Journal Article


The correlation between play behavior, serum cortisol and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio in welfare assessment of dairy calves within the first month of life

Abstract

Welfare assessment of dairy calves is commonly conducted through the observation of their behavior and the analysis of physiological parameters. Despite the large number of studies on this topic, there is a lack of research on the possible correlation between the physiological parameters and behavior at basal level in dairy calves. For this reason, the present study aimed to investigate the possible correlations between serum cortisol, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (N/L) and locomotor play behavior in 21 Friesian dairy calves within their first month of life. Every week, an arena test after blood collection was performed. A significant positive correlation between serum cortisol levels and N/L (rrm = 0.381; 95% CI = 0.083, 0.617; p = 0.012) and a negative correlation between time spent running and N/L (rrm = −0.351; 95% CI = −0.575, −0.077; p = 0.012) were found. On the contrary, no significant correlation between time spent running and cortisol levels was detected. Cortisol levels and N/L were higher in the newborn and had a constant decrease until reaching a stable value after the 24th day of life. These findings suggest a better predictivity of N/L, compared to serum cortisol, on locomotor play behavior.

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Authors

Ogi, Asahi
Campera, Marco
Ienco, Sara
Bonelli, Francesca
Mariti, Chiara
Gazzano, Angelo

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Social Sciences

Dates

Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-02-07


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


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