Dairy cows can be optimistic or pessimistic of a young age and their inexpensive outlook can predict their ability to cope with stress, a new research from the University of British Columbia says.
Benjamin Lekorps, a PhD student at the Animal Welfare Program, said the study has been making animal health benefits and suggests some communications between the human and animal worlds.
"In humans, we know that personality traits can really affect how people cope with stress, cope with challenges or even (affect) their social life and so on." "We really wonder if it is applicable to animals as well," Lekorps said.
The study, released last month in scientific reports, tested as cows that had previously been identified as frustrous, sociable, pessimistic or optimistic reacted under stressful situations as being transported from one barn to another.
The stress tests came four months after their personality traits had been tested when the animals were between 25 and 50 days old.
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The more pessimistic calves are more vocal and have higher eye temperatures, which are signs of stress, he said.
Eye temperature increases when an animal feels threatened because the sympathetic nervous system is activated and increases blood flow to the eyes, Lekorps said.
While optimism is studied as a prime predictor of how well-living human beings with constraints, their implications for their social life and mental health, some studies have focused on pessimism and optimism in other ways.
Lekorps has a personality traits frequently taught as an average across a variety of species, but it is important to look at individuals when they buy animal welfare because some calves will be more sensitive to challenges than others.
The study can be used to help farmers decide which animals will be more elegant and to allow them to improve overall health on a dairy farm, he said.
"If we have animals that are more sensitive to printing, it is likely that they will be more likely to be ill later in life or not to cope with the challenging situations they are subjected to routine dairy farming," Lekorps said.
Amy Smart, the Canadian Press
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