- Adult cattle sleep very little.
- The sleeping pose is all four legs tucked under and head turned to face the rear.
- Cattle must be well settled and comfortable before they will sleep. This has big implications for housed stock and design of cubicles.
- If animals are disturbed at night, they will sleep more during the day.
- Cattle use a range of body signals to communicate with each other.
- Their eyes have a key role. They use eyes down to show submission, and eyes up to show confidence.
- Cows on heat use mounting behaviour to signal to other cows and the bull.
- Bulls use at least 5 signals with their heads:
- Normal relaxed position
- Friendly approach before grooming by another cow
- Threat approach – watching you with one eye and snorting
- Submissive avoidance – pretending not to look
- Withdrawal from conflict and head toss with snort
- The tail also slightly raised in heat and mild panic.
- Written by: Dr Clive Dalton