Learn More
The objective was to understand how the amount of shade (shade cloth blocking 99% of solar radiation) influenced the behavior and physiology of Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle managed on pasture. We compared behavior, body temperature, and respiration rate of cattle provided with 1 of 3 treatments for 5 d: access to 2.4m(2) or 9.6m(2) shade/cow, or no shade(More)
The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of calving body condition score (BCS) on cow health during the transition period in a pasture-based dairying system. Feed inputs were managed during the second half of the previous lactation so that BCS differed at drying off (BCS 5.0, 4.0, and 3.0 for high, medium, and low treatments, respectively:(More)
Cattle will readily use shade in warm weather, but less is known about voluntary use of sprinklers. We examined preferences of 96 Holstein-Friesian dairy cows (milk yield: 12.7±3.48 kg per day; mean±SD) for sprinklers, shade, or ambient conditions after walking 2.0 km or 0.3 km before afternoon milking (n=48 cows/distance). Each cow was individually tested(More)
Body condition score (BCS) around calving, and the typical BCS loss for up to 100 d after parturition, is associated with both production and reproductive performance of dairy cattle. In addition, there is public concern that thin cows may have impaired welfare, particularly in early lactation where feed demand exceeds pasture growth, and a lag exists(More)
Water is commonly used to cool cattle in summer either at milking or over the feed bunk, but little research has examined how dairy cows voluntarily use water separate from these locations. The objectives were to describe how and when dairy cattle voluntarily used an overhead water source separate from other resources, such as feed, and how use of this(More)
Shade reduces the negative effects of heat load, but little is known about how much is required for efficient cooling in commercial settings. The effect of the amount of shade on 8 Holstein-Friesian herds was studied for 2 consecutive summers (mean temperature: 23 °C) on 6 commercial, pasture-based dairy farms. Farms varied in the amount of natural shade(More)
Dairy cattle managed in some pasture-based systems such as in New Zealand are predominantly kept outdoors all year around, but are often taken off pasture for periods of time in wet weather to avoid soil damage. It is common to keep cattle on concrete surfaces during such "stand-off" practices and we investigated whether the addition of rubber matting onto(More)
Dairy cattle managed in some pasture-based systems, such as in New Zealand, are predominantly kept outdoors all year around but are taken off pasture for periods, especially in wet weather to avoid soil damage. The use of rubber matting for such stand-off practices is becoming more common to improve animal welfare, and our objective was to investigate the(More)
The New Zealand dairy industry needs to meet public expectations regarding animal welfare in order to retain the freedom to operate and achieve market success. Three key orientations towards animal welfare assessment have been identified, namely biological functioning, affective state and natural living, the last two of which are more recent foci for(More)
The nature of human-animal interactions is an important factor contributing to animal welfare and productivity. Reducing stress during routine husbandry procedures is likely to improve animal welfare. We examined how the type of early handling of calves affected responses to two common husbandry procedures, ear-tagging and disbudding. Forty(More)