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Petersson, Linda (2006) Tillsyn av djur på bete. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

During natural conditions cattle live in large herds, which are divided into subgroups of 10-15 animals. Humans have held cattle for over 9000 years. Today we mostly have cows for milk and meat production during more or less intensive forms. Most of the Swedish cattle have the opportunity to graze during the summer time. This partly arises from the Swedish Animal Protection law which stipulates that cattle must have the option to be outside and graze, also partly because it makes it easier for the farmer. During this period the animals has to have sufficient supervision everyday. This is to ensure that the cattle don't have any injuries. The supervision can take a long time if the farmer is unable to locate all of his/her cattle, for instance if they would escape. Most people agree that if we should rear animals then we should also protect them from unnecessary suffering, which makes good supervision a necessary requirement. Many studies have shown that cows can differentiate between people that treat them kind and gentle and those that are aversive towards them. It has also been shown that animals which have been treated in a kinder manner are easier to handle and produce more. With different learning techniques you can teach cows to do different tasks for a reinforcement. The aim of this study was to see if it is possible to make the supervision more efficient. This was tested using four different treatment methods. These were regular supervision with reinforcement (RF), regular supervision (R), irregular supervision with reinforcement (OF) and irregular supervision (O). The regular supervision was made at the same time every day, while the irregular was made at different times. The reinforcement consisted of concentrate. Eight groups of cows, mostly heifers, were tested for five days for each treatment. All groups were tested with all treatments in a balanced order. The animals behaviour, if they came or not and the time it took until they were within ten meters from the observer, was registred. The results showed that the supervision was quicker when concentrate was implemented (4.16 ± 0.58 min) compared to when no concentrate was given (7.62 ± 0.58 min) (p<0.001). When the time was registered from the time when the first animal was seen until the last animal was within ten meters from the observer there were significant differences between the treatments RF and R, RF and O, OF and R (p<0.001) and between OF and O (p<0.002). If the time instead was registered from start until the last animal was within ten meter from the observer we didn't see any differences between OF and O (p<0.075), all the other results were the same as above. A comparison of how many animals that came towards the observer showed that more animals came if concentrate was brought. A learning effect over the five days that the test was done was seen for RF treatment (p=0.005), but we could see a tendency to significance even for OF (p=0.063). Supervision of small groups were faster than for large groups (p=0.003). These results show that the supervision becomes faster if you bring concentrate, and you also obtain a better learning effect. In this way you may be able to make the supervision of grazing animals more efficient. To have an efficent supervision can be a profit for both the animals and for the farmer, as a better welfare.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: nöt, nötkreatur, träna, bete, lockgiva, tider
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Animal Enviroment and Health
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Depositing User: Gunilla Jacobsson
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2006
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:42
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/1119

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