Time budgets of lactating dairy cattle in commercial freestall herds

A Gomez, N B Cook
Journal of Dairy Science 2010, 93 (12): 5772-81
The aim of this study was to examine the time budgets of 205 lactating dairy cows housed in 16 freestall barns in Wisconsin and to determine the relationships between components of the time budget and herd- and cow-level fixed effects using mixed models. Using continuous video surveillance, time lying in the stall, time standing in the stall, time standing in the alleys (including drinking), time feeding, and time milking (time out of the pen for milking and transit) during a 24-h period were measured for each cow. In addition, the number of lying bouts and the mean duration of each lying bout per 24-h period were determined. Time milking varied between cows from 0.5 to 6.0 h/d, with a mean ± standard deviation of 2.7 ± 1.1h/d. Time milking was influenced significantly by pen stocking density, and time milking negatively affected time feeding, time lying, and time in the alley, but not time standing in the stall. Locomotion score, either directly or through an interaction with stall base type (a rubber crumb-filled mattress, MAT, or sand bedding, SAND), influenced pen activity. Lame cows spent less time feeding, less time in the alleys, and more time standing in the stalls in MAT herds, but not in SAND herds. The effect of lameness on lying time is complex and dependent on the time available for rest and differences in resting behavior observed between cows in MAT and SAND herds. In MAT herds, rest was characterized by a larger number of lying bouts of shorter duration than in SAND herds (mean = 14.4; confidence interval, CI: 12.4 to 16.5 vs. mean = 10.2; CI: 8.2 to 12.2 bouts per d, and mean = 1.0; CI: 0.9 to 1.1 vs. mean = 1.3, CI: 1.2 to 1.4h bout duration for MAT and SAND herds, respectively). Lameness was associated with an increase in time standing in the stall and a reduction in the mean (CI) number of lying bouts per day from 13.2 (CI: 12.3 to 14.1) bouts/d for nonlame cows to 10.9 (CI: 9.30 to 12.8) bouts/d for moderately lame cows, and an overall reduction in lying time in MAT herds compared with SAND herds (11.5; CI: 10.0 to 13.0 vs. 12.7; CI: 11.0 to 14.3h/d, respectively). These results show that time out of the pen milking, stall base type, and lameness significantly affect time budgets of cows housed in freestall facilities.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"