Welfare assessment in dairy cows using hair cortisol as a part of monitoring protocols
Vesel, Urška (Author), Pavić, Tea (Author), Ježek, Jožica (Author), Snoj, Tomaž (Author), Starič, Jože (Author)

URLURL - Source URL, Visit https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-dairy-research/article/welfare-assessment-in-dairy-cows-using-hair-cortisol-as-a-part-of-monitoring-protocols/95C261DF43551EA32B452997C8E9EC0C This link opens in a new window

Welfare of dairy cows can be assessed using welfare assessment protocols consisting ofresource, management and animal-based measures. Welfare Quality® Assessment Protocolis one of the best-known protocols, which depends almost entirely on animal-based measures.To gain more objective and rapid welfare assessment, new techniques have been developed tomeasure welfare of animals, such as hair cortisol concentration. As cortisol is released inresponse to stress, it has long been used as a biomarker of stress in animals. While the precisemechanism of cortisol incorporation into hair is unknown, hair cortisol concentration seemsto be a marker of long-term systemic cortisol concentration. Hair cortisol is, therefore, apotential marker of chronic stress and is not likely to be affected by acute stress. Studies oncattle show connections between hair cortisol concentration and factors such as pregnancy,parity, diseases, ectoparasites, body condition score, environmental changes, stocking densityand milk yield. Hair cortisol concentration appears to be affected by time of sampling, cow ageand breed, UV radiation, season, body region of sampled hair and hair colour. Its concentra-tion also depends on sampling and analytical methods. Hair cortisol is a promising non-inva-sive tool to evaluate welfare of dairy cows, however, more research is needed to determine theextent of effects on its concentration and the appropriate method of sampling and analysis.Correlations between Welfare Quality® Assessment Protocol scores and pooled hair cortisolconcentrations have not yet been found, and more research is needed with larger samplesize, a standardized protocol of hair sampling, processing and analysis. With proper attentionto detail, hair cortisol levels in pooled hair samples might come to be used as a reliable indi-cator of dairy animal welfare.

Keywords:Cattle, cortisol, hair, HPA axis, stress, welfare protocol
Work type:Article (dk_c)
Tipology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:VF - Veterinary Faculty
Number of pages:Str. 72-78
Numbering:Vol. 87, suppl. S1
ISSN on article:0022-0299
DOI:10.1017/S0022029920000588 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:26069763 This link opens in a new window
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:Journal of Dairy Research
Shortened title:J. Dairy Res.
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
COBISS.SI-ID:6400007 This link opens in a new window

Document is financed by a project

Funder:EC - European Commission
Project no.:COST Action FA1308


License:CC BY 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Description:This is the standard Creative Commons license that gives others maximum freedom to do what they want with the work as long as they credit the author.
Licensing start date:31.08.2020

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