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      Behavioural and physiological responses of individually housed dairy calves to change in milk feeding frequency at different ages

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          This study aimed to use a range of non-invasive monitoring technologies to investigate the behavioural and physiological responses of individually housed dairy calves to age at change in milk replacer (MR) feeding frequency. Forty-eight Holstein Friesian calves were individually penned and fed MR (625 g/d) as solids in one of three feeding regimes: (i) once-a-day feeding commencing at age 14 d (OAD14), (ii) once-a-day feeding commencing at age 28 d (OAD28) and (iii) twice-a-day feeding (TAD). Several behavioural (automatic activity sensors), physiological (infrared [IR] thermography and heart rate variability [HRV]) and haematological indicators were used to examine calf responses. Reduction in milk feeding frequency at 14 or 28 d of age increased daily concentrate intakes and drinking water consumption throughout the pre-wean period. Calf lying behaviour was unaffected by reduction in milk feeding frequency; however, TAD calves recorded a significant decrease in total daily lying time during the post-wean period compared with OAD28s. There was no effect of treatment on IR eye or rectal temperature throughout the experiment; however, there was an effect of age, with IR temperature decreasing as calf age increased. OAD14 calves tended to have decreased HRV at days 14 and 16, which is suggestive of an increased stress load. The findings suggest that under high levels of animal husbandry and whilst maintaining the same amount of milk powder/d (625 g/d), reduction in milk feeding frequency from twice to once daily at 28 d can occur without significant impact to behavioural, performance and physiological parameters assessed here.

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          Most cited references 57

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          Current research on acute phase proteins in veterinary diagnosis: an overview.

          The acute phase proteins (APP) are a group of blood proteins that contribute to restoring homeostasis and limiting microbial growth in an antibody-independent manner in animals subjected to infection, inflammation, surgical trauma or stress. In the last two decades, many advances have been made in monitoring APP in both farm and companion animals for clinical and experimental purposes. Also, the mechanism of the APP response is receiving attention in veterinary science in connection with the innate immune systems of animals. This review describes the results of recent research on animal APP, with special reference to their induction and regulatory mechanisms, their biological functions, and their current and future applications to veterinary diagnosis and animal production.
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             M Allen (1996)
            Voluntary dry matter intake (VDMI) of forages by ruminants may be limited by distention resulting from restricted flow of digesta through the gastrointestinal tract. An animal's capacity for fill depends on the weight and volume of digesta that causes distention and the flow rate of digesta from the organ in which distention occurs. The reticulorumen is generally regarded as the site in the gastrointestinal tract for which distention limits VDMI with high-fill diets, although evidence suggests that distention of the abomasum may also limit VDMI. Linear decreases in VDMI have been noted with increasing amounts of inert fill inserted into the reticulorumen, but results have not been consistent across several experiments. Reduction in VDMI depends on the extent to which intake is limited by fill before insertion of inert fill; hence animals with high energy requirements consuming relatively low-energy, high-fill diets are affected to the greatest extent. Because NDF generally ferments and passes from the reticulorumen more slowly than other dietary constituents, it has a greater filling effect over time than non-fibrous feed components and has been found to be the best single chemical predictor of VDMI. However, many other factors affect fill, including particle size, chewing frequency and effectiveness, particle fragility, indigestible NDF fraction, rate of fermentation of the potentially digestible NDF, and characteristics of reticular contractions. These factors are only partially accounted for in models that have been developed to predict VDMI. Increased accuracy of prediction of VDMI is expected as models continue to evolve.
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              ARTiiFACT: a tool for heart rate artifact processing and heart rate variability analysis.

              The importance of appropriate handling of artifacts in interbeat interval (IBI) data must not be underestimated. Even a single artifact may cause unreliable heart rate variability (HRV) results. Thus, a robust artifact detection algorithm and the option for manual intervention by the researcher form key components for confident HRV analysis. Here, we present ARTiiFACT, a software tool for processing electrocardiogram and IBI data. Both automated and manual artifact detection and correction are available in a graphical user interface. In addition, ARTiiFACT includes time- and frequency-based HRV analyses and descriptive statistics, thus offering the basic tools for HRV analysis. Notably, all program steps can be executed separately and allow for data export, thus offering high flexibility and interoperability with a whole range of applications.

                Author and article information

                Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                30 November 2020
                1Sustainable Livestock Systems, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Hillsborough, Co. Down BT26 6DR, Northern Ireland, UK
                2School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland, UK
                3Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Newforge Lane, Belfast BT9 5PX, Northern Ireland, UK
                Author notes
                †Corresponding author: G. Scoley, E-mail: Gillian.Scoley@
                Copyright © 2020 Scoley, Ashfield, Oiartzun, Gordon, and Morrison

                This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IE.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 7, References: 57, Pages: 15
                Original Study


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