Estimation of Risk Factors - Useful Tools in Assessing Calves Welfare

Ioana Andronie, Monica Parvu, Viorel Andronie

Abstract


The study has been aimed at identify risk factors that may be used in welfare assessment of calves reared in intensive farming systems. These factors may be useful to the farmers in planning breeder measures in order to increase the animal welfare levels in relation to the legislative requirements. The estimation considered the housing conditions of calves aged 0-6 months grouped in two lots A (n: 50) and B (n: 60), depending on their accommodation system. We have monitored the calves decubitus on the housing surface, body hygiene as well as that of the resting area and the thermal comfort. The assessment was made by direct observation and numerical estimation, based on the Welfare Quality ® 2009 protocol (Assessment protocol for cattle) as well as by means of a calves safety and welfare evaluation chart according to the European and national legislation on minimum calves safety and protection standards. Data collected and processed have shown the fact that not all housing conditions completely answer calves physiological requirements. Thus the appropriate housing criterion in the present study was met at B lot of 85 % and to a much smaller degree by the A lot (76 %). The assessment carried out by means of the safety chart have indicated that only the minimum criteria for calves rearing were met, which does not translate into a high level of their welfare.

Keywords


calves, assessment, welfare

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Copyright (c)


Scientific Papers Animal Science and Biotechnologies publish open access articles under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence (read full legal code).


LUCRARI STIINTIFICE ZOOTEHNIE SI BIOTEHNOLOGII (SCIENTIFIC PAPERS ANIMAL SCIENCE AND BIOTECHNOLOGIES)

ISSN print 1841 - 9364
ISSN online 2344 - 4576
ISSN-L  1841 - 9364
(former ISSN 1221-5287, E-ISSN 1841-9364)

PUBLISHER: AGROPRINT Timisoara, Romania
PAPER ACCESS: Full text articles available for free
FREQUENCY: Semiannual
PUBLICATION LANGUAGE: English
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Banat´s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine "King Michael I of Romania" from Timisoara
Bioengineering Faculty of Animal Resources
300645, Timişoara, Calea Aradului 119, Romania

E-mail: spasb [at] animalsci-tm.ro
Phone: +40-256-277160, Fax.: +40-256-277110