywords

behavior, occupancy rate, rubber mattress

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Submitted date:
08/19/2015

Reviewed date:
09/22/2015

Accepted date:
09/28/2015

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