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Barrier A.C.,Animal Behaviour and Welfare Animal and Veterinary science Research Group | Haskell M.J.,Animal Behaviour and Welfare Animal and Veterinary science Research Group | Macrae A.I.,Roslin Institute | Dwyer C.M.,Animal Behaviour and Welfare Animal and Veterinary science Research Group
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2012

The welfare of dairy cows and their calves is compromised following a difficult calving. A better understanding of what happens during a difficult calving is needed to help prevent and alleviate adverse consequences through early diagnosis and/or pain mitigation. The objectives of this study were to investigate the calving progress and parturition behaviours (with emphasis on potential pain indicators) in cows during normal or difficult calvings, and to describe human intervention in dystocial cows.The following video footage of calvings leading to singleton liveborn calves was used: 12 FN (farmer assisted no calf malpresentation) and 7 FM (farmer assisted with calf malpresentation), each paired to a non-assisted calving (N). Three observation periods relative to full expulsion of the calf (A: -6. h to -5:30. h; B: -4. h to -3. h; C: -2. h to birth) were observed continuously for 38 calvings.Duration from appearance of calves' feet until birth did not differ between scores of difficulty (median time in min; N: 54.7; FN: 101.3; FM: 194.0; P>0.05) but there was large individual variability. As early as period B, FN and FM cows displayed more contractions than N cows and this was also the case for FN cows in period C but not for FM cows (P<0.05). FN cows were also more restless (counts of postural transitions) than N cows during periods B and C (P<0.05). Overall, FM cows raised their tail for longer (in % of observation time; N: 33.7 ± 4.2; FN: 42.7 ± 5.1; FM: 54.0 ± 7.0; P<0.05) compared to N cows, and FN cows tended to lie down for longer (P<0.10). There was no effect of calving difficulty on self-grooming, ingestive, lying to standing transitions, exploratory (lick ground and sniffing) or " irritation" behaviours (stamping, tail switching, rubbing, turning head back). The median duration of intervention in dystocial cows varied greatly among animals (median time: 4.7. min; range: 30. s to 35. min) and thresholds were in line with current recommendations.Dystocial cows were in later stages of labour for longer and expressed some of the behaviours differently over the course of parturition. These may relate to different pain levels when dystocia occurs and could also be used in the early detection of calving difficulty. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source


Rutherford K.M.D.,Animal Behaviour and Welfare Animal and Veterinary science Research Group | Donald R.D.,Animal Behaviour and Welfare Animal and Veterinary science Research Group | Lawrence A.B.,Animal Behaviour and Welfare Animal and Veterinary science Research Group | Wemelsfelder F.,Animal Behaviour and Welfare Animal and Veterinary science Research Group
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2012

Scientific assessment of affective states in animals is challenging but vital for animal welfare studies. One possible approach is Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA), a 'whole animal' methodology which integrates information from multiple behavioural signals and styles of behavioural expression (body language) directly in terms of an animal's emotional expression. If QBA provides a valid measure of animals' emotional state it should distinguish between groups where emotional states have been manipulated. To test this hypothesis, QBA was applied to video-recordings of pigs, following treatment with either saline or the neuroleptic drug Azaperone, in either an open field or elevated plus-maze test. QBA analysis of these recordings was provided by 12 observers, blind to treatment, using a Free Choice Profiling (FCP) methodology. Generalised Procrustes Analysis was used to calculate a consensus profile, consisting of the main dimensions of expression. Dimension one was positively associated with terms such as 'Confident' and 'Curious' and negatively with 'Unsure' and 'Nervous'. Dimension two ranged from 'Agitated'/'Angry' to 'Calm'/'Relaxed'. In both tests, Azaperone pre-treatment was associated with a more positive emotionality (higher scores on dimension one reflecting a more confident/curious behavioural demeanour) than control pigs. No effect of drug treatment on dimension two was found. Relationships between qualitative descriptions of behaviour and quantitative behavioural measures, taken from the same recordings, were found. Overall, this work supports the use of QBA for the assessment of emotionality in animals. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

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