Animal production lectures 6 & 7
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. What would you like to do?
Where do most fatalities that occur with cattle happen?
In enclosed areas (33%)
What are 3 huge factors to take into consideration before working with cattle
- They are herd species and isolation causes stress
- They are quick to determine if they are the focus of your attention like many other species do
- It is your behaviour that influences their behaviour
What are your 3 broad categories of factors influencing cattle movement and behaviour, elaborate on each.
- People - how many, where, when and how they move, noise, what tools and how they use them
- Cattle - Genetics temperament and experience
- Facilities - layout and design equipment lighting and noise
Where is a cows blind spot?
Directly behind her
What does the point of balance represent
- Usually found jutting out perpendicularly at shoulder point
- Is point where cow determines if you are behind her or infront of her, so if you are behind she walks forward, if you are infront she walks backwards
Why are many cattle handling facilities curved? WHy should S curves be avoided?
- Because cattle have natural circling behaviour and tend to want to see whats around the corner, this tends to keep them moving
- Because you want your workers on the platforms to be on the inside of the circle so that the animal isn't having to look back to watch the worker if they have to look back then they stop, the problem with the S is for half the chute the handler is on the inside and for the other half he is on the outside of the curve thus balking the cattle
What are cattle and sheep vision like (in degrees)
What are cattles fovea designed to detect? How does this affect how they move? Do they have a lot of binocular vision?
- They balk at things that they just catch so a moving shadow makes them stop because they seen it clearly and are not sure whats going on
- No not a tone, that's more of a predator thing
As humans it is hard to perceive the world like another animal would, What is most of our sensory brain dedicated too? Is this the case with all animals?
What colours do cattle see best? Why is this slightly strange?
- Orange and reds
- Because they eat grass you think they would see green?
While applying pressure to get cattle to move such as voice or tail twists What should you do as soon as they actually move?
Remove the pressure!
Where are the majority of procedures done on an animal, while they are where?
In a headgate
Why should you never let a cow that is struggling or fighting loose? (2) Can it go the opposite way?
- First off its probably dangerous
- Second off it can reward them for a negative behaviour and they can become more likely to do this
- No unfortunately training a cow that doing nothing will get you released just seems to cognitively complex for them
We blindfold many other species while doing procedures, does blindfolding help cattle to calm down?
It appears it does but we still don't do it
Does noise such as backround noise or talking effect cattle stress? How can we see it?
- Yes it does
- INcreased heart rate
What sounds seem to stress cattle out the most? Humans or clanging
Humans by far, we make these guys scared shitless
Where around the head gate is the most dangerous space?
In the envelope of space that the cow can reach with its head, which is much more wide than you would think
Is standing at the back of a cow and slapping it the best way to move it
It can work but best is to walk by it quickly going to its back
Are electric prods recommended for moving cattle?
Not always but there are certain circumstances where it is effective
What is the right tool for moving vattle?
Depends on the circumstances
What part of your body do you always keep out of the cows head envelope?
Your face if you like it
Why are bottle raised male sso dangerous?
They imprint on people and see them as competition in the future
What are some factors effecting the willingness of an animal (lets say a bull) to fight you (7)
- Previous experience (like in the last 10-15 minutes)
- Gender (not as much as you would think)
- Stress (noise, movement)
- Isolation (stresses out, has not herd to retreat too)
- Taunting cues (on purpose or not)
- Pain induced aggression
Does tone fo your voice actually have an effect on what the cow thinks your doing and the stress response it causes?
No its pure loudness, they cannot discern out tones
Why do sheep guard dogs get a different response to the sheep herding dogs?
Because herding dogs scare with their eyes, they follow hone in and focus, guard dogs don't focus and don't track movements they are just there.
So is it the predator an animal is scared of? Give an example
- No it is the intentions of the predator not so much the presence
- Lions walking around zebras and buffalo on the plains of Africa no problem but when they hone in then all hell breaks lose
What is the best way to get close to animal?
Walk straight towards them, when they move to get out of your way just keep walking forwards they will not run too far, if you follow them then they are being persued and will be gone
Are dogs good for the stress level of the cattle? Can they be dangerous?
- Yes they can escalate situations and get cattle in the habit of kicking
- A stick to a cow that has been trained to kick at dogs can be a lot like a dog biting so when they feel that stick they may very well give a good kick, this can be dangerous if cows get into the habit of kicking
As animals get tamer what happens to the flight zone?
Shrinks smaller and smaller
How is fovea of a cow shaped as compared to a humans
Their fovea is in a bar rather than a cluster so it has less definition
While humans are visual creatures cows are?
Oflactory creatures so don't spook their vision its not that good
While humans are trichromatic cows are?
Weaning is always marked by what conflict?
Parent offspring no matter how late it lasted, the young wants free resources the mother wants to focus on next offspring
Give 7 general potential stressors for weaning?
- Age at weaning often younger than natural age
- New social environment
- physical separation
- Premature end of lactation
- New location
- New diet
What is the single greatest stressor we impose on livestock?
Weaning early can result in what?
Abnormal behaviour sushc as belly nosing, cross suckling, fearfulness, aggression
Weaning not only causes behavioural changes but can also?
Cause physiological stresses and changes, such as immune compromisation growth stunting etc
Can preconditioned weaning help survivability at feedlot?
Yeah a lot its has ability to increase productivity greatly
Is there a magic stress free age of weaning? How do we know this?
NO they are always going to be stressful, because in natural setting heifers naturally weaned at 8 months bulls at 11 months because bull needs more before he can compete with other males so it just depends on when the parent young conflict is powered the other way and the mother kicks thwem off, whenever milk production drops to the lowest
What is a disadvantage to preconfitioning calves for weaning? Advantage?
- Improves feedlot profibility but not for farmer so much he has to pay for it
- Weaning calves on ranch before transporting to feedlot results in improved health and performance fduring the receiving and feeding period
So preconditioning seems like such an obvious and right thing to do why is it not being done and what is this an example of? Whats another example we are seeing of this?
- Because no profibility for farmer to do it, example of profitibaility and market splits causing decrease in animal welfare
- Producers not vaccinating calves for respiratory disease at all because passive immunity on farm them its the feedlots problem
The new social environment and abscene of adults is a stressor, Which part is the bigger stressor?
The new environment, the lack of adults isn't such a big deal and trainer cows don't help and infact can hurt the situation by being overly dominant and eating all the feed so adults are not needed
What is the bigger stressor on piglets being weaned, mixing with other piglets or moving to the nursery
By far moving to the nursery, in fact new piglets hardly makes a difference
While we know trainer cows are not particularly affective what about being weaned in the presence of familiar adults?
- split herd weaning just straight up does not seem to work, it has no real affect as compared to traditional weaning
- Still have same decrease in good behaviours and increase in stress behaviours
Name the 5 different types of weaning we talked about in class
- Split herd
- Fence line
- 2 stage weaning
What is split herd weaning as compared to fence line weaning?
- Split herd is when the herd is split and calves of one group goes to cows of the other half, essentially swap calves so can be in with familiar herd mates
- Fence line weaning involves putting calves on one side of the fence and cows on the other so there is still contact and can see eachother but are weaned cause physically seperated
What species is fence line weaning the industry standard?
Describe interval weaning? Does it work?
- Gradual removal of adults from the herd
- Sciebntific evidence is weak, probably just less animals being weaned at once and so sounds better at the farm house
Are the results for fence line weaning promising?
Very promising, reduce vocalizations tremendously in weaned cattle
Fence line weaning increases what and decreases what? (as compared to traditional weaning)
- increases - lying, probably ruminating
- Reduces - calling, walking
Does weaning stress have to do with calves missing mother or milk?
Seems to be equally both.... but when combined are found to be synergistic
Describe 2 stage weaning?
When you take away the milk but leave the mother so that the calf can lose the milk first, which isn't a big big deal because is already eating grass, then by losing the milk it loses the bond to the mom and then the separation is less stressful cause cares less
experimentally how can you measure walking?
With a pedometer
do we see an increase in performance from 2 stage weaning?
List types of weaning from worst to best
- Worst - abrupt traditional
- Better - fencline weaning on pasture
- Best - 2 stage weaning
Are we able to wean stress free at young ages? What does this prove?
- Yes stress free at 30 days
- Age has little to do with stress from weaning
Give a good example of the stress of weaning and its extent
Branding hardly has any behavioural effects on the animal the next day, weaning effects behaviour for 3-5 days
When weaned animals are separated by miles what do we see the animals doing? What about when separated by a fence? What type of weaning does this illustrate?
- Searching walking calling trying to find, they get out of the fence? They walk forever looking for mom, it is a big enough stressor to get them to leavie the herd
- By the fence they rest next to the fence by the mother then graze farther away from fence, no energy wasted pasing and calling cause mom is right there.....
- Fence line weaning
What would you like to do?
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