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Battersby, Emelie, 2016. The behaviour and movement of dairy calves in low light intensities. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management

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Abstract

According to the Swedish welfare act, cattle stables must have inlet of natural light and artificial light that do not disturb the animals’ natural behaviour and diurnal rhythm, dairy cows should also be provided with light at night. However, there are no specific recommendations on light programs for calves.
In this study, the behaviour and movement of 12 female dairy calves were assessed in four different light intensities (225 lx, 5 lx and 0.5 lx in white light and 0.5 lx in red coloured light) during two weeks. The experiment had a changeover design with three calves allocated to four groups. The calves within one group followed the same test order but were individually tested. On average, the calves were 11.5 weeks of age and 3.5 weeks after weaning.
The response was evaluated by first enticing the calves to pass through an obstacle course where time in the obstacle course, number of steps and number of contacts were measured, and secondly by a novel object test were six different behaviours, time until first contact, number of contacts and mean length of contacts were recorded.
In the obstacle course the calves took significantly (p<0.05) more steps in 0.5 lx red light compared to 5 lx. In the novel object test, the calves moved the novel object significantly more in 225 lx compared to 5 lx (p<0.01) and 0.5 lx red light (p<0.05) and significantly less in 5 lx compared to 0.5 lx white light (p<0.05). The results also showed a tendency that the calves moved the novel object more when they were tested in their third or fourth treatment.
In conclusion, only few significant effects were found between the treatments. This suggests that calves can cope with intensities down to 0.5 lx without large significant effects on their behaviour or movement. There were no significant diffences in willingness to pass the course or on the behaviour in the NOT between white light and red coloured light in 0.5 lx.

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Enligt svensk djurskyddslag måste all nötkreatur ha tillgång till naturligt ljus samt artificiellt ljus som inte stör djurens naturliga beteende eller dygnsrytm. Mjölkkor ska dessutom ha nattbelysning. Det finns dock inte beskrivet något om kalvars ljusbehov och lagstiftningen saknar för närvarande specifika rekommendationer om ljusprogram till kalvar.
I denna studie undersöktes beteende och rörelsemönster hos 12 kvigkalvar av mjölkras i 4 olika ljusintensiteter (225 lx, 5 lx, 0,5 lx i vitt ljus och 0,5 lx i rött ljus) under två veckors tid. Försöket följde en change-over design med fyra grupper och tre kalvar i varje grupp Kalvarna inom samma grupp följde samma testordning men testades individuellt. Kalvarna var i medel 11,5 veckor gamla och avvanda sedan 3,5 veckor.
Kalvarna utvärderades genom två tester. I det första testet fick de gå igenom en hinderbana där antal steg, tid och antal kontakter mättes. Därefter fick de genomgå ett så kallat novel object test (NOT), där 6 olika beteenden, tid till första kontakt, antal kontakter och medellängden av kontakterna studerades.
I hinderbanan tog kalvarna signifikant fler steg (p<0,05) i 0,5 lx rött ljus jämfört med 5 lx. I novel object testet flyttade kalvarna objektet signifikant fler gånger i 225 lx jämfört med 5 lx (p<0,01) och 0,5 lx rött ljus (p<0,05) samt signifikant färre gånger i 5 lx jämfört med 0,5 lx vitt ljus (p<0,05). Resultaten visar även en tendens till att kalvarna flyttade objektet mer i sin tredje eller fjärde behandling.
Som slutsats pekar dock resultaten på att kalvarna inte visar nämnvärda förändringar i varken beteende eller rörelser av ljusintensiteter ner till 0,5 lx. Inga signifikanta skillnader i beteende eller rörelser kunde påvisas mellan rött och vitt ljus i 0,5 lx.

Main title:The behaviour and movement of dairy calves in low light intensities
Authors:Battersby, Emelie
Supervisor:Ternman, Emma
Examiner:Holtenius, Kjell
Series:Examensarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens utfodring och vård
Volume/Sequential designation:554
Year of Publication:2016
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:VY001 Agricultural Science Programme - Animal Science 270 HEC
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management
Keywords:light intensity, calves, behaviour, locomotion
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-5327
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-5327
Subjects:Animal husbandry
Language:English
Deposited On:03 May 2016 12:51
Metadata Last Modified:03 May 2016 12:51

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