Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station ART, CH-8356 Ettenhausen

Effect of noise and vibration in milking parlour on dairy cow

The aim of this study was to record, through appropriate ethological and physiological parameters, the extent of the stress caused in animals by noise and vibration. Various intensities of noise and vibration were produced in an autotandem milking parlour by means of special loudspeaker systems (variant A: 70 dB(A) / 0.5 m/s2; variant B: 80 dB(A) / 0 m/s2; variant C: 80 dB(A) / 0.5 m/s2; variant 0: 70 dB(A) / 0 m/s2), with variants A, B and C each being implemented for three weeks. Variant 0 functioned as a control and in each case was achieved following variants A, B and C. Both noise (variant A) and vibration (variant B) as well as a combination of the two (variant C) raised significantly the number of animals which kept their tails between their legs. Variant C also showed a tendency to more frequent defecation and urination during the milking parlour. The heart rate in variant C was also significantly higher than in variant 0. No differences were found in respect of udder health. Although cows can be adversely affected by noise and vibration, the restriction in animal well-being.was not significantly shown.

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