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Seasonal Variation of the Dairy Cattle Behavioral Indexes Using Different Scan Sampling Frequency in Free-Stall Housing

Selda Uzal Seyfi
Selcuk University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Farm Structures and Irrigation, Konya 42079, Turkey
Abstract— Behavioral indexes are used as an indication of animal welfare. This study was performed to select the scan sampling frequency (SSF) that bests characterizes daily behavioral activity of dairy cows in free-stall housing (FHS) in Konya (Turkey) by season and to determine seasonal variation of this indexes at different SSF. The dairy cattle behaviors were observed in FHS at a commercial dairy farm from November 2007 to March 2009 using continuous video data (24 h/d). The cow behaviors in the barn were videotaped for a total of 24d (576 h) over 4 seasons using a different SSF. Temperature, humidity and temperature humidity index (THI) was calculated on an hourly basis. The values of the cow comfort index (CCI), cow stress index (CSI), and stall usage index (SUI) were calculated based on SSF of 10, 20, 30, 60, and 120-min. The results show that behavior indexes of dairy cows can be accurately evaluated by analyzing video recordings taken using 60-min SSF (highly correlated with 10, 20, and 30-min scan samples; r>0.89, P<0.01 for autumn, spring, and summer). Consequently, the determined method provides saving time, labor and an easy to accurately analyze dairy cattle behavior instead of continuous observations requiring long times.

Index Terms— Cow behavior, cow comfort index, cow stress index, dairy housing, free-stall use index

Cite: Selda Uzal Seyfi, "Seasonal Variation of the Dairy Cattle Behavioral Indexes Using Different Scan Sampling Frequency in Free-Stall Housing," Journal of Medical and Bioengineering, Vol. 4, No. 5, pp. 399-406, October 2015. Doi: 10.12720/jomb.4.5.399-406
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