A new study has found that cows become stressed, because of the most unlikely things, as reported by the IrishTimes.
The study found that a cow’s stress levels increased dramatically when their pens had colour in them, when there were puddles, because of barking dogs and loud farmers. The study, carried out in Brazil and published by the Tropical Animal Health and Production journal, found that stress levels were decreased once changes were made.
The levels of cortisol, stress hormone in cattle, was cut by one third once farmers decreased noise, colour in pens and also when pens were kept dry. The research team found that bright objects or those with colour contrasts increased stress levels, while contrasting between light and dark areas were shown to increase stress levels.
As part of the study and changes made during the study, handlers were given training on how to work with animals more calmly.
“Handlers received one-off training on how to work calmly and quietly with the animals. They were instructed not to shout, push or hit the cows, or to use dogs or electric prods.
“The handlers had to walk slowly to move the cows, and were advised to only use flags to encourage the flow of animals.” it said.
Changes in levels:
Once the changes were introduced the results showed the cortisol levels in the cattle to drop from 60.4ng/ml down to 41ng/ml. The study was carried out on the Nellore breed in Brazil, due to them being a very excitable breed when under stress.
Should we be eliminating colour from our cattle pens?Ensuring a lack of puddles? Maybe so, If it results in stress-free cattle surely it is worthwhile.