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Effect of multisensorial stimulation in reducing weaning stress of dairy calves

Grant number: 15/00606-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2015
Effective date (End): August 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Ecology of Domestic Animals and Ethology
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Mateus José Rodrigues Paranhos da Costa
Grantee:Paula Pimentel Valente
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):16/24923-9 - Inflammatory and energetic profile of dairy calves up to 90 days of life and the effect of multisensory stimulation at the weaning period, BE.EP.PD


The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of multisensory stimulation (visual, tactile and auditory) in reducing the stress at weaning of dairy calves. Twenty-four dairy calves from birth until 90 days of age will be assessed. Calves will receive tactile stimulation from the 1st to 35th day of life, them they will be divided into two groups I and II, with twelve animals each. From the 50th day of life, calves from group I will be submitted to a minimum human contact, and those from group II to the multisensory stimulation (eye contact, positive tactile and auditory stimulation), performed daily for 5 minutes for each animal. Animals will be weaned at 70th day after birth, when they reach between 70 and 75 kg. They will remain in feed adaptation for 10 days and subsequently kept in Cynodon sp. paddocks. The stress reactivity will be evaluated by measuring the cortisol values at different moments and groups. The health and immune status will be assessed by acute phase proteins (ceruloplasmin, haptoglobin, ±1-acid glycoprotein, and transferrin) and immunoglobulins (IgG and IgA) in different groups and times. In addition, behavioral assessments will be performed, including: flight distance test and novel object test. And on productivity, the effect of treatments will be determined by the corporal score and body weight gain. For statistical analysis PROC MIXED will be used for the dependent variables with normal distribution and PROC GLIMMIX for the variables without normal distribution, both from the SAS program. (AU)