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Effects of space allowance during transport and duration of mid-journey lairage period on the physiological, behavioural and immunological responses of young calves during and after transport

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 August 2016

P. N. Grigor
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
M. S. Cockram*
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
W. B. Steele
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
C. J. Le Sueur
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
R. E. Forsyth
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
J. A. Guthrie
Affiliation:
Institute of Ecology and Resource Management, University of Edinburgh, Agriculture Building, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, UK
A. K. Johnson
Affiliation:
Institute of Ecology and Resource Management, University of Edinburgh, Agriculture Building, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, UK
V. Sandilands
Affiliation:
Institute of Ecology and Resource Management, University of Edinburgh, Agriculture Building, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, UK
H. W. Reid
Affiliation:
Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ, UK
C. Sinclair
Affiliation:
Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ, UK
H. K. Brown
Affiliation:
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK
*
Corresponding author E-mail: M.S.Cockram@ed.ac.uk
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Abstract

The effects of space allowance during transportation and duration of a mid-journey lairage period on measurements of stress, injury, dehydration, food restriction and rest in young calves were assessed during and after transport. Groups of calves were transported for two 9-h journeys (at a space allowance of either 0·375 or 0·475 m2 per calf) separated by a mid-journey lairage period of either 1 or 12 h. Non-transported calves were offered milk replacer and drinking water either at the usual times or only at the same times as the transported calves.

During transport, transported calves spent significantly less time lying down and had a greater plasma cortisol concentration than control calves. Under the driving conditions used, increased space allowance was not associated with greater injury or loss of stability. The duration of the mid-journey lairage was not an important factor; the shorter lairage time, giving the calves sufficient time to receive milk replacer but little opportunity to rest, had no major detrimental effects on the variables used to assess welfare. Although there was little evidence that transport affected immunological variables, there was some evidence that it adversely affected the health of the calves post transport.

Type
Ruminant nutrition, behaviour and production
Copyright
Copyright © British Society of Animal Science 2001

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Effects of space allowance during transport and duration of mid-journey lairage period on the physiological, behavioural and immunological responses of young calves during and after transport
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