What Does It Mean When Cows Lay Down?

When cows lay down is it going to rain?

Is it true that cows lie down when it’s about to rain? According to a recent survey by the UK Met Office, over 60 per cent of the British public believe that cows lying down is a sure sign of rain. Perhaps the most common theory is that cows are able to sense the approaching rain, either through the increased moisture in the air or the accompanying drop in air pressure, and lie down to keep a patch of dry grass for grazing. In truth, however, there is no scientific evidence for this piece of weather folklore. The most likely explanation for any correlation between cows’ behaviour and the weather is probably simple coincidence – cows spend up to half of their time lying down, either to rest or to chew their cud, so there’s a 50:50 chance that they’ll be lying down at any given moment, come rain or shine.

Do cows lay down when they are sick?

The early signs of sickness are often subtle, requiring skill and experience to recognise them – such cows may simply ‘look different’. Shallow rumens, sweet-smelling breath, high temperatures and evidence of pain or discomfort are clear indicators and sick cows may often withdraw from the group and lie in a stall.

Do healthy cows lay down?

Are Your Cows Getting Enough Sleep Each Night? Rest, along with sleep, is important not only for us, but also dairy cows. Dairy cows place a priority on this activity over others, such as feeding times. When cows get an inadequate amount of rest, performance and animal welfare can be negatively impacted.

Cows spend an average of 10 to 12 hours daily lying down in tiestalls and freestalls. On bedded packs or pasture, lying time is reduced to an average of 9 hours daily. The majority of lying time occurs overnight. A large variation exists in lying times for individual cows with a range of 6 to 16 hours daily. Cows average 9 to 11 lying bouts per day with the average bout lasting 60 to 99 minutes. When time budgets are disturbed, cows will prioritize their available time to lie down over time spent feeding. When stocking density is above 1.2 (overstocked by 20%), lying times are reduced. Lying environment impacts lying times. Lying times are shortest on bare concrete and increase with addition of bedding in both tiestalls and freestalls. In tiestalls, lying times were increased by 3 min/day for each 2 lbs of wood shavings added to the stalls. Lying times were 0.8 hrs/day higher in herds using deep bedding versus those not deep bedded (includes mats, mattresses etc.). Cows avoid wet bedding in stalls and if forced to lie on wet surfaces reduce their lying times. Lying times also decrease when ambient temperatures increase. Cows with mastitis lie down less whereas cows that are lame lie down more. Cows sleep for about 4 hours daily of which less than 1 hour is rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Typical sleep cycle consists of 1 non-rapid eye movement (NREM) bout lasting 5-8 minutes and 1 REM bout of 3-4 minutes followed by the cow waking up. Greater proportion of sleep occurs overnight. More rumination occurs during nighttime hours with the time spent ruminating or chewing their cud dependent on the composition of the diet. When cows are restricted from lying down experimentally, cows ruminate while standing.

Source: Tucker and others.2021. JDS.

Author : Donna M. Amaral-Phillips

: Are Your Cows Getting Enough Sleep Each Night?

Why do cows lay down in the morning?

Read more: There’s A Massive Object Hurtling Towards Earth And NASA Don’t Quite Know What It Is Yet – Although you may have heard the claim that ‘if cows sit down it means it’s going to rain, this is in fact an old wives’ tale. The truth is nobody really knows for certain why these herbivores lie down from time to time.

  • However, there are several theories! A scientific study done by the University of Arizona and North Missouri, claims that these farmyard creatures actually lie down because the temperature of the air has an effect on their milk production.
  • Basically cows do like to sit down when it’s cooler.
  • This is because they like to keep a patch of grass dry and keep their stomach warm.

And cooler air might potentially indicate coming rain.

How long can a cow be down and still get up?

Bovine secondary recumbency is defined as the inability of cattle to rise and stand for a period of at least 12–24 hours, resulting from the delayed or unsuccessful treatment of a different primary cause of recumbency. “Downer cow syndrome” is a colloquial term that more broadly refers to the inability of cattle to rise and stand for a period of at least 12–24 hours for undetermined reason. Treatment is guided by the cause; supportive care is of major importance to improving the prognosis. Animal welfare considerations are paramount in guiding the overall management of affected cows. Cattle can become recumbent for a variety of primary causes, including metabolic, traumatic, infectious, degenerative, and toxic disorders. If the primary cause of recumbency cannot be treated immediately or treatment is unsuccessful and cattle cannot stand for >24 hours, they are prone to develop secondary tissue damage from pressure-induced ischemic necrosis of muscles of the hind limbs and pressure damage to nerves of the fore limbs and hind limbs. This in turn can result in secondary recumbency. The affected animal will then remain involuntarily recumbent, even though the primary cause of recumbency may be resolved. “Downer cow syndrome” is a poorly defined colloquial term referring to prolonged involuntary recumbency (usually lasting at least 12–24 hours) of unknown cause. The term does not differentiate between primary and secondary recumbency. Downer cows are generally further categorized as either alert or non-alert. An alert downer cow shows no signs of systemic illness or change in demeanor, and is able to eat and drink, as well as to maintain sternal recumbency. A non-alert downer cow shows altered mentation and signs of depression or lethargy, suggestive of systemic illness or central nervous disease. Bovine secondary recumbency (downer cow syndrome) are most commonly observed in dairy cattle, primarily in periparturient and early-lactating cows. Hypocalcemia, dystocia, and musculoskeletal injuries resulting from slipping and falling are considered the most common predisposing factors that may result in downer cow syndrome. Delayed treatment or unresponsiveness to treatment in cows with clinical periparturient hypocalcemia ( milk fever Parturient Paresis in Cows Parturient paresis (milk fever, hypocalcemia, paresis puerperalis, parturient apoplexy) is a disease of adult dairy cows in which acute hypocalcemia causes acute to peracute, afebrile, flaccid. read more ), as well as calving paralysis from nerve injury after dystocia, may result in prolonged involuntary recumbency. Less common primary causes of recumbency in alert downer cows include severe hypokalemia Hypokalemia in Adult Cattle Marked hypokalemia (serum or plasma potassium concentration <2.5 mmol/L) is common in inappetant, lactating dairy cows and ketotic dairy cows receiving multiple treatments of isoflupredone. read more and possibly hypophosphatemia Hypophosphatemia in Animals Hypophosphatemia in the strict sense of the term refers to subnormal phosphorus concentrations in blood. In practice, however, it is common to consider hypophosphatemia as a synonym for phosphorus. read more, Primary causes for recumbency in non-alert downer cows include systemic illnesses and infectious diseases such as toxic mastitis Mastitis in Cattle With few exceptions, mastitis occurs when microbes enter the teat via the teat canal. Almost any microbe can opportunistically invade the teat canal and cause mastitis. However, most infections. read more or metritis Metritis in Production Animals In cows, metritis is a common polymicrobial disease, especially within the first 2 weeks after parturition. Acute puerperal metritis refers to a severe postpartum uterine infection that results. read more, right displaced abomasum or abomasal volvulus Left or Right Displaced Abomasum and Abomasal Volvulus in Cattle Abomasal displacement and volvulus are common disorders of high-producing dairy cattle. Clinical signs include anorexia and decreased milk production. With abomasal volvulus, clinical deterioration. read more, peritonitis Peritonitis in Animals Peritonitis is the inflammation of the serous membranes of the peritoneal cavity. It may be primary or caused by infectious or noninfectious agents. Signs include localized pain, depression. read more, ileus Acute Intestinal Obstructions in Large Animals Intestinal obstructions are functional or mechanical in nature and result in a decrease or absence of feces.

Diagnosis is based on abnormal findings during examination via palpation per rectum. read more, and hemorrhagic bowel syndrome Hemorrhagic Bowel Syndrome Determination of the cause of intestinal disease in cattle is based on clinical, epidemiologic, and laboratory findings. Nonspecific therapy includes oral and parenteral fluid therapy to restore.

read more, as well as metabolic disturbances such as severe ketosis Ketosis in Cattle Ketosis is an elevated concentration of ketone bodies (acetone, acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate) in all body fluids. Key clinical signs of ketosis are vague but include anorexia, decreased. read more and hepatic lipidosis Hyperlipemia and Hepatic Lipidosis in Large Animals Hyperlipemia is the abnormal accumulation of lipids in blood, resulting from excessive mobilization of body fat in the face of pregnancy, anorexia, or dietary insufficiency. Lipid deposition. read more or liver failure. Regardless of the initial cause of recumbency, all affected cattle develop pressure-induced secondary damage to muscles and nerves of the pelvic limbs, especially when lying on a hard surface. The hind limb muscles of the limb the animal is lying on are compressed by the physical pressure from the animal’s own body weight. The muscles and nerves of the forelimbs are damaged when cows remain in lateral recumbency on a hard surface for a matter of hours or longer. With prolonged recumbency the lymphatic and venous drainage to muscle is decreased because of sustained pressure with no decrease in arterial blood flow. The net result of pressure-induced changes in blood flow is an increase in interstitial fluid volume and pressure within the muscle, because the fascia around each muscle cannot expand sufficiently to accommodate the increase in interstitial volume. In severe and prolonged cases of recumbency, the increase in intramuscular pressure is visible as a firm swelling of the muscle. The resulting compression of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels within an enclosed compartment induces ischemic pressure damage of muscle and nerves, also named compartment syndrome. The severity of pressure damage to the muscles depends on regional anatomical factors (bones), the duration of compression, and the surface on which the animal is kept. Additional complications of prolonged recumbency include acute mastitis, decubital ulcers, and traumatic injuries to the limbs (eg, laceration and rupture of muscles and tendons, fractures of long bones, or joint dislocations) from struggling and efforts to rise. Renal failure may occur in patients displaying severe and prolonged myoglobinuria, resulting from an obstruction of renal glomeruli by large amounts of myoglobin entering the kidneys. Downer cow syndrome is most commonly observed in periparturient dairy cows. Affected cows may have altered mentation of varying severity and be found in lateral recumbency with obtundation and a rapid, shallow pulse, which may indicate an unresolved metabolic problem such as hypocalcemia or hypomagnesemia. Inquiries into the severity and duration of parturition, the duration of recumbency, and whether the cow was observed standing after parturition may provide valuable hints to identify the primary cause of recumbency. Altered mentation in affected cows may also be the result of toxemia, which is commonly due to genital tract or mammary gland infection. Other cows found in involuntary sternal recumbency may appear bright and alert—the most typical demeanor of the true problem downer cow. If the animal is young or not pregnant, the cause is likely to be either physical trauma (e.g., fracture) or a rare condition, either of which requires careful, detailed examination. The environment of the animal can have a bearing on the cause of recumbency. If the footing is slippery, musculoskeletal injury must be considered. This is much less likely in cows that are kept in open space with a dirt or well-bedded surface. The positioning of the hind limbs may indicate the cause of the recumbency. Limbs splayed out behind the animal may indicate obturator nerve paresis or paralysis, rupture of adductor muscles, hip dislocation, or fracture of the femur or tibia. Fracture should be suspected whenever the upper limb is extended sideways in such a manner that a crease is formed in the skin. The objective of the physical exam in a downer cow is to determine the current status of the animal rather than only to assess the primary cause for the recumbency. In cows that are involuntarily recumbent for >24 hours, secondary damage should be not only considered but expected. The examination should be preceded by determination of the patient’s signalment, including age, stage of lactation, body condition, and production type; and by acquisition of a concise history relevant to the case. The history should include information about the circumstances under which the animal became involuntarily recumbent, in cases of periparturient animals the nature of parturition, the duration of the recumbency, prior treatment, and treatment response. A herd history may be relevant in herds with higher incidence rates of downer cow syndrome. The physical examination begins with a visual examination of the patient from a distance to determine respiration rate and type, and to assess demeanor and mentation, appetite, extent and type of mobility while recumbent, the position of the limbs, and the presence of swellings or wounds. The area surrounding the recumbent animal should be inspected for signs of unsuccessful attempts to rise, and to determine whether the recumbent cow was able to tilt herself (or was tilted) from one side to the other. The next step is a general physical exam to determine hydration status (based on eyeball recession or skin-tenting duration), both body surface temperature and rectal temperature, heart rate, pulse strength, jugular fill, and capillary refill time, which could indicate varying extents of hypovolemia or hypovolemic shock. The abdomen should be palpated and auscultated to identify abnormal content or motility of the digestive tract or abnormal muscle tone of the body wall that may suggest an acute abdomen. In female recumbent cattle, inclusion of the mammary gland in the exam is imperative. A toxic infection of the udder caused by an organism such as Escherichia coli or Klebsiella pneumoniae can be a primary cause of recumbency. However, such an infection may be precipitated by the recumbency, especially if the cow is bedded on an unsanitary surface and the udder is engorged and remains unmilked. Vaginal exploration is mandatory in every peripartum, recumbent cow. Damage to and infection of the wall of the vagina is common. Metritis and an associated toxemia can contribute to postpartum recumbency. Rectal exploration is essential for differential diagnosis. For convenience, it is advisable to combine the rectal exam with the musculoskeletal examination of the hind limbs (see below). Before initiating the rectal exploration, the tone of the tail and anal sphincter should be assessed. Decreased or absent tail and sphincter tone suggest damage of the nerve bundle extending from the caudal end of the spinal cord, a condition termed cauda equina syndrome. In cases of suspected cauda equina syndrome, particular attention must be paid to the size and tone of the urinary bladder during rectal exploration because this syndrome can be associated with paralysis of the urinary bladder. At least small amounts of fresh feces should always be present in the bovine rectum. Palpating the bony circumference of the pelvis to identify fractures, swellings, or dislocations is easily done in nonpregnant animals; it may be challenging, however, with a pregnant or freshly postparturient uterus in the pelvic cavity. In these cases, having an assistant move the pelvic wings from outside in a rocking motion while the pelvis is palpated transrectally will allow determination of the presence of crepitation or abnormal motility in the pelvis in the case of a pelvic fracture. Palpation of the obturator foramen on both sides of the bottom of the pelvis may reveal the presence of the head of the femur in one of the foramina in cases of a ventral or caudoventral dislocation of the hip. Palpation of the obturator foramen is easily done when the uterus is small; in late pregnant or periparturient cows with a large uterus, this examination is better conducted transvaginally. The abdomen should be further explored rectally to rule out abnormalities of the digestive tract or signs of peritonitis. The extent of uterine involution should be appropriate for the number of days postpartum. Ballottement of uterine fluid or lack of tonicity should be noted. Unexpected anomalies may be palpated. Adhesions, lumps of necrotic fat, and enlargement or turgidity of the cervix or vaginal wall are all sequelae of a difficult birth. Next follows an in-depth examination of the musculoskeletal system. With the cow in sternal recumbency, the back should be firmly palpated from the neck to the tail to identify swellings, painful areas, possible misalignment, instability, or abnormal motility of the vertebrae. The patient should then be rolled into lateral recumbency with an assisting person keeling on the neck, and fore limbs and hindlimbs of the upper side then carefully examined from toe to hip or shoulder. Examination should confirm the musculoskeletal integrity of the limb with normal mobility of joints, and should identify painful areas, swellings, or open lesions. Muscle bellies must be deeply palpated to identify swelling, edema, or abnormal firmness that may indicate compartment syndrome. The nerve supply down to the lower limb should be tested by stimulating the flexor-withdrawal reflex, first by pricking the skin above the coronary band on the dorsal and plantar/palmar side with a hypodermic needle. If the animal does not respond, an electric cattle prod should be briefly held to the distal limb to determine whether the stronger stimulus can elicit a response. This test with a stronger stimulus enables differentiation between decreased and absent sensitivity in the leg. The cow should then be rolled back into sternal recumbency and into lateral recumbency of the other side to repeat the examination on the contralateral side. In alert downer cows, if the physical examination to this point has not revealed an apparent cause for recumbency, motor activity should be tested by stimulating the recumbent animal to make an attempt to rise. Several simple but effective techniques can be tried for this purpose. In one method, the clinician, while standing, presses their feet under the cow below the scapulohumeral joint. They then deliver a sharp blow by driving their knees into the muscle mass below and caudal to the scapula. It is important not to use this method on the thoracic wall unprotected by the muscle mass, because it could fracture the ribs. If the animal has difficulty rising, an assistant should use both hands to grab the root of the tail and lift. Damage could result if any other part of the tail is grabbed for this lifting maneuver. The sound of a cow’s own calf bawling with hunger could motivate a recently calved cow to rise. The calf is best restrained close to the cow but out of the cow’s sight. The motion, weight bearing, and positioning of the limbs during the attempt to rise must be observed closely. Abnormal weight bearing, positioning, and posture of a limb can provide valuable information for locating a specific lesion. If the attempt to rise is unsuccessful and lacking diagnostic value, the cow should be rolled onto the opposite leg and the procedure repeated. In cases of unilateral nerve, muscle, tendon, bone, or joint trauma, a recumbent cow may be able to rise only if the unaffected limb is underneath it. Whenever the circumstances permit to do so safely, the patient should be lifted using a device suitable for this purpose, with the objective of completing the motor function examination. If hip clamps are used, they should not be too tight, and the cow should be lifted slowly so that circulation of the limbs can be reestablished. The device should be raised until the cow is lifted enough that its hind feet just touch the ground. Often, the cow will hang with the limbs slightly flexed. This slight flexion should not be confused with unilateral flexion, which indicates peroneal paralysis. Next, two assistants—one on each side of the cow and facing the hind limbs—should press the shoulders into the paralumbar fossa. The lifting device should then be lowered slowly while the assistants try to force the hind limbs into a weight-bearing posture and to manipulate the stifle and hock to decrease the flexion. As soon as the two limbs are supporting any weight, the device should be lowered 1–2 in. This process may have to be repeated several times. In this part of the exam, particular attention should be paid to the contributing effort the cow makes while lifted, to the amount of weight bearing by each individual limb, and to hints of possible proprioceptive deficits suggestive of specific nerve lesions. Regardless of whether the cow stands, while it is lifted its limbs can be manipulated and palpated for crepitation, and the skeleton in the pelvic area can be evaluated for possible asymmetry. Asymmetrical position of the greater trochanter of the femur of both sides, combined with abnormal motility of the trochanter while moving the corresponding limb, suggests a dislocated hip. If the affected limb appears shorter than the contralateral limb and the greater trochanter does not move while the affected leg is being moved, there may be a fracture of the femoral neck or proximal femur.

Physical examination Serum biochemical analysis, urinalysis

Diagnosis of fractures, joint lesions, and nerve injuries is based primarily on the findings of the physical examination. Although radiography is of little additional value in the field, ultrasonography conducted by an experienced clinician can assist the diagnosis of fractures of long bones of the upper limb, as well as lesions of joints and tendons. Blood samples are not usually taken when treating routine cases of periparturient hypocalcemia. However, hypocalcemia, hypophosphatemia, and hypokalemia should be assumed to be present in previously untreated recumbent periparturient cattle. Determining the biochemical status of cattle unresponsive to calcium therapy in particular will help to guide treatment and prognosis. Hypokalemia and hypophosphatemia have been suggested as potential causes for downer cow syndrome in cows with normal mentation. Alert downer cows may have normal serum concentrations of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, particularly if previously treated with intravenous or oral fluids. Examination of fresh urine may reveal a dark discoloration consistent with myoglobinuria, resulting from the excretion of large amounts of myoglobin through the kidney after severe muscle damage. Milder cases not yet resulting in discolored urine may yield a positive result for hemoglobin (that is not differentiated from myoglobin) and protein on the urine stick. Downer cows commonly have increased serum CK, AST, and LDH activity to a varying extent, which may indicate the presence and severity of muscle trauma. Although acute muscle trauma (eg, from slipping) can be a primary cause of downer cow syndrome, prolonged recumbency alone and the ensuing secondary muscle tissue damage are sufficient to explain increased activity of these enzymes. Interpretation of enzyme activities requires taking into consideration the time lapse between occurrence of the suspected muscle trauma and blood sampling, in particular for CK. Increased serum CK activity is a specific indicator of muscle damage. CK activity peaks shortly after the start of muscle damage but declines noticeably within 4 hours because of the short half-life of this enzyme. Repeated blood samples obtained at early stages of recumbency may be useful to differentiate between acute (primary) and sustained (secondary) muscle trauma. Very high but rapidly declining CK activity suggests an acute trauma, while elevated values with moderate change over time are more suggestive of ongoing secondary pressure damage. A number of blood biochemical parameters have been studied for their prognostic value in downer cows. These parameters indicated that AST activity is the most suitable prognostic indicator in recumbent cattle, with higher AST activity indicating a poorer prognosis. The serum concentrations of phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, bilirubin, glucose, and urea are not appreciably different between recovering and non recovering cows. Parameters determined in CSF from recumbent cows were also studied for their prognostic value. Animals with elevated total nucleated cell counts and/or protein concentration >0.4 g/L in CSF were found to have notably lower short-term survival rate. Ischemic necrosis and rupture of muscles of the thigh region are common necropsy findings in downer cows. Hemorrhage and rupture of adductor muscles may be evident if the animal “spread-eagled” itself while struggling to rise on a slippery surface such as wet or icy concrete. Traumatic and inflammatory injuries to sciatic and peroneal or tibial nerves are also found in downer cows. Damage to intrapelvic nerves, such as the sciatic and obturator nerves, account for most cases. Decubital injuries to the lateral aspect of the stifle can be associated with damage to the peroneal nerve.

You might be interested:  What Time Does La Fitness Close?

Correction of primary disease including hypocalcemia, other electrolyte abnormalities Excellent nursing care, pain management, hydration Daily assisted attempts to rise; use of a flotation tank as indicated Attention to animal welfare concerns

Treatment of downer cow syndrome is guided largely by the findings of the physical exam and the suspected or confirmed primary and secondary causes. In addition to addressing etiologic causes of the recumbency, the treatment plan must aim at preventing predictable secondary disturbances (such as inflammation) or metabolic disturbances (such as ketosis or electrolyte imbalances that may result from anorexia). State-of-the-art pain management and maintenance of adequate hydration are of paramount importance as supportive care measures that will help to maintain or stimulate voluntary feed intake. NSAIDs are indicated in most cases of involuntary recumbency to alleviate pain, discomfort, and secondary inflammation in damaged muscle tissue. Large single doses of steroids have been advocated on the basis of empirical evidence in animals with (suspected) fresh nerve trauma. Recumbent cows with decreased or no feed intake may develop secondary energy and mineral deficiencies reflected in ketonuria, hypokalemia, or hypophosphatemia. Minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, as well as propylene glycol, can safely and effectively be administered orally as drenches. Monitoring the hydration status is an important part of downer cow management. Recumbent cattle should be examined and, if alert and responsive, stimulated to rise or hoisted daily to determine whether the ability to rise or bear weight has changed. If there is no sign of improvement within 7 days after a cow has been moved to a place that has good footing and serum electrolyte abnormalities have been corrected, the prognosis is poor. Some recumbent cattle appear to lose interest in trying to stand; these cattle may benefit from use of a specially designed flotation tank that has a volume of ~2,500–3,000 L. Alert downer cows are loaded into the flotation tank by being dragged on a mat into the empty tank. Doors are then put in place, and the tank is filled with lukewarm water. Both cold and hot water should be avoided, because they can induce hypothermia or hyperthermia. Cattle should be encouraged to stand after the water reaches the level of the scapulohumeral joint. Cattle that can support their own weight should be permitted to stand for 6–8 hours; however, the water in the tank should be removed as soon as the cattle exhibit trembling. The water in the tank must be maintained at approximately skin temperature to prevent hypothermia. This can be done either by circulating the water through a heating system or by regularly adding warm water to the tank. Cattle that remain standing should be encouraged to walk slowly from the tank on a nonslip surface. Cattle able to walk out of the tank after the first flotation treatment are 4.8 times more likely to survive than those that do not walk out of the tank. Cattle that stand on all four limbs during the first flotation treatment are 2.9 times more likely to survive than those that had an asymmetrical stance or were unable to stand. Reported success rates in returning recumbent cattle to normal ambulation range from 37%–46%. Hobbling may be considered in cows suspected to have obturator or sciatic nerve damage, to prevent overabduction that can lead to muscular damage. Ropes should never be used for this purpose. A soft, nylon strap may be wrapped twice around the middle of each metatarsus, allowing a distance of at least 3 feet between the legs. The value of hip clamps is controversial. Their proper use requires experience, skill, and a delicate touch. Continual use causes trauma and pain that is counterproductive. The forelimbs support 60% of a cow’s weight; therefore, the use of a canvas sling under the sternum is almost mandatory for consistent success. A chest band is required to prevent the sling from slipping backward. Suspending the sling from the tine at one end of a forklift and the hip clamps from a tine at the other end minimizes trauma. If a forklift is not available, a T-bar suspended by a pulley from an overhead beam (or a tripod for animals at pasture) will serve. The jaws of the clamps must be well protected with synthetic foam or rubber secured in place with a wrap of duct tape. Moving a downer cow requires rolling her into lateral recumbency. The cow can then be slid over dry straw for a short distance by pulling on a rope attached to a lower forelimb and a halter rope. Transportation over longer distances can be accomplished using a suitably prepared farm gate hauled by tractor. The longest dimension of the farm gate is closely applied to the back of the cow still in lateral recumbency. A tarpaulin is placed on the gate to protect the cow from contact with the ground. Dry straw is spread on the tarpaulin, and the cow is rolled over onto the makeshift stretcher. The halter should be tied to the gate to minimize struggling, and a sack placed over the eyes to minimize alarm while the cow is being moved. The tail is best tied to the hock of the upper limb. Once moved, the cow should be restored to sternal recumbency. A few cows, particularly if < 12 hours postpartum, will rise immediately after being moved to a location with good footing. Dragging a recumbent cow over the floor without protection for body and skin or carrying the cow while it is hanging on hip clamps is inadmissible because these procedures are likely to inflict additional physical damage and pain on the animal. Moving injured cows in such a manner not only is illegal in many countries but also hurts the production animal industry through negative publicity. Recovery from downer cow syndrome strongly depends on the quality of patient management and nursing care. Moving the cow to a site with an earthen floor improves the changes of resolution considerably. The optimal site depends on climatic conditions. If the weather is warm and dry, grassy pasture is best, but a ready means to lift the cow is essential. In less ideal weather conditions, a shelter with a roof and other protection should be provided. Hay barns and implement sheds can provide the necessary protection, and it may be possible in such structures to install a pulley system to lift the cow. Protection from the elements is essential. Rain and wind can decrease body temperature considerably and worsen shock if present. A windbreak of straw bales is essential. Straw bedding should be provided to help insulate the cow from the ground. A recumbent cow does not require a warm environment; in a cold environment, however, an inactive animal can gradually succumb to hypothermia. Lateral recumbency must be avoided. If it occurs, immediate correction is required to prevent bloating, regurgitation, and aspiration of gastric contents, as well as pressure lesions to the brachial plexus and radial nerve. The cow should be rolled into sternal recumbency. To maintain this posture, however, the limb the cow was lying on should be drawn from under the body. For example, a cow presented in lateral recumbency on the right side should be rolled into sternal recumbency on the left side. To maintain sternal recumbency, some animals may require support under the shoulder; straw bales can be used for this purpose. Tilting the recumbent cow in 6- to 8-hour intervals from one side to the other is labor-intensive but of paramount importance to limit secondary pressure damage to muscle and nerves. This repeated tilting defines state-of-the-art nursing care for downer cows. Attempting to stabilize a recumbent cow on a concrete surface is highly undesirable but sometimes unavoidable. Until the transport of the recumbent cow onto a softer surface with more grip can be arranged, the cow's rear legs should be hobbled to prevent slipping and splaying during an attempt to rise. A common approach is to bed the cow on a layer of least 10 inches of dry straw sitting on top of >6 inches of wet, sticky bedding (feces). If the concrete beneath the wet layer becomes exposed by the cow’s movements, more must be added. Although the footing is good with such a manure pack, the cow’s skin may become soiled with urine and feces. A bed of sand >10 inches deep is more effective for housing a recumbent cow. A sand bed usually drains well, and good hygiene can be maintained if voided feces are removed several times a day. The downer cows most difficult to treat are those that do not try to eat. A cow that salivates on its feed will not eat it later. Rather than being offered large amounts of feed, the cow should be tempted with sweet hay. Any hay not accepted should be cleared away every 30 minutes. Placing bitter-tasting weeds such as ivy or dandelion in the cow’s mouth may provoke salivation and an interest in eating. Some cows accept lettuce and cabbage leaves. In extreme cases, the cow can be drenched with rumen contents. The critical issue seems to be the length of time (several hours) from when clinical signs of milk fever begin until treatment. Every cow that has been successfully treated for hypocalcemia should, if necessary, be moved to a location with good footing and remain there for 48 hours. Straw over sand provides good insulation and good footing. Injuries from slipping frequently occur on concrete floor with insufficient grip. Overcrowding and an unrelaxed or even stressed attitude of the cows in the herd will further increase the risk of slipping injuries. Texturing or grooving the surface of the concrete, as well as calmly handling the herd, can improve the situation. Although it is possible for a cow to rise after being recumbent for >14 days, the cow should not be unmonitored during this period. As long as the cow looks bright, occasionally struggles to rise, and continues to eat and drink, recovery is a possibility. However, if the cow becomes listless, shows no interest in feed, or has decubital lesions or starts to lose condition, euthanasia on humane grounds must be considered, irrespective of how long the cow has been recumbent. Euthanasia should also be considered if it is apparent the animal owner is not able or willing to provide the required basic nursing and veterinary care. A cow that has decubital lesions, a poor appetite, or shows signs of wasting is unsuitable for salvage slaughter. Attempting to transport recumbent animals except for the purpose of providing veterinary care is illegal in many countries and considered an act of cruelty.

Bovine secondary recumbency is a complication of a primary recumbency of >24h duration that was not treated or was unsuccessfully treated and has resulted in an inability to rise or stand due to secondary muscle and nerve damage. “Downer cow syndrome” is a colloquial term and more broadly refers to prolonged inability to rise in cattle for an undetermined reason. The condition is most commonly observed in dairy cattle in the periparturient period, frequently as a complication of periparturient hypocalcemia or calving paralysis that was unresponsive to treatment. Pressure damage on muscle and nerve tissue is considered the most important causative factor. A thorough physical examination of the recumbent cow to identify all relevant primary and secondary causes contributing to recumbency is the basis for successful treatment State-of-the-art nursing and supportive care greatly increase the chances for a positive outcome.

Puerto-Parada M, Bilodeau M-E, Francoz D, et al. Survival and prognostic indicators in downer dairy cows presented to a referring hospital: A retrospective study (1318 cases). J Vet Intern Med,2021;35(5): 2534–2543. Published online 2021 Aug 13. doi: 10.1111/jvim.16249 Poulton PJ, Vizard AL, Anderson GA, Pyman MF. Importance of secondary damage in downer cows. Aust Vet J,2016;94(5):138–144. doi: 10.1111/avj.12437 Stojkiv J, Weary DM, von Keyserlingk MAG. Nonambulatory cows: Duration of recumbency and quality of nursing care affect outcome of flotation therapy. J Dairy Sci,2016;99(3):2076–2085. doi: 10.3168/jds.2015-10448

Do cows sleep standing up?

Do Cows Sleep Standing Up? Apr 23, 2018 by Ashley Martin You’ve probably heard that big animals like cows and horses sleep standing up – but when it comes to deep sleep, it’s just not true! While cows can doze off and sleep lightly on their feet, when it comes to REM sleep, they lie down just like the rest of us.

This is true not just of cows, but of most other large herbivores as well – horses, bison, rhino, and more. While they may not be in a deep sleep while standing, anyone who’s ever attempted to get a little shut eye in a meeting or on a train or any other location that requires sitting or standing, you might be wondering just how they do it.

Amy Johnson, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine explains: “The legs of horses have what’s known as the ‘stay apparatus.’ Their limbs contain tendons and ligaments that allow the animal to remain standing with minimal muscular effort, and thus allow them to stand—and even doze—for long periods.” It is theorized that this ability is evolutionary – designed to help potential prey keep an eye out for danger. What Does It Mean When Cows Lay Down : Do Cows Sleep Standing Up?

How do you know if a cow likes you?

If a cow spends enough positive time with a human, they might start to see them as part of the cow’s ‘herd.’ They’ll show affection back to humans by licking them, following them around, or even cuddling with them.

Do cows lay down when cold?

Cows really can predict the rain. Scientists prove they are more likely to lie down when the weather is cold

  • Cows lie down when it is cold and stand when it is hot, research shows
  • The study was done by the Universities of Arizona and Northern Missouri
  • They looked at the issue as America’s milk production suffers with the hot weather
  • By
  • Published: 01:17 BST, 14 March 2013 | Updated: 01:17 BST, 14 March 2013
  • The old wives’ tale that cows lie down when it is about to rain may not be so far fetched after all, according to a new study by scientists.
  • For researchers have discovered that cows stand up for longer periods when it is hot, proving there is a definite link between their behaviour and the weather.
  • They also suggest that cows lie down when it is colder, which is often what happens to the weather just before it rains.

What Does It Mean When Cows Lay Down Weather gauge: Cows are more likely to lie down when it is cold, the study shows

  1. The study unwittingly lends credibility to British farming folklore which has long suggested that the sight of a herd of the beasts lying down in a field is a good sign that rain is on the way.
  2. University animal scientists specifically researched the body temperature of cattle across the great American west because when cows are too hot, their milk production suffers.
  3. And the study, by the universities of Arizona and Northwest Missouri, found that cows stand up for longer when it is hotter because it helps lower their core body temperature.

By exposing more of their surface area, it allows their body heat to disperse in the air. When cows get too hot they pant more, eat less and so produce less milk. Cows lie down when they want to conserve heat, and energy, and farmers in particularly hot climates should try and get their herds to lie down more. What Does It Mean When Cows Lay Down Research: The study was conducted by the University of Arizona (pictured) and the University of Northern Missouri

  • But this may also unwittingly explain why it may be true that cows lie down when rain is on the way in more temperate climates.
  • As any weather enthusiast knows, rain is usually preceded by a bout of low pressure which is easy to detect and is also a sign that it is about to get colder.
  • If cows lose heat by standing up, as the US study now suggests, then detecting the arrival of colder weather will make them lie down.
  • Lead researcher Dr Jamison Allen of the University of Arizona presented his findings to a US conference on animal science.
  • He said: ‘Predicting heat stress is vital for keeping cows healthy and productive.

‘Cows prefer standing to lying on hot days. Cows stand to allow more of their surface area to disperse heat into the air.

  1. ‘We can predict the animal’s behaviour to stand according to their core temperature.
  2. ‘But by encouraging cows to lie down, producers will also help their cows conserve energy.’
  3. Further studies will look specifically at how cow’s react to other aspects of the weather including humidity.

: Cows really can predict the rain. Scientists prove they are more likely to lie down when the weather is cold

How do you know if a cow is in pain?

March 17, 2022 Unlike many animals that vocalize their discomfort, cattle tend to suffer in silence—making it all the more important for an owner to recognize the subtle signs of pain. Whether from age, injury, or illness, early detection of pain is an important step in bringing an animal back to health.

Cattle are like most prey species in that they tend to hide their pain, says Dr. Jenna Funk, a clinical assistant professor & beef cattle veterinarian at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ Veterinary Education, Research, & Outreach campus, “When pain reaches the threshold where it starts affecting behavior, one of the first signs will be reduced feed intake,” Funk said.

“If it hurts to move, they will be reluctant to move. Cattle will also grind their teeth when they are uncomfortable; you can hear it when they grind them hard enough.” If the pain is associated with a single limb, they may limp to reduce the amount of weight placed on that leg.

If the source of pain is in the abdomen, cattle may tuck their bellies up by standing with all four feet close together. Depending on the cause of the pain, there are several options a veterinarian may suggest for treatment. The most common pain management medications for cattle are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can come as injections, oral pills, or a pour-on liquid.

“Steroids can also be used for pain management in short-term situations,” Funk said. “While long-term use of steroids is not recommended because of the negative impacts they can have on the immune system, short courses can be very effective at reducing swelling and relieving pain.” There are also several non-medication options that can help relieve pain in cattle, including acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation by licensed practitioners.

Pain associated with the feet can often be managed with corrective foot trimming,” Funk said. “Making sure that all four feet have proper confirmation (structure and alignment) will allow the animal to evenly distribute their weight and reduce the chances of secondary musculoskeletal injury from favoring a painful or misshapen foot.” To prevent painful injuries from occurring in the first place, owners can commit to low-stress handling techniques, such as using pressure points to move cattle instead of noise and fear.

“Move slow and never surprise cattle. This will reduce the likelihood of cattle running and pushing each other, which can lead to injury,” Funk said. “In addition, animals recovering from injury should be kept on solid, surefooted ground and with only a few herd mates to prevent potential re-injury from shoving and pushing.” Maintaining clean and well-lit facilities can also reduce the likelihood of injury.

In addition to the ethical reasons for reducing pain in cattle, owners will likely notice other benefits when herds are kept happy and pain-free. “Well taken care of animals perform better,” Funk said. “Controlling pain will increase production and help make the animal more efficient, which, in turn, is more profitable for the producer.” Whether owners keep cattle as pets or production animals, reducing pain should be a top priority.

By keeping an eye out for subtle behavioral differences, you can help make sure your cattle experience as little pain as possible. Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be viewed on the web at vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk,

Are cows intelligent?

The Hidden Lives of Cows | PETA Cows are as diverse as cats, dogs, and humans: Some are very quick learners, while others are a little slower. Some are bold and adventurous, while others are shy and timid. Some are friendly and considerate, while others are bossy and devious.

According to research, cows are generally quite intelligent animals who can remember things for a long time. Animal behaviorists have found that they interact in socially complex ways, developing friendships over time and sometimes holding grudges against other cows who treat them badly. These gentle giants mourn the deaths of and even separation from those they love, sometimes shedding tears over their loss.

The mother/calf bond is particularly strong, and there are countless reports of who continue to call and search frantically for their babies after the calves have been taken away and sold to veal or beef farms. Read more inspiring stories and learn fascinating facts about cows and other animals in the bestselling book,

Why do cows lay down to sleep?

Do cows sleep standing up? – No. Cows don’t sleep standing up. When cows need deep sleep, they like to lie down to get it. Cattle need about 4 hours of sleep a day. This can be divided into drowsing, non-rapid eye movement (NREM), and rapid eye movement (REM).

You might be interested:  What Time Does Bmw Open?

How long do cows live?

While the natural lifespan of many cows can reach 15 or even 20 years of age, the vast majority of dairy cows do not live beyond 4.5 to 6 years. This is typically the age when a female cow’s milk production drops, resulting in farms sending her to slaughter.

What do cows do at night?

Background Research – During my investigation I found that little is known about sleep in cattle. An early study in 1972 is one of the few that investigated this topic. Since then, a few additional studies suggest that cows sleep about 4 hours per day and drowse for about 8 hours a day.

Why do cows moo during the day?

Why do cows moo? | You Ask, We Answer Cows use sound (mooing) to communicate with each other and their environment. Last updated 31/03/2023 Cows are herd animals and have complex social structures. Mooing is one way that they interact and how they express their emotions.

Research shows individual cows have distinct voices, so as they moo to one another, the animals nearby know who’s who and a cow and her calf can recognise each other.1 Cows also use other forms of behaviour to communicate, such as grunting and wagging their tails.

Thank you for your feedback : Why do cows moo? | You Ask, We Answer

Why do cows have 4 stomachs?

The Abomasum – The fourth and final compartment of the cow’s stomach is the abomasum. This is often referred to as the “true stomach.” It can hold about 7 gallons. This compartment functions much like a human stomach. This is where stomach acids and enzymes work to breakdown the feed before it moves into the small intestine. What Does It Mean When Cows Lay Down Because cows eat grass and other roughage, the one-compartment stomach just doesn’t cut it. These kinds of feed are difficult to digest, so the four different compartments help the cow to break it down, get the most nutrients possible, and pass the waste easily. : One Stomach, Four Chambers

Why is my cow shaking?

Professional Version In inherited periodic spasticity, episodic, involuntary muscle contractions or spasms involving the hind limbs are associated with postural and locomotor disturbances, as well as spasticity. The condition may progress to hind limb paresis or plegia.

  • Inherited periodic spasticity occurs most frequently in Holstein and Guernsey cattle 3–7 years old.
  • It is regarded as a genetic disease and is attributed to inheritance of an autosomal dominant gene with incomplete penetrance.
  • The pathology and pathophysiology remain obscure.
  • Clinical signs of inherited periodic spasticity may vary in severity, duration, and frequency.

Usually, some stimulus provokes the onset of clinical signs, such as the effort associated with rising or any factor that induces a notable emotional reaction. Pain, particularly in the feet or joints, may precipitate an episode of clinical signs. An animal may be unable to move forward, stand trembling, and characteristically extend its hind limbs backward.

  • Between episodes, the animal can ambulate normally.
  • Periodic spasticity is progressive, and because of the possibility of genetic transmission, animals (particularly bulls used for artificial insemination) are best eliminated from the breeding pool as soon as a positive diagnosis is made.
  • Palliative treatment for animals in the peak of production may be helpful.

The spinal cord depressant mephenesin (30–40 mg/kg, PO, in three divided doses administered every 8 hours for 2–3 days) may be given during an episode and is reported to mitigate the more severe clinical signs. Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved.

What happens if a cow is down too long?

A ‘down cow’ is a cow that is unable to stand unassisted, even if she is able to walk once she has been assisted to her feet. Cows may be down either due to primary reasons or secondary reasons. Some primary reasons for cows to go down include metabolic disease (such as milk fever, ketosis or grass tetany), severe infection (such as black mastitis) or injuries (such as calving paralysis or a dislocated hip).

Once a cow is down, they are very susceptible to secondary pressure damage, especially to the nerves and muscles of the legs. This damage can occur within a few hours, especially if they are on a hard surface like concrete or gravel, or if they are a large-framed, heavy cow. Secondary damage can often be more important in a cow’s chance of recovery than the primary cause of her going down.

Many down cows have a combination of both primary and secondary conditions making up their syndrome. “Downer cows” are cows that are bright and well in themselves (indicating they may have recovered from their primary cause) but they are still unable to stand unassisted after a day.

What to do when a cow is down?

Move her carefully to a comfortable spot. Down cows need a safe area in a pen or paddock where they have a comfortable resting surface, shade, and protection from the elements and predators. Make fresh water, feed, and hay available at all times.

Do cows remember faces?

Cows Aren’t Mooo-tually Exclusive – When shown kindness, cows can also form bonds with humans. They love a good ear scratch and lots of pets, and they’ll return the love by licking and following trusted people around. Cows can recognize faces of their favorite people, and on the flipside, they recognize and remember people who have not treated them kindly, even after a long period of time has passed.

  • Farm animals have personalities, desires and preferences, and they are capable of a wide range of emotions, just like us.
  • That makes it all the more tragic that billions of these animals are suffering right now on factory farms –industrial facilities that raise large numbers of farm animals in intensive confinement.

They are kept in cages or crates or crowded together in pens where they can’t run, play, socialize normally or enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors. See how chickens, pigs and cows live on factory farms. But YOU can make a world of difference for farm animals who are so deserving of empathy and respect.

Can cows see in the dark?

Can Cows See in the Dark? – Yes, cows can see in the dark mainly due to the special reflecting system called tapetum lucidum (Latin for “bright tapestry”). This allows light to bounce off the membrane, making it easier for them to see in low-lit conditions such as when only stars or moonlight are available.

Why do cows scream at night?

Are Cows Active at Night? – Cows are the most active during the day. However, they may also be significantly active at night, leading to considerable mooing during nighttime. Most mooing comes from various activities the cows may undertake at night. For instance, if it was too hot in the daytime, the cows may be hungry, leading them to graze at night, producing some mooing.

What causes a cow to lay down and not get up?

A ‘down cow’ is a cow that is unable to stand unassisted, even if she is able to walk once she has been assisted to her feet. Cows may be down either due to primary reasons or secondary reasons. Some primary reasons for cows to go down include metabolic disease (such as milk fever, ketosis or grass tetany), severe infection (such as black mastitis) or injuries (such as calving paralysis or a dislocated hip).

Once a cow is down, they are very susceptible to secondary pressure damage, especially to the nerves and muscles of the legs. This damage can occur within a few hours, especially if they are on a hard surface like concrete or gravel, or if they are a large-framed, heavy cow. Secondary damage can often be more important in a cow’s chance of recovery than the primary cause of her going down.

Many down cows have a combination of both primary and secondary conditions making up their syndrome. “Downer cows” are cows that are bright and well in themselves (indicating they may have recovered from their primary cause) but they are still unable to stand unassisted after a day.

Is it normal for a cow to lay on its side?

Lying Postures of Dairy Cows in Cubicles and on Pasture 1 Department of Applied Biology, HAS University of Applied Sciences, PO Box 90108, 5200 MA ‘s Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands; Find articles by 3 Department of Animal Husbandry and Animal Care, HAS University of Applied Sciences, PO Box 90108, 5200 MA ‘s Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands; Find articles by Received 2019 Mar 29; Accepted 2019 Apr 18. Cows housed indoors with cubicles are probably more restricted in their choice of lying posture and orientation compared with cows housed on pasture. We therefore studied lying postures on pasture in Uruguay and the Netherlands, and in cubicles in the Netherlands, also recording orientation on pasture in Uruguay and divider and bedding type in Dutch cubicles. Cows on pasture in Uruguay showed more long postures, lying on their belly with the neck stretched, and, per herd, cows preferred a specific lying orientation. Dutch cows on pasture showed more wide postures, lying on their side with three legs stretched, while in cubicles they showed more narrow postures, lying on their side with folded hind legs. More long and less short postures were seen in cubicles with soft floors and English dividers; more narrow postures were seen in cubicles with concrete floors. Wide postures were seen more in cubicles with mattresses and free-hanging dividers. We conclude that since cows in cubicles show more narrow postures than on pasture and cannot choose lying orientation, their choice in showing preferred behavior is restricted. More research is needed to study the consequences of restricted choice in lying behavior on the health and welfare of dairy cows. Cows housed indoors with cubicles are probably more restricted in their choice of lying posture and orientation compared with cows housed on pasture. We therefore compared lying postures on pasture in Uruguay and the Netherlands with lying postures in cubicles in the Netherlands, also recording orientation on pasture in Uruguay and divider and bedding type in Dutch cubicles. We visited one farm with four herds in Uruguay, doing live observations, and 25 Dutch farms, taking pictures of cows. Observations of 205 cows on pasture in Uruguay showed more long postures, lying on their belly with their neck stretched. Two herds preferred lying towards north and south, while one herd preferred west and east. Pictures of 217 cows on pasture in the Netherlands showed more wide postures (lying on the side with three or four legs stretched out). Pictures of 527 cows in cubicles in the Netherlands showed more narrow postures (lying on the side with hind legs folded). More long postures (lying on the belly with a stretched neck) and less short postures (lying with the head folded back) were seen in cubicles with soft floors and English dividers; more narrow postures were seen in cubicles with concrete floors. Wide postures were seen more in cubicles with mattresses and free-hanging dividers. We conclude that since cows in cubicles show more narrow postures than on pasture and cannot choose their orientation, their choice in showing preferred behavior is restricted. More research is needed to study the consequences of restricted choice in lying behavior on the health and welfare of dairy cows. Keywords: dairy cattle, lying postures, housing system, orientation Since the 1960s, most dairy cows in Europe and the USA have been housed in cubicles. Cubicles are partitioned places for the cows to lie down, separated by dividers. Cubicles have neck rails and brisket boards to keep the cows within the cubicle, and have them urinating and defecating outside the cubicle. Bedding materials within the cubicles can consist of sand or other soft materials, mats or mattresses, or sawdust on concrete floors. In loose housing systems with cubicles, cows enjoy freedom of movement, which is good for animal welfare, and they can choose in which cubicle to lie and rest. Cows can freely interact with each other and show social behavior as well as avoid other cows if they want to. However, in most loose housing systems, cubicles are used, which have certain disadvantages. Although cubicles are easier to clean than compost-bedded pack systems, lying down in a cubicle can cause some problems for the cow. Cows have increased in size over the years, and the cubicles are often too narrow in older buildings compared to the width of the cows; if a cow lies on her side, she does not fit completely in the cubicle, causing her to lie against the divider and partly put her legs in the next cubicle. In addition cubicles are mostly designed to be a bit too short for the length of the cows, for reasons of hygiene and to reduce labor: when standing up, the cow will defecate outside of the cubicle and not on the lying area, but when lying down, often her length does not fit inside the cubicle, so either her head sticks out the front or her behind sticks out the back of the cubicle and hangs over the slatted floor. If cubicles are too short and/or too narrow, cows have difficulties lying down or standing up, and it might restrict them in choosing their preferred lying posture. Although lying times, standing up, and lying down of cows have been studied extensively, lying posture has not been studied to a great extent. It seems that on pasture, cows prefer to lie on their left side, while indoors, cows lie with their ventral side against the activity area, where feeding and milking take place, In a study in which cows were housed on a compost bedded pack, cows mainly laid with their heads up (84.6%), 8.8% laid with their heads back, 5.4% laid with their heads on the ground, and only 0.8% laid flat on their sides, Furthermore, in a cubicle, barn cows cannot choose in which direction to lie. It is reported that it matters to the cow in what direction she lies in relation to the magnetic axis of the earth, Generally, cattle (and deer) tend to rest and graze north–south oriented. Finally, in cubicles that are too short or narrow, cows are restricted in their choice of lying postures. For example, for the wide and long postures, there might not be enough space available for the cow, and cows might be forced to use more short and narrow postures. All these factors are more important if the cows are kept inside all year long. Bedding material can affect lying time and ease of lying down, and thus the health and welfare of cows, In a study comparing cows housed in tie stalls, cows housed on soft rubber mats with straw spent more time lying down than cows housed on concrete floors, with shorter and more-frequent lying bouts, while the cows on soft mats with straw seemed less hesitant to change their posture. Cows on concrete showed more swelling of the carpal joints, Our hypothesis is that cows on pasture are not restricted in their choice for a lying posture, and therefore on pasture will lie oriented towards the north and show more long and wide postures than in cubicles, while cows in cubicles might show more narrow and short postures. We expect cubicle design to influence lying postures, with more long and wide postures in more comfortable cubicles. The aims of the present study were (1) to determine the preferred orientation of cows lying on pasture in outdoor systems, (2) to investigate the postures of dairy cows lying on pasture versus in cubicles, and (3) to assess the relationship between cubicle design and lying posture. In this study, lying postures were recorded of dairy cows on 26 different farms—25 Dutch farms with a cubicle housing system and pasturing in summer, and one farm in Uruguay where cows were kept on pasture night and day, year-round. All cows were Holstein Friesian. Dutch as well as Uruguayan cows are high-producing animals, with an annual milk yield of 8000–10,000 kg per cow. The Uruguayan farm housed approximately 200 cows, while the Dutch farms varied in size. No selection for high or low of farm size or milk yield of the cows was done. Dutch farms were selected by snowball sampling: Farmers that were willing to cooperate brought in other farms that wanted to join the study. Four lying postures were distinguished (, adapted from ). In the first posture, “long”, the cow lies on its sternum and ventral side of the abdomen with the neck straightened. In the second posture, “short”, the cow lies on its sternum and ventral side of the abdomen, curled up with the head turned back. In the third posture, “wide”, the cow lies on its lateral side, hind legs stretched. The front legs can be stretched or not stretched. In the fourth posture, “narrow”, the cow lies on its sternum and on its lateral side, hind legs not stretched. The difference between the four postures is the spine of the cow: in the long posture, the spine is upright and the cow lies on its abdomen, while in the narrow posture, the spine is tilted to the side and the cow lies on its ventral side. Each posture can be shown lying on the left or the right side. Two trained observers did the observations in Uruguay, while fourteen trained observers, consisting of two groups of seven observers each, did the observations in the Netherlands. All observers were trained by one and the same trainer. The training consisted of comparing photographs of lying cows with the pictures of postures as shown in, Results of the observers were compared with the trainer. At the start of the training in the Netherlands, a small subset of approximately 10–15 photographs were scored independently by two groups of observers and by the trainer, resulting in kappa values before training of 0.50 and 0.49 for both groups compared with the trainer, a value which is considered “moderate”. These results were discussed with the observers, and scoring of the observers was adjusted according to the scoring of the trainer. After that, observers scored the photographs independently and, when in doubt, discussed results with each other and with the trainer. An inter-observer reliability was not calculated repeatedly during the study. After the study, a subset of 50 photographs of cows on Dutch farms lying indoors as well as outdoors was scored again, this time independently by a veterinarian, resulting in a kappa value of 0.35 for the observers compared with the veterinarian, which is considered “fair”. After the training in Uruguay, the recordings were done by live observation and by one observer at the time. Therefore, no inter-observer reliability could be calculated. Observations were performed during a period in which most of the cows were lying. In the Netherlands, this was in the morning, between 10 and 12 am, while in Uruguay this was three to four hours after morning milking, which started at 5 am. Lameness or other health parameters were not scored, so as not to disturb the cows when lying down. No handling, and minimal disturbance of the cows occurred in this study, so we did not need approval of the work by an ethics committee. Observers did not come within close range of the cows, staying outside of the fence during the outdoor observations and staying off the slatted floors and on the outside of the feeding rack during the indoor observations. All research performed at HAS University of Applied Science was discussed with and approved by the HAS supervisor for animal welfare, on behalf of the Animal Welfare Office Utrecht, in order to comply with national legislation and institutional rules and regulations on animal welfare. The study in Uruguay was performed at the Dairy Production Department of INIA (Instituto Nacional de Investigation Agropecuaria), La Estanzuela, Uruguay, a dairy farm with 205 Holstein Friesian cows. This farm had a pasture-based system and was visited several times per day between 8 March and 13 April 2010 by two observers. Data were collected in the pasture during a period of six weeks. Four different herds were observed: herd 1 contained approximately 20 pregnant, non-lactating cows, while herds 2, 3, and 4 were non-pregnant and lactating and consisted of approximately 35 cows, 130 cows, and 20 cows, respectively. Cows were observed three to four hours after the start of morning milking (5.00 am.), when most of the cows were lying. The observations were done live, through binoculars, at a distance as far away as possible, and as a result the interference between the observers and the herd was insignificant. The shoulders of the cow were used as reference for determining which direction the cows were facing: north, south, east, or west. When the shoulders were pointing in the northern quarter, “north” was scored, and the same principle was used for the other orientations (). Orientation of cows on pasture in Uruguay. Cows in the northern quarter (beige) with their shoulders between northwest and northeast were scored as “north”; the same principle was used for cows in the eastern quarter (green), scored “east”; in the southern quarter (orange), scored “south”; and in the western quarter (blue), scored “west”. Illustration by van Erp, M.J., 2018, In the Netherlands, 25 dairy farms with Holstein Friesian cows participated in the study. The average farm size was 99 ± 43 cows, with a range from 55 to 200 cows. The Dutch farms were visited in two rounds. The first 14 farms were visited once between 17 November 2011 and 19 January 2012, while the cows were housed indoors. During each visit, four hours were spent in the barn recording the postures of dairy cows that were lying down. In this time, the observers made three rounds through the barn to record cow postures. In order not to disturb the cows, the animals were photographed from outside of the feeding fence so that posture was visible, but cow numbers were not recorded. This resulted in a dataset of a varying number of lying postures of cows, with some cows recorded two or three times. Another 11 farms were visited twice between September 2016 and February 2017, once while the cows were on pasture and once while the cows were indoors. During each visit, postures of all lying cows were recorded. Observers again photographed cows from outside the feeding fence in order not to disturb the cows, but this time cow numbers were recorded if visible. Type of bedding material and type of cubicle divider was recorded for the Dutch farms in both rounds. Bedding material was categorized into three categories: soft bedding (deep litter, sand, or straw), hard floor (concrete) with (a thin layer of) sawdust, and mats or mattresses with sawdust. Three categories of cubicle dividers were distinguished: R-shaped dividers, free-hanging or U-shaped dividers, and English dividers (see ). No information was recorded on brisket boards or neck pipes. Posture data were recorded on one farm in Uruguay with four herds, and on 25 Dutch farms. In Uruguay, herd 1 was visited 10 times, while the other three herds were visited 20 times, resulting in 2116 live recordings of lying postures and orientations of cows on pasture. In 2011–2012, 14 Dutch dairy farms were visited once, resulting in 537 photographs of lying postures of cows in cubicles. In 2016–2017, 11 Dutch dairy farms were visited twice, resulting in 488 photographs of lying postures of cows, 271 in cubicles and 217 on pasture. During the Dutch farm visits in 2011–2012, no cow numbers were recorded, and observers walked three times through the barn to take photographs. Therefore, it was uncertain if observers recorded the same cow repeatedly during the same farm visit. That is why, for these data, only the observations of one walking round per visit were retained. We selected the round that resulted in the most recordings, to retain the largest amount of data. This resulted in 262 recordings. During the Dutch farm visits in 2016–2017, cow numbers were read from the neck collars and recorded by the observers (if necessary, binoculars were used on pasture) and only one round of observations was made during each visit; for those data, the observations of unidentified cows were removed, as well as repeated recordings of the same cow on the same day. This resulted in 265 recordings. In Uruguay, cow numbers were also read from the neck collars by the observers, always using binoculars. Recordings of unidentified cows were removed, reducing the data from 2116 to 1306 recordings; furthermore, repeated recordings of the same cows on one observation day were removed; this reduced the data to 357 recordings. In the end, the data added up to 1101 recorded postures—527 in cubicles and 217 on pasture in the Netherlands, and 357 on pasture in Uruguay. All 2116 Uruguay records were used to determine the observed lying orientation of the cows. To compare lying posture of the cows indoors and outdoors, and to determine the relation with bedding material and divider type, the data were reduced to unique cow numbers per observation day, to avoid repeated recordings of the same cow. To determine the preferred orientation of the cows on pasture in Uruguay, a non-parametric one sample chi-square test was used. The null hypothesis was that cows have no preferred orientation, so the observed probability was compared to the hypothesized probability of 0.25 for the four orientations—north, east, south and west. Furthermore, a chi-square test was used to determine whether orientation of the cows differed between the herds. To determine which groups differed from each other, adjusted residuals (ARs) were calculated using a post hoc test, To determine whether outdoor lying postures of the cows on pasture in Uruguay differed within the farm, a non-parametric one-sample chi-square test was used. Again, the null hypothesis was that cows have no preferred lying posture, and therefore the observed probability was compared to the hypothesized probability of 0.25 for the four lying postures of long, short, wide, and narrow. Furthermore, a chi-square test was used to determine whether postures of the cows differed between the herds within the farm. To determine which groups differed from each other, adjusted residuals were calculated using a post hoc test. Indoor and outdoor postures for the Dutch cows were compared using a chi-square test. To determine which groups differed from each other, adjusted residuals were calculated as post hoc test. To determine the relation between lying posture and cubicle properties, a chi-square test was used, where lying postures were compared between cows in cubicles with three cubicle divider types and three types of bedding materials. To determine which groups differed from each other, adjusted residuals were calculated using a post hoc test. This analysis was done only using data from the indoor observations. All analyses were performed using SPSS Statistics 24 for Windows. Results were considered significant when p values were 1.96 or <−1.96. Overall, there were marked differences in the orientations of the cows lying on pasture in Uruguay between the four herds (Pearson's chi-square = 101.7, degrees of freedom (df) = 9, p < 0.000) (). Orientation of the body axis of cows lying on pasture from four herds on a farm with 205 cows in Uruguay; north, east, south, or west orientation per herd. Results from 2115 live observations.

You might be interested:  What Does The Name Marie Mean?
Herd N 1 S 1 W 1 E 1 n
1 34.4 20.2 22.3 23.2 233
2 23.4 14.9 29.7 32.0 556
3 37.1 24.8 19.0 19.2 1086
4 35.8 31.3 15.4 17.5 240

When testing preference for orientation within each herd in a one-sample chi-square test with the null hypothesis of equal preferences of 25% per orientation, all herds show significant preferences. Most cows were oriented towards the north in herd 1 (chi-square = 11.3, df = 3, p = 0.01) and herd 3 (chi-square = 94.4, df = 3, p = 0.000), most cows in herd 4 were oriented towards the north and south (chi-square = 29.2, df = 3, p = 0.000), and most cows in herd 2 were oriented towards the west and east (chi-square = 39.0, df = 3, p = 0.000). Lying postures of cows on pasture in Uruguay did not occur with equal probabilities within herds (one-sample chi-square test, p < 0.000). Cows showed mostly long postures ( p < 0.05) in all four herds, with less short, wide, and narrow postures (, ). No differences were found in the percentage of lying postures between herds (Pearson's chi-square = 8.81, p = 0.455). Percentage of "long", "wide", "short", and "narrow" lying postures for cows on pasture in Uruguay, within and between four herds on one farm. Herd 1 are pregnant, non-lactating cows, while herds 2, 3, and 4 are non-pregnant and lactating. Results of a chi-square analysis with adjusted residuals (AR).

Posture Herd 1 % (AR 1 ) Herd 2 % (AR) Herd 3 % (AR) Herd 4 % (AR)
Long 86.8 (4.1) 84.6 (5.6) 89.3 (10.5) 83.3 (4.4)
Short 2.6 (−1.3) 5.1 (−1.0) 3.7 (−2.5) 11.1 (0.8)
Wide 0 (−2.5) 2.6 (−3.0) 2.1 (−5.2) 1.9 (−2.7)
Narrow 10.5 (−1.9) 7.7 (−3.4) 4.8 (−6.6) 3.7 (−3.5)

When comparing lying postures from cows on pasture (n = 217) and in cubicles (n = 574) in the Netherlands, we found that lying postures differed between indoors and outdoors (Pearson’s chi-square = 26.587, df = 3, p < 0.000). Cows in cubicles showed more short postures (AR = 3.1) and cows on pasture showed more wide postures (AR = 4.5). Fully outstretched postures were not seen in the cubicles; however, a posture with both hind legs and one front leg open were also considered a "wide" posture. Indoor and outdoor postures are shown in, Percentage of "long", "wide", "short", and "narrow" postures as shown by cows lying in indoor cubicles or outdoor on pasture. Results of 744 pictures of cows on 25 Dutch farms in cubicles (n = 527) and on pasture (n = 217). Asterisks indicate significant differences. For the Dutch cows lying in cubicles, mostly long (39.1%) and narrow (33.2%) postures were observed, while short (12.0%) and wide (15.7%) postures were seen less often. Relations between lying posture, bedding type, and cubicle dividers were calculated only for the indoor observations on the Dutch farms. Of the 517 observations, 214 (41%) were of soft bedding (deep litter, sand, or straw), 49 (9%) were of hard floors (concrete with sawdust), and 264 (50%) were of mats or mattresses with sawdust. Bedding type was related to the lying postures of the cows () (Pearson's chi-square = 55.007, df = 6, p < 0.001). On soft floors, more long postures were observed (AR = 4.4) and less short (AR = −3.2) or wide (AR = −2.4) postures. On hard (concrete) floors, more narrow postures were observed (AR = 5.0) and less long (AR = −3.7) or wide (AR = −2.4) postures. Finally, on mats or mattresses, more short (AR = 2.7) and wide (AR = 3.7) postures were seen, and less long (AR = −2.2) or narrow (AR = −2.3) postures. Of the 517 observations, 117 (22%) were of R-shaped cubicle dividers, 284 (54%) were of free hanging or U-shaped dividers, and 126 (24%) were of English dividers. Divider type was related to the lying postures of the cows () (Pearson's chi-square = 65.387, df = 6, p < 0.001). Wide postures were observed more in cubicles with U-shaped dividers (AR = 4.6) and less in cubicles with R-shaped dividers (AR = −3.0) or English dividers (AR = −2.5). Short postures were seen more in cubicles with R-shaped dividers (AR = 6.8) and less with U-shaped (AR = −3.8) or English (AR = −2.2) dividers. Long postures were seen more in cubicles with English dividers (AR = 2.2) and narrow postures were seen less in cubicles with R-shaped dividers (AR = −2.2). Of the nine possible combinations of bedding material and bedding type, eight were observed: soft floors with R-, U-, or English dividers, concrete floors with R- or English dividers, and mats or mattresses with R-, U-, or English dividers (). Lying postures differed between cubicle design types (Pearson's chi-square = 137.893, df = 21, p = 0.000). More long postures were seen on soft floors with English dividers (AR = 4.6), more short postures were seen on mats or mattresses with R-shaped dividers (AR = 6.9), more wide postures were seen on mats or mattresses with U-shaped dividers (AR = 4.4) or English dividers (AR = 3.2), and more narrow postures were seen on hard floors with R-shaped dividers (AR = 3.1) or English dividers (AR = 3.8). Recorded postures of cows in cubicles with different cubicle designs. Coded combinations of bedding materials and divider types are: soft = soft bedding, hard = hard floor, mat = mats or mattresses; -R = R-shaped dividers; -U = U-shaped dividers; and -Eng = English dividers. Results from 527 lying cows on 25 Dutch farms. It was reported that when grazing and resting, cattle align their body axes with a significant preference (70%) for an N–S direction. The authors claim that wind and light can be excluded as a common denominator determining the body axis orientation, but this is not completely true. Light cannot be excluded, because that experiment used satellite images and, therefore, you need sunny weather. The present study found slightly different results. In herds 1, 3, and 4, the north orientation was observed the most, but in herds 3 and 4 an orientation towards the south was also often observed, and in herd 2 we saw cows mostly orientated towards west or east. During the observation weeks, herds were moved from one meadow to another with varying slopes, which may have affected the final results. In a follow-up study, the different slopes should be measured to determine if the measures of the slopes influence a cow's body direction preference. The differences between the herds, with herd 1 consisting of pregnant and non-lactating cows, and herds 2, 3, and 4 consisting of non-pregnant, lactating cows, cannot explain the differences in preferred orientation. Cows lying on pasture in Uruguay showed mostly long postures, while cows in the Netherlands showed more wide postures on pasture, and more short postures in cubicles. This might indicate that cows in cubicles are restricted by the limited space of the cubicle, while on pasture they have enough room for long or wide postures. Short or wide postures were observed less than long and narrow postures, and it seems that these are the less-preferred postures for dairy cows. This is in line with a study with cows on compost bedding, where hardly any cows laid flat on their sides, In the same study, a minority (<10%) of the cows showed short postures with their heads back in the lying area, which in our study was demonstrated by 12% of cows in cubicles, and by 4.6–5% of cows on pasture. This suggests that compost-bedded indoor lying areas restrict cows less in their preferred lying behavior than cubicles do, but more than on pasture. The wide postures that we recorded were defined as both hind legs open and one or two of the front legs open. The completely outstretched posture, with all four legs open, was not seen in the cubicles and only once on pasture in the Netherlands. In Uruguay, no distinction was made between a wide posture with one or with two legs open, so we cannot distinguish between those two postures in the analysis. There might be a difference for the cow between lying with one or with two front legs open; in cubicles, stretching out two front legs is more difficult, if not impossible, especially if there is a brisket board present. This could explain why this posture was not observed in the cubicles. It seems that cows are less restricted in their lying behavior when they have a soft surface to lie down on (such as mattresses with sawdust or deep-litter bedding), and when dividers are shaped in a certain way. English-type dividers offer the cows more space to stretch their legs than R-shaped dividers. U-shaped or hanging dividers are supposed to offer the cows even more room to put their legs. The cows did show more wide postures in cubicles with those dividers, but less long postures. In Uruguay, live observations were done by one observer, using binoculars. No repeated observations were done, so no intra-observer reliability analysis could be carried out. It would have been better to use two observers and to calculate an inter-observer reliability, but we did not have more observers available at that time. In the Netherlands, photographs were taken and analyzed by multiple observers. A reliability analysis was done at the start of the study. We did not expect the agreement to decrease after the initial moderate agreement (kappa values 0.49 and 0.50) between trainer and observers. Following the first reliability test, no more reliability tests were carried out during the study. When we checked the reliability after the study, however, the agreement between observers and the veterinarian was fair (kappa value 0.35). This was lower than expected. It was not possible to check the inter-observer reliability afterwards, since the observers that carried out the initial coding of the photographs were not available anymore. The reason that the agreement was fair to moderate might be that the different postures were sometimes difficult to distinguish from each other. For example, the long postures, with cows lying on their abdomen, and the wide or narrow postures, with cows lying on their ventral side, might resemble each other when the spine of the cow is in between both postures. This might explain the rather low kappa value between the observers and the veterinarian. For categorizing the pictures, it was important how the spine of the cow was positioned, while in our study we were more interested in whether or not the body and legs of the cow were stretched out and relaxed. For future research, a different set of pictures separating different lying postures for dairy cows might be developed, based on relaxation of the body and legs and not on position of the spine. When assessing welfare, the freedom to show natural behavior is one of the criteria for good welfare, In the present study, we showed that cows in cubicles are not able to display certain aspects of their natural behavior, since their lying postures differ significantly from those on pasture. This implies that the choice of showing certain lying postures is restricted in indoor systems with cubicles. We also showed that certain types of bedding and dividers restrict cows less than others; there is a relation between cubicle design and lying postures, which means there is an influence of dividers and bedding. Loose housing systems such as deep litter or compost barns seem to restrict cows less than cubicle systems. However, in loose housing systems without restrictions, more disturbances of lying animals and more social encounters occur, especially when cows are not dehorned, Cows lie down longer in tie stalls than in loose housing systems, but when comparing a straw yard to a cubicle system, cows show similar or longer lying times in the straw yard than in the cubicles, Although loose housing systems seem more challenging, especially for low-ranking cows, they also give the cows more choice and control over their environment. However, even in those systems, cows do not show the same behavior as outdoors. The relationship between posture and welfare is yet to be determined, but we argue that cows that have the choice of showing certain postures might have a better welfare. The opportunity to show natural behavior may effectively improve cow welfare in practice and is a promising basis for the design of new husbandry systems, Research is needed on the impact of new and innovative housing systems for dairy cows, such as free range systems and the "cow garden" design, on lying behavior and welfare. In those systems, cows can lie down without any restrictions and choose their lying postures and orientation not impeded by dividers. We are grateful to the BSc students involved in this study who gathered the data on the lying behaviors of the cows. Many thanks to Marie-Constance Smeeman for checking the text in English, and to Mari van Barneveld for scoring 50 photographs for the reliability test. Conceptualization, E.v.E.-v.d.K. and F.v.E.; Data curation, E.v.E.-v.d.K., O.A., and F.v.E.; Formal analysis, E.v.E.-v.d.K. and O.A.; Investigation, E.v.E.-v.d.K., D.C., and F.v.E.; Methodology, E.v.E.-v.d.K., D.C., and F.v.E.; Project administration, E.v.E.-v.d.K., D.C., and F.v.E.; Validation, E.v.E.-v.d.K., J.R., and F.v.E.; Visualization, E.v.E.-v.d.K.; Writing—original draft, E.v.E.-v.d.K.; Writing—review & editing, E.v.E.-v.d.K., J.R., and F.v.E. This research received no external funding. The authors declare no conflict of interest.1. Popescu S., Borda C., Diugan E.A., Niculae M., Stefan R., Sandru C.D. The effect of the housing system on the welfare quality of dairy cow. Ital.J. Anim. Sci.2014; 13 :15–22. doi: 10.4081/ijas.2014.2940.2. Forsberg A.-M., Pettersson G., Ljungberg T., Svennersten-Sjaunja K. A brief note about cow lying behavior—Do cows choose left and right lying side equally? Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci.2008; 114 :32–36. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2008.02.008.3. Endres M.I., Barberg A.E. Behavior of Dairy Cows in an Alternative Bedded-Pack Housing System.J. Dairy Sci.2007; 90 :4192–4200. doi: 10.3168/jds.2006-751.4. Begall S., Cerveny J., Neef J., Vojtech O., Burda H. Magnetic alignment in grazing and resting cattle and deer. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.2008; 105 :13451–13455. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0803650105.5. Begall S., Burda H., Červený J., Gerter O., Neef-Weisse J., Němec P. Further support for the alignment of cattle along magnetic field lines: Reply to Hert et al.J. Comp. Physiol. A Neuroethol. Sens. Neural Behav. Physiol.2011; 197 :1127–1133. doi: 10.1007/s00359-011-0674-1.6. van Gastelen S., Westerlaan B., Houwers D.J., van Eerdenburg F.J.C.M. A study on cow comfort and risk for lameness and mastitis in relation to different types of bedding materials.J. Dairy Sci.2011; 94 :4878–4888. doi: 10.3168/jds.2010-4019.7. Rushen J., Haley D., de Passillé A.M. Effect of Softer Flooring in Tie Stalls on Resting Behavior and Leg Injuries of Lactating Cows.J. Dairy Sci.2007; 90 :3647–3651. doi: 10.3168/jds.2006-463.8. Bachsweller J. MSc Thesis. Univ. für Bodenkultur, Masterarb.; Wien, Austria: 2009. Der Kopfraumbedarf von Fleckvieh- und Holsteinrindern die praktische Tierhaltung.9. van Erp M.J. (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands). Cow compass (Windroos met koeien) 2018. Unpublished.10. Shan G., Gerstenberger S. Fisher's exact approach for post hoc analysis of a chi-squared test. PLoS ONE.2017; 12 :e0188709. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188709.11. Brambell F.W.R., editor. Report of the Technical Committee to Enquire into the Welfare of Animals Kept under Intensive Livestock Husbandry Systems. Her Majesty's Stationery Office; London, UK: 1965.12. Menke C., Peer M., Schneider C., Spengler A., Waiblinger S. Introducing structural elements into the free resting area in loose-housing systems with horned dairy cows: Effects on lying behavior and cleanliness. Livest. Sci.2015; 179 :38–46. doi: 10.1016/j.livsci.2015.05.015.13. Krohn C.C., Munksgaard L. Behavior of dairy cows kept in extensive (loose housing/pasture) or intensive (tie stall) environments II. Lying and lying-down behavior. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci.1993; 37 :1–16. doi: 10.1016/0168-1591(93)90066-X.14. Fregonesi J.A., Leaver J.D. Behavior, performance and health indicators of welfare for dairy cows housed in strawyard or cubicle systems. Livest. Prod. Sci.2001; 68 :205–216. doi: 10.1016/S0301-6226(00)00234-7.15. Špinka M. How important is natural behavior in animal farming systems? Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci.2006; 100 :117–128. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2006.04.006.16. Smeets P.J.A.M. Systems Design in Metropolitan agriculture 1. Explor. Potential High Technol. Eco-Effic. Agric.2010; 85 :83–97. : Lying Postures of Dairy Cows in Cubicles and on Pasture

How do you know if a cow is in distress?

Signs of Stress in Cattle: What to Look For – ProviCo Rural What Does It Mean When Cows Lay Down Signs of Stress in Cattle We humans are not the only ones that experience stress. Cattle can also be stressed, and it is essential to know what signs to look for in order to identify when this is happening. High levels of stress can lead to poor health, decreased milk production, low energy, weight loss, small or premature calves, increased cases of the disease, and even death if left unchecked.

  • When cattle are stressed, they may exhibit a variety of, Some common physical signs of stress include:
  • – They may start to pant and breath heavily.
  • – Their heart rate may increase, and they may start to sweat.
  • – The muscles in their body may become tense.
  • – They may become weak or collapse.
  • If you notice any of these signs, it is vital to address the issue as soon as possible.

When cattle are stressed, they may exhibit a variety of behavioral signs. Many animals will react with certain behaviors when they are in distress. Some common behavioral signs of stress include:

  1. – Cattle may become agitated and restless.
  2. – They may stop eating or drinking.
  3. – They may start to chew on things obsessively.
  4. Addressing stress in cattle early can help prevent bigger problems down the road.

There are many things that can cause stress in cattle. The most common reasons are food and the environment. Feeding them inappropriately can lead to stress. This includes providing them with too much food or not giving them enough food. Feeding them less than the appropriate amount of food can cause them to be overstressed because they will not have enough energy to do anything but stay idle.

  1. Conversely, if cattle are fed too much food, then they will start to overeat, which puts more weight on them and makes it difficult for their stomach and intestines to function properly.
  2. Another common cause of stress in cattle is heat.
  3. The temperature can be too high for them, especially if their living space does not have enough shade or bedding material on the ground.

If they are exposed to extreme temperatures, then it will make them very uncomfortable, which causes stress levels to rise even more quickly. You can reduce their stress levels by providing an area out of the sun with plenty of bedding material and shade for them to rest in.

  1. Another effective method that can help stress-free cattle is by feeding them appropriately and timely.
  2. Too much food or not enough food can lead to over/under-stressing, which will produce negative consequences such as decreased milk production, increased cases of the disease, and death.
  3. Make sure you monitor their food intake to prevent this from happening.

You can also try our, a unique blend of ingredients sourced from nature, designed as a supportive measure to aid and improve recovery during times of disease, stress, ill-thrift, and gastric upsets. The non-medicated formulation ensures suitability across all species, ages, applications, and farming systems.

  1. Lastly, make them feel comfortable by keeping the appropriate temperature for cattle in mind.
  2. If it is too hot or cold out, provide an area with shade and/or bedding material that will keep them warm enough not to be stressed out.
  3. Make sure there isn’t anything in their environment that makes them anxious.

Stress in cattle can have very negative consequences, so it is vital to be aware of the signs and address the issue as soon as possible. By following these simple tips, you can help reduce their stress levels and keep them healthy and productive. : Signs of Stress in Cattle: What to Look For – ProviCo Rural

Why do cows lay down to sleep?

Do cows sleep standing up? – No. Cows don’t sleep standing up. When cows need deep sleep, they like to lie down to get it. Cattle need about 4 hours of sleep a day. This can be divided into drowsing, non-rapid eye movement (NREM), and rapid eye movement (REM).