Short Communication: Association between neonatal calf diarrhea and lying behaviors

TR Number
Date
2020-06-01
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Elsevier
Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the association of neonatal calf diarrhea (NCD) with step activity and lying behaviors in pre-weaned dairy calves. Calves were housed in individual hutches for the first 6 days of life, and then moved into a group pen. On the day of birth, calves (n = 30) were fitted with an accelerometer, and step activity and lying behaviors were recorded. Calves were assigned a fecal score (FS) twice daily using a 0 to 3 scale, and were diagnosed with NCD (n = 10) when the score was a 3. To ensure the only association noted was due to NCD, calves that had any other health complications were excluded from analyses (n = 1). Calves with NCD were pair matched by age, breed, and birthdate to a healthy calf. Day 0 was designated as the date of NCD diagnosis. Calves with NCD spent less time lying (P < 0.05) and displayed more lying bouts (P < 0.05) of a shorter duration (P < 0.01) than healthy calves. Specifically, calves with NCD displayed more lying bouts on days -7 (P < 0.05), -6 (P < 0.01), -5 (P < 0.01), -4 (P < 0.01), and -3 (P < 0.05). Similarly, lying bout duration was shorter for calves with NCD on days -6 (P < 0.05), -5 (P < 0.05), -4 (P < 0.01), and -3 (P < 0.01). Additional research is needed to examine if these tools can be used to identify diseased calves prospectively.

Description
Keywords
Accelerometer, Lying behaviors, Neonatal calf diarrhea, Pre-weaned calf, Step activity
Citation