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Indication of a personality trait in dairy calves and its link to weight gain through automatically collected feeding behaviours

Carslake, Charles; Occhiuto, Francesca; Vázquez-Diosdado, Jorge A.; Kaler, Jasmeet

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Authors

Charles Carslake

Francesca Occhiuto

JORGE VAZQUEZ DIOSDADO JORGE.VAZQUEZDIOSDADO@NOTTINGHAM.AC.UK
Assistant Professor in Precision Live Stock Technologies

JASMEET KALER JASMEET.KALER@NOTTINGHAM.AC.UK
Professor of Epidemiology & Precision Livestock Informatics



Abstract

Farm animal personality traits are of interest since they can help predict individual variation in behaviour and productivity. However, personality traits are currently inferred using behavioural tests which are impractical outside of research settings. To meet the definition of a personality trait, between-individual differences in related behaviours must be temporally as well as contextually stable. In this study, we used data collected by computerised milk feeders from 76 calves over two contexts, pair housing and group housing, to test if between-individual differences in feeding rate and meal frequency meet the definition for a personality trait. Results show that between-individual differences in feeding rate and meal frequency were related, and, for each behaviour, between-individual differences were positively and significantly correlated across contexts. In addition, feeding rate and meal frequency were positively and significantly associated with weight gain. Together, these results indicate the existence of a personality trait which positions high meal frequency, fast drinking, fast growing calves at one end and low meal frequency, slow drinking, and slow growing calves at the other. Our results suggest that data already available on commercial farms could be harnessed to establish a personality trait.

Citation

Carslake, C., Occhiuto, F., Vázquez-Diosdado, J. A., & Kaler, J. (2022). Indication of a personality trait in dairy calves and its link to weight gain through automatically collected feeding behaviours. Scientific Reports, 12(1), Article 19425. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-24076-x

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 9, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 12, 2022
Publication Date Nov 12, 2022
Deposit Date Jan 30, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 30, 2023
Journal Scientific Reports
Electronic ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 1
Article Number 19425
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-24076-x
Keywords Multidisciplinary
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/14025598
Publisher URL https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-24076-x
Additional Information Received: 7 June 2022; Accepted: 9 November 2022; First Online: 12 November 2022; : The authors declare no competing interests.

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