Abstract #T152

# T152
Comparing lying behaviors on commercial Croatian dairy farms.
Nicole L. Eberhart*1, Pero Mijic2, Goran Vuckovic2, Peter D. Krawczel1, 1Department of Animal Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 2Faculty of Agriculture, Josip Jurai Strossmayer University of Osijek, Osijek, Croatia.

Lying behavior can be a useful tool for evaluating the suitability of dairy cows’ housing environment. The objective of this study was to evaluate the lying behavior of high-producing Holstein dairy cows on commercial Croatian farms with different management systems. Data were collected from 303 dairy cows across 4 farms in eastern Croatia for at least 3 d. There were some general differences in farm management. One farm used bedded pack housing and a parallel parlor (BP), one used older freestalls (>30 yrs. old) and a herringbone parlor (FH), one was a forced-traffic robotic farm with freestalls (FRb), and one used new freestalls (built in 2013) and a rotary parlor (FRt). Behaviors (lying times (min/d), lying bout duration (min/bout), lying bouts (n/d) and laterality of lying) were recorded by dataloggers recording at 1-min intervals. Acceleration data were summarized into lying behaviors for each individual cow using SAS (v9.3) and the MIXED procedure was used to determine differences in lying behavior across farms. Lying times differed (P < 0.001) with values ranging from (farm mean ± SE) 735.1 ± 17.2 (BP) to 623.7 ± 22.8 (FRb) min/d. Lying duration values ranged from 95.7 ± 5.2 (FH) to 60.1 ± 5.4 (FRt) min/bout, differing across farms (P < 0.01). Lying bouts differed (P < 0.001) with values from 13.4 ± 0.4 (FRt) to 9.1 ± 0.6 (FRb) n/d. Right side lying duration differed (P < 0.001) with values from 87.7 ± 3.9 (FH) to 58.1 ± 4.1 min/bout (FRt). Right side lying bouts ranged from 6.7 ± 0.3 (FRt) 4.1 ± 0.3 (FH) n/d and differed (P < 0.001). Left side lying times differed (P = 0.01) ranging from 381.1 ± 15.8 (BP) to 291.7 ± 21.1 (FRb) min/d. Left side lying duration ranging from 92.3 ± 5.7 (FH) to 63.3 ± 6.0 (FRt) min/bout differed (P = 0.006). Left side lying bouts differed (P < 0.001) ranging from 6.7 ± 0.3 (FRt) to 4.5 ± 0.5 (FRb) n/d. BP had longer daily lying times than any of the farms with freestalls suggesting greater cow comfort. FRt had more lying bouts per day and the shortest lying durations suggesting reduced comfort. These data suggest there may be differences among farm systems to be addressed when developing standards for cow comfort.

Key Words: lying behavior, dairy cow, dairy management