Submitted to: International Society of Applied Ethology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2000
Publication Date: 8/1/2000
Citation: EICHER, S.D., MORROW, J.L. BEHAVIOR FOLLOWING SUBCUTANEOUS ELECTROLYTE TREATMENT IN TRANSPORTED CALVES. INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF APPLIED ETHOLOGY. 2000. P. 76.
Technical Abstract: Transportation of neonatal calves is common in the U.S. dairy industry. Stress caused by transport can be combated with various therapies to assist the calf in coping. We investigated physiological and behavioral benefits that result from subcutaneous electrolyte administration after transport. Thirty Holstein bull calves were assigned to control (C), transported (T), or transported with electrolyte therapy (TE) in a randomized complete block design. Calves were transported in the bed of a truck using an aluminum top with straw bedding. T and TE calves were transported for 4 hours one afternoon and penned with other calves overnight and transported again for 4 hours in the morning. Following the last transport, 1 liter of electrolytes was given subcutaneously to TE calves. Calves were placed in hutches 2 hours prior to instantaneous scan samples of maintenance behaviors and activity, taken every five minutes for 30 minutes prior to and 30 minutes following afternoon feeding for 4 days. Movement and vocalization increased with TE (P<.02) during the post-feeding period on the first day following transport. On the second day following transport (pre-feeding), lying tended to increase for T compared to TE (P=.15) and vocalizations increased for TE (P<.05). Touching the pen and hutch each decreased for TE calves and touching the hutch decreased for T calves (P<.05) pre- feeding on day 2. Day 2 post-feeding vocalizations of TE calves increased (P=.02). On d 4 post-transport, vocalizations of TE calves were greater than those of T calves (P<.05). This study showed an early benefit for subcutaneous electrolyte administration after transport reflected by earlier return to normal behavior.