Development of tongue-playing in artificially reared calves: Effects of offering a dummy-teat, feeding of short cut hay and housing system

Tetsuya Seo, Shusuke Sato, Kimito Kosaka, Naoki Sakamoto, Kiyoshi Tokumoto, Kazuo Katoh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Japanese Blacks (a beef breed) develop frequent tongue-playing under intensive husbandry systems. The following were investigated in 16 artificially reared calves kept in two different farms: (1) the development of tongue-playing behaviour with age; (2) whether or not a dummy-teat could stimulate sucking and suppress behavioural and physiological stress and tongue-playing; (3) whether or not feeding of short cut hay could promote behavioural and physiological stress and tongue-playing; and (4) whether or not individual-housing could promote behavioural and physiological stress and tongue-playing than group-housing. Grooming as common displacement behaviour (indicator of behavioural stress) and physiological stress indicators such as plasma ACTH and cortisol concentration were measured to evaluate stressfulness of these treatments. The correlation between these indicators and tongue-playing was investigated. Four blocks (two individuals per block) were established on each of the two farms, resulting in an experimental design with a three-way classification (dummy-teat: offered or not; hay: short cut or long cut; and housing: individual or group-housed after weaning). Short cut hay was approximately 5 cm in length, whereas long hay was approximately 50 cm in length. Each of eight calves under 2 months old was provided with a dry rubber teat fitted to the wall. Tongue-playing was performed after forced weaning at 42 days of age. A little sucking was directed towards the dummy teat. Offering a dummy-teat neither influenced the stress state of the calves nor suppressed inclusive tongue-playing (consisting of tongue-playing and para-tongue-playing). Feeding of short cut hay elevated the plasma level of ACTH and cortisol at 150 days of age in calves. However, feeding of short cut hay did not lead to inclusive tongue-playing. Inclusive tongue-playing appeared more in individual-housed than group-housed calves. Calves spent less time suckling, feeding, exploring and moving in individual-housing than group-housing in this study condition. Calves could perform inclusive tongue-playing under long-term frustration by suppressed suckling, feeding and boring environment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
    Volume56
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1998 Feb 1

    Keywords

    • ACTH
    • Cattle
    • Cortisol
    • Displacement behaviour
    • Housing
    • Stereotyped behaviour
    • Tongue-rolling

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Food Animals
    • Animal Science and Zoology

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