most of The people take cattle, not as individuals, but as a humdrum herd cattle is to produce milk and meat. Although the animals have been living for centuries closely with the people, is surprisingly little known about them. Scientific studies on cows predominantly deal with the question of how the milk and meat yield can be optimized. Only since the beginning of the 2000s, Biolog festival explore the behavior of animals of the bovine species and The animals have to live is a complex social, emotions and even a personality of its own.
If Anet Spengler Neff from the research Institute of organic agriculture (FiBL) observed in Frick, a herd of cows, she realizes pretty quickly that animals have an anxious, nervous character, and which are safe and quiet. "The personality of a cow is also perceived by the other herd members," says animal scientist. So nervous cows had larger problems to be in a new flock is accepted as balanced.
In analogy to the human being, whose personality is often characterized in terms of the five characteristics of "openness to experience", "conscientiousness", "Extraversion", "compatibility" and "Neuroticism", have behavior, researchers defined inside the corresponding personality factors for cattle.
"sociability" in this model, the animal counterpart to the human "Extraversion". "Anxiety" is more or less the "Neuroticism" of the people. Specially for animals the feature of Exploration was developed, which went best with the "Explore" translate.
the behavior of biologists from the University of British Columbia in Canada recently studied how the personality of Holstein dairy cows, developed in the course of your life. Each of the 65 experimental cows was four times tested: as a calf at the age of one and three months, a year, and as an adult with two and a half years. to investigate
the exploring urge, have been passed the cows individually in an empty Arena and 30 minutes in length carefully observed. The animals behaved very differently. Some stir from the place, others began immediately to inspect the unfamiliar environment by sprunjed for example, the floor and the walls.
In the second Experiment, the aim was to find out whether an animal was more scared or brave. The attempt was similar to the first with the difference that the researchers placed in the middle of the Arena, the animals unknown object: As calves, they were faced with a big bucket, than adult cows were presented to a camping tent. It was recorded whether and how often the animals approached the object.
In the third Experiment, finally, a man stood in the middle of the square, arms and legs held close to the body and the eye contact with the animals was avoided. The behavior on signed biologists, among other things, whether the cow tried to establish contact with the Person, how long it lasted, until it touched the people, for the first Time, and how long they sniffed him, licked or otherwise with him interacted.
The analysis of the data confirmed what had also shown other experiments: cows have a personality that is relatively stable: the animals were approached as a calf brave the bucket to inspect it more closely, did this in the rule as an adult cow with the tent. And animals, the found of the bucket as a calf so strange that you were eyeing him from a distance, kept as two and a half years of respectful distance to the tent.
A surprising exception was in the puberty, more specifically in adolescence. Biologists prefer to use this term if they Mature out of Childhood, together with the associated changes in behaviour my. Puberty is maturity for you in the Moment of sex and a part of the adolescence.
in any case, the experimental cows were behaving as a one-year half-grown completely unpredictable. Some of the animals were in this phase of life-averse than usual, some bold. Some is lost in the adolescence of a sudden the interest in an unknown object or an unknown people, other moving out both curious, although they kept both as a calf and as an adult distance. The suspicion arises that not only young people go through a period of confusion, but also milk cows.
"That cows and other mammals have emotions, is undisputed," says Silvia Ivemeyer, agricultural scientist at the University of Kassel. The range of positive and negative emotions is relatively complex and not so different from the feelings that people have.
The show should be about studies in which people who had otherwise little to do with cows, watch the animals and their state of mind with terms such as "anxious", "curious" or "playful" to describe. Most Observers fell slightly, probably – so the Interpretation of the researchers – because they know the States of mind in which the animals were, even. In addition, the assessments of the different test persons were in good agreement with each other.
the impression that the animals make on humans, together with their physiological reactions: "Scared" cows, for example, have increased concentrations of stress hormones in the blood.
Emotional component to the behavior of the cows
Even in everyday life there are many situations to be overlooked in the emotions of cows hardly be said Florian Leiber, head of the Department of animal Sciences at the FiBL. Cows that come up after the Winter for the first Time on the pasture, jump and bounce with joy. And cows, where the calves are taken away from what operated in the milk is the rule rather than the exception, shouting after the separation, often for hours. "It would be preposterous to question that these behaviors have emotional components," says Leiber.
Close ties there are, however, not only between mother and child, but also between adult cows. "Some cows have best Friends," says Spengler Neff. You can tell that the animals are constantly together. Best Friends eat side-by-side and put together. They are separated because, for example, one of the two slaughtered, it can happen that the retarded animal secretes from the Rest of the herd and the Eat refused. The grief is? Some farmers interpret it and give such cows as well as animals that have been separated from her calf, the homeopathic Grief remedies "Ignatia". Undoubtedly well-intentioned.
it is That traumatic experiences can even alter the mood of animals of the bovine species, have shown canadian behavior researchers a few years ago in a "PLOS One" published a study. Therefore, calves that were being dehorned with a burning iron, a more pessimistic view of the world than before the procedure.
The Biologists taught the calves, first of all, to touch a red screen with the mouth to get a SIP of milk. The screen was white, one was punished, the tapping of the screen with a drinking break. In the actual Experiment, the researchers observed the inside, then the animal's response to an ambiguous pink color stimulus: Optimistic calves oppressed, the pink screen in the hope of a reward; pessimistic shunned him, as if he were white. As an indication of a Negative change in mood to the Biolog evaluated inside the observation, that formerly optimistic calves responded to the dehorning significantly more restrained on the supposedly rewarding pink screen.
the psychology of The beef is a complex one, and this insight should have consequences for the dealing with the animals. First improvements are already In Switzerland, more and more farmers decide to calves as long as possible for the mother to be.
This article was first published on 8. In March, the international women's day. On this occasion, we use – wherever possible – instead of the generic Maskulinums the generic feminine. For example: patients, instead of patients.
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Created: 07.03.2020, 21:23 PMUpdated Date: 08 March 2020, 03:00