Ethological principles in dairy cattle farming


  • Metoda SENICA Kmetijska in gospodinjska šola Šentjur, Cesta na kmetijsko šolo 9, SI-3230 Šentjur, Slovenija
  • Ivan ŠTUHEC Univ. of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Fac., Zootechnical Dept., Groblje 3, SI-1230 Domžale, Slovenia
  • Vida REZAR Univ. of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Fac., Zootechnical Dept., Groblje 3, SI-1230 Domžale, Slovenia



cattle, dairy cows, ethology, animal behaviour, animal welfare, housing system


In the herd of 34 dairy cows, 11 cows of Brown and 4 cows of Simmental breed were chosen in order to observe the impact of two different housing systems on animal behaviour. The first was permanent stable husbandry, where cows were tied by Grabner ties. The second one was similar, but the animals were let outdoors to graze on the pasture for seven hours on day (pasture husbandry). Eating period of cows in pasture husbandry was longer, while drinking, chewing and resting time was shorter compared to cows in stable husbandry. Despite the shorter resting period the cows were lying down on pasture more often than the cows in stable husbandry. This may be due to easier lying down or rising on non slippery grassland and unlimited movement possibility. The frequency of defecation and urination was higher in pasture than in stable husbandry, especially in the hour prior to release to pasture. Presumably the cows were nervous because they had been hardly waiting to be let from the stable onto the pasture. In pasture husbandry a lot of licking of other cows and self licking was noticed. The lack of licking and scratching possibility in stable husbandry was compensated by frequent grooming against stable fittings.


15. 06. 2001



Original Scientific Article

How to Cite

SENICA, M., ŠTUHEC, I., & REZAR, V. (2001). Ethological principles in dairy cattle farming. Acta Agriculturae Slovenica, 78(1), 43–56.

Similar Articles

1-10 of 403

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.

Most read articles by the same author(s)