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Animals 2016, 6(5), 30; doi:10.3390/ani6050030

Behavioral and Physiological Responses of Calves to Marshalling and Roping in a Simulated Rodeo Event

1
Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, School of Veterinary Sciences, The University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland 4343, Australia
2
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland 4343, Australia
3
École Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, Toulouse University, Toulouse 3115, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marina von Keyserlingk
Received: 6 January 2016 / Revised: 31 March 2016 / Accepted: 25 April 2016 / Published: 28 April 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [508 KB, uploaded 28 April 2016]   |  

Abstract

Rodeos are public events at which stockpeople face tests of their ability to manage cattle and horses, some of which relate directly to rangeland cattle husbandry. One of these is calf roping, in which a calf released from a chute is pursued by a horse and rider, who lassoes, lifts and drops the calf to the ground and finally ties it around the legs. Measurements were made of behavior and stress responses of ten rodeo-naïve calves marshalled by a horse and rider, and ten rodeo-experienced calves that were roped. Naïve calves marshalled by a horse and rider traversed the arena slowly, whereas rodeo-experienced calves ran rapidly until roped. Each activity was repeated once after two hours. Blood samples taken before and after each activity demonstrated increased cortisol, epinephrine and nor-epinephrine in both groups. However, there was no evidence of a continued increase in stress hormones in either group by the start of the repeated activity, suggesting that the elevated stress hormones were not a response to a prolonged effect of the initial blood sampling. It is concluded that both the marshalling of calves naïve to the roping chute by stockpeople and the roping and dropping of experienced calves are stressful in a simulated rodeo calf roping event. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal welfare; calf; cattle; rodeo; roping animal welfare; calf; cattle; rodeo; roping
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sinclair, M.; Keeley, T.; Lefebvre, A.-C.; Phillips, C.J.C. Behavioral and Physiological Responses of Calves to Marshalling and Roping in a Simulated Rodeo Event. Animals 2016, 6, 30.

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