Document Detail

The effect of social rank on the physiological response during repeated stressful handling in Zebu cattle (Bos indicus).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15327916     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Although the order of entry to a handling chute is related to social rank, it is still not clear what the consequences are for Zebu cattle of occupying different ranks when being exposed repeatedly to a stressful handling procedure. Eighteen Brahman cows were observed for 243 h to obtain information on social interactions. From that information, indices of success in displacing other individuals of the herd were calculated to reflect social status of each cow. One week after behavioral observations, the cows were forced 19 times to enter a handling chute where they were palpated and 7 ml of blood was collected from their caudal vein. To have an adrenal activity profile along the experimental period, five blood samples (Days 2, 6, 10, 15, and 19) were chosen for cortisol determination. On each sampling day, the average time in the chute, the order of entry, and a value of entrance consistency were calculated. On average, the high-ranking cows entered the chute before the medium- and low-ranking cows. Medium-ranking cows showed higher consistency when entering the race than high- and low-ranking cows. Low-ranking cows had significantly lower cortisol levels than the other two groups since the second sample (Day 6 in the race), and had higher cortisol levels the first time handled than at subsequent sampling days. It is suggested that low-ranking cows adopt a passive strategy that allows them to have a better control over the stressful event, while high-ranking cows respond with higher cortisol levels perhaps because of the need to become aroused to deal with challenges. It was concluded that the herd (a) habituated to repeat handling in a squeeze chute and (b) low-ranking cows responded with lower cortisol concentration to handling.
J Solano; F Galindo; A Orihuela; C S Galina
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physiology & behavior     Volume:  82     ISSN:  0031-9384     ISO Abbreviation:  Physiol. Behav.     Publication Date:  2004 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-08-25     Completed Date:  2004-12-20     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0151504     Medline TA:  Physiol Behav     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  679-83     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2004 Elsevier Inc.
Centro de Bachillerato Tecnológico Agropecuario No. 154 y 8 de Morelos, Domicilio Conocido, Huitzilac Mor., 62240, Mexico.
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MeSH Terms
Adrenal Glands / physiopathology
Handling (Psychology)
Hierarchy, Social*
Hydrocortisone / blood
Motor Activity / physiology
Restraint, Physical
Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
Reg. No./Substance:

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