Animal Stress and Tieing of Cattle and Buffalo

Any alterations in natural physical and environmental conditions that adversely affect physiology and productive and reproductive functioning in cattle and Buffalo can be term as stress. All types of livestock under their natural habitat feel comfortable if they are not tied and allow free movement in their enclosures. Any alterations in these conditions may cause stress of various degrees either mild or harsh. Very high productive animals are very sensitive to even mild stress such as a sudden change in feeding regime and managemental practice. Even sudden change in milking time, milker, changing the cups of milking machine causes stress and reduces milk production in high productive buffaloes.

Animal Stress and Tieing of Cattle and Buffalo

Confining highly productive dairy animals at a particular fixed place and tying by neck chains even if they were given recommended floor space, provision of best type feeding menger can never be ruled out stress in high profile milch animals.

The adverse effect stressed animals in fixed confined tying practices as recorded after many studies are:

  1. Rise in serum cortisol level. In our experiment at Mumbai Veterinary college it was found that the serum cortisol level in confined Buffalo was 0.52to 0.54 micrograms/deciliter and in Buffalo in loose houses were 0.41-045. microgram.
  2. Milk production is reduced by 10 to 15%.
  3. The hind quarters of the tied animals are always dirty hence these animals are prone to udder diseases.
  4. The microbiological quality of milk from tied animals is poor because milk is obtained under unhygienic conditions. The SPC count, coli form count, yeast and mould count in milk is always higher under these stressful unhygienic conditions
  5. The feed efficiency of these animals is low due to a lack of movement and exercise.
  6. For visitors, these animals looks dirty and having dark stains on their thighs and hind quarters, there by reducing the market value of the big commercial farm.

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Dr. M. I. Baig
Ex-Head of the Department
LPM Mumbai Veterinary College