Você está na página 1de 6

Michelle Onokalah For my ethogram assignment, I chose to observe Bos Taurus, commonly known as dairy cattle.

Throughout this study, I will refer to these cows as heifers because they have not yet given birth. Included in this ethogram is a one-day old calf. The heifers that I chose to observe are often called Holstein cattle and are found on farms. Unlike beef cattle, which are usually completely brown or black, dairy cattle are usually black with white spots in coloring. Dairy cattle are all female with large udders, or mammary gland organs, dangling on their ventral side. They have large snouts and typical emit a deep sound commonly known as a moo. Calves, or baby cows, are incredibly small in size in comparison to full grown adults. The heifers, whose behaviors were observed in this ethogram, were observed at the University of Georgia Teaching Dairy Center over a span of two days in August at around 8AM in the morning during their feeding time. I observed 10 different cattle 5 heifers on day one and 5 more on day two. Behavior Description Suckling When I placed my hand near the calf, she sucked on my fingers

Sniffing grass Tail wagging

Rubbing head on leg Rears head Galloping to fence Eating

Nose briefly placed near the ground inhaling Tail moving side to side in the air sometimes down between the legs or horizontal to heifers body Standing still, taking head and moving it against front leg Moving head back abruptly, then back down to normal position Running quickly towards the fence Consuming grains and other nutrients given to them

Urinating Stops eating Licks side

Releasing fluid waste from body Raises head from food and bruptly stops chewing for a period of time Turns head to the side and rubs tongue against side of body

Drinking water

Lowers head towards water and uses tongue to consume the liquid

Mooing Head-butting Chews cud

Wheezing Following to the gate Sniffing gate Twitching side Licking butt

Prolonged vocalization made with mouth barely open- lips protruding Ramming head against the body of another heifer Regurgitation of grains and grass previously eaten into heifers mouth occurs when heifer is deeply relaxed course whistling sound released when breathing Looks up and walks to any person or vehicle by the gate Places snout near gate and calmly inhales and exhales Abruptly contracts one side of body Turns head towards backside and rubs tongue against butt

Attempt to lick worker

Moves head towards worker and attempts to rub tongue against workers body

Comes to gate

Walks calmly to the front of the gate

suckling sniffing grass wagging Tail rubbing head on leg rears head Chewing Cud Galloping to fence Eating Urinating Wagging Tail Stops eating Drinking Water Mooing head-butting licks side Wheezing Eating Following to gate Sniffing Gate Licking Butt Twitching Side Attempt to Lick Worker Chewing cud Comes to gate

No matter the situation whether being fed or left on their own the heifers observed spent the majority of their time wagging their tails. Even when startled by my presence, their tails never stopped swinging for more than a second. Just as in dogs, I first believed that they wagged their tails in happiness and in anticipation of food. After further observation, I noticed that the heifers bodies were covered in flies. I noticed that when their longs tails wagged, the end slapped the sides of their body, scaring the flies away. Upon further thought and observation, I now believe that the purpose of the majority of the heifers behaviors that I have observed tail wagging, licking side, licking butt, rearing head, twitching side is to ward off flies. The heifers also spent a majority of their time consuming food. Even after they were finished eating the food that I had given them, they continued to lick the grass and the gate. In fact, when the heifers were happiest, they regurgitated a portion of their food from their

stomachs and chewed away. After observing this over a couple of days with several heifers, I think it is safe for me to assume that heifers are happiest when they have something in their mouth. Many of the other behaviors that I observed, such as galloping to the gate attempting to lick workers were learned. Over time, the heifers have come to associate workers and the sound of our trucks driving up with feeding time. Whenever they heard or saw us coming, they would gallop towards the gate. If we did not come as fast as they wanted, they would start to moo, as a way of telling us to hurry up. Unlike the behavior of the heifers running to the gate and licking workers, the calfs suckling was an instinctive behavior. She was not even a day old and she already knew that to get her nutrients or anything else that she needed, her best bet was to suckle anything that made contact with her mouth. Side-Licking Behavioral Pattern Before Feeding After Feeding Frequency per second .25 licks per second .8 licks per second

Side-Licking Behavior in Heifers Observed


0.9 Number of Licks per Second 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 During Feeding After Feeding 0.25 0.8

One pattern that I noticed is that the heifers seemed to lick their sides, or ward of flies, more often when they were not eating. Hypothesis: The number of side-licking per second will be greater in heifers that are done feeding than in heifers that are still eating at the time.

I would test this hypothesis on 10 different heifers that are in closed quarters on the farm over the period of a month. One heifer will be observed at a time, twice in one month. One of the controls of the experiment would be the amount of time spent observing each heifer both during feeding and afterwards. No matter whether they were eating or not, the amount of time spent observing side-licking would be the same. I may also count the number of time that the heifers rear their head and twitch their bodies to measure how frequently they ward of flies in general during feeding and after feeding as well.