2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

Impact of Environmental Enrichment on Calf Behavior at Weaning


Olivia R. Noack
Dr. Jessica D. Colpoys, Faculty Mentor

Environmental enrichment can help reduce animal stress, so may help reduce weaning stress in calves.  The objective of this study was to determine how enrichment impacts calf behavior at weaning and what type of enrichment calves use the most. Two groups were formed: 11 enrichment treatment calves and 11 control calves with no access to enrichment.  After weaning, calves within the enrichment treatment were given two scratching posts, a rope with molasses or lavender essential oil, and a yoga ball or jolly ball. Video was recorded for 7 days after weaning and behavior was recorded using instantaneous scan sampling every 10 minutes from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Calves with enrichment were observed eating and standing/walking more than control calves (P<0.05). Within the enrichment group, calves spent more time interacting with the scratching post than the rope or ball (P<0.05).

 

Keywords: Cattle, Environmental enrichment, Weaning

Topic(s):Agricultural Science

Presentation Type: Asynchronous Virtual Presentation

Session: 3-13
Location: https://flipgrid.com/d54e4a1e
Time: 0:00

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